Common myths about appraising

Legally, a real estate appraiser is required to be state certified to create substantiated real estate appraisals for federally-related purchase. You are also entitled by law to request a copy of the completed appraisal from your lending agency. Contact our professional staff if you have any questions about the appraisal procedure.

Myth: Assessed value generally will be equal to market value.

Fact: While most states support the idea that assessed value is equal to estimated market value, this often is not the case. Usually when interior remodeling has been done and the assessor is not aware of the improvement or other houses in the Raleigh have not been reassessed for a good length of time, it may vary wildly.

Myth: Depending on if the appraisal is ordered for the buyer or the seller, the cost of the home will vary.

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

Myth: The replacement value of the home is always is on par with the market value.

Fact: Without any suggestion from any outside parties to buy or sell, market value is what a willing buyer would pay a willing seller for a particular house. The replacement cost is the dollar amount necessary to reconstruct a property in-kind.

Myth: Appraisers use a formula, like a specific price per square foot, to conclude the worth of a home.

Fact: There are many varied formulae that an appraiser will use to make a detailed investigation of every factor pertaining to the property, such as the size, location, condition, how close it is to undesirable facilities and the cost of recently sold comparable homes.

Myth: When the economy is doing well and the value of houses are reported to be increasing by a certain percentage, the other houses in the neighborhood can be expected to increase based on that same percentage.

Fact: Price appreciation of a specific home must be concluded on a case-by-case basis, factoring in data on comparable properties and other relevant considerations. It makes no difference whether the economy is good or poor.

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Myth: You can generally tell what a home is worth simply by looking at the exterior.

Fact: To determine an accurate value beyond all doubt, an appraiser must examine the home on a variety of factors based on location, condition, improvements, amenities, and current market trends. There's no possible way to get all of this data from simply inspecting the home from the outside.

Myth: Because consumers fund the appraisal when applying for loans to purchase or refinance real estate, they own their appraisal.

Fact: The appraisal is, in fact, legally owned by the lending company - unless the lender "relinquishes its interest" in the report. However, consumers have to be supplied with a copy of the appraisal upon written request, because of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.

Myth: Consumers need not care about what is in their document so long as it satisfies the needs of their lending institution.

Fact: A consumer should definitely look through their document; there may be some questions or some worries with the accuracy of the report that should be addressed. Remember, this is probably the most expensive and important investment a consumer will ever make. Also, the report makes a valuable record for future reference, comprised of useful and often-revealing data - including 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 proximity.

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

Fact: Hiring an appraiser can fulfill a variety of wants depending on the designations and certifications of the appraiser involved; appraisers can provide a great deal of different services, including benefit/cost analysis, tax assessment, legal dispute resolution, and even estate planning.

Myth: An appraisal report is no different than a home inspection.

Fact: Appraisal reports are definitely not the same as a home inspection report. An appraiser concludes on an opinion of value in the appraisal process and resulting document. House inspectors will produce a report that will express the condition of the house and its major components and possible damage.