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Appraisal myths & facts

By law, an appraiser is required to be state-licensed to produce appraisals for federally-related sales. The law gives you the right to get a copy of your completed appraisal from your lending agency after it has been provided. Contact us if you have any concerns about the appraisal procedure.

Myth: Market value needs to be equivocal to the assessed value of the property.

Fact: While most states support the concept that assessed value is equal to estimated market value, this often is not the case. Generally when interior remodeling has occurred and the assessor is unaware of the improvement or other houses in the Vancouver have not been reassessed for quite a while, it may vary wildly.

Myth: The opinion of value of a house will change depending upon whether the appraisal is conducted for the buyer or the seller.

Fact: The appraiser has no vested interest in the outcome of the appraisal report and should conduct his task with independence, objectivity and impartiality - no matter for whom the appraisal is written.

Myth: Market value will approximate replacement cost.

Fact: The way market value is found is based on what a home buyer would likely pay a willing seller for a property without being under duress from any outside party to purchase or sell. The replacement cost is the dollar amount necessary to reconstruct a house in-kind.

Myth: Specific methods, like the price per square foot, are what appraisers use to come to the price of a house.

Fact: Appraisers make a comprehensive analysis of all factors pertaining to the value of a house, including its location, condition, size, proximity to facilities and recent values of comparable houses.

Myth: As houses increase their worth by a certain percentage - in a strong economic state - the properties nearby are figured to increase by the same amount.

Fact: Worth appreciation of a certain home is always concluded on a case-by-case basis, factoring in data on comparable homes and other relevant considerations. It doesn't matter if the economy is doing well or declining.

Have other questions about appraisers, appraising or real estate in Clark County or Vancouver, WA?

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Myth: You can often see what a property is worth simply by looking at the exterior.

Fact: To conclude an accurate worth beyond all doubt, an appraiser must inspect the home on a variety of factors based on location, condition, improvements, amenities, and current market trends. There's no real way to get all of this information from just looking at the property from the outside.

Myth: Because consumers pay for the appraisal when applying for loans to purchase or refinance their house, they own their appraisal.

Fact: The appraisal is, in fact, legally owned by the lending company - unless the lender "releases its interest" in the document. However, home buyers must be provided with a copy of the appraisal upon written request, through the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.

Myth: It doesn't concern consumers what's in the appraisal report so long as it meets the necessities of their lending company.

Fact: A consumer should definitely inspect their appraisal; there could be some questions or some concerns about the accuracy of the report that need to be addressed. Remember, this is probably the most expensive and important investment a consumer will ever make. An report can double as a record for the future, as it contains an incredible amount of information - including, but certainly not limited to the legal and physical description of the property, square footage measurements, list of comparable properties in the neighborhood, neighborhood description and a narrative of current real-estate activity and/or market trends in the vicinity.

Myth: The only reason someone would hire an appraiser is if a home needs its worth estimated in a lender-based sales transaction.

Fact: Based upon their qualifications and designations, appraisers can and may perform a multitude of different services, including advice for estate planning, dispute resolution, zoning and tax assessment review and cost/benefit analysis.

Myth: You don't need to get an appraisal if you get a home inspection.

Fact: Appraisal reports are completely different than a home inspection report. The appraiser decides upon an opinion of value in the appraisal process and resulting report. A home inspector assesses the condition of the building and its major components and reports these findings.