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Appraisal myths & facts

It is enforced by the government that a real estate appraiser needs to be state-licensed to write appraisals for federally-supported real estate purchases in Washington. You also have the right to request a copy of the finished appraisal report from your lender. Contact our professional staff if you have any questions about the appraisal procedure.

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

Fact: This is not often the case; most states do support the concept that the assessed value is the same as market value, but not always. Examples include when interior remodeling has occurred and the assessor is unaware of the improvements, or when houses in the area have not been reassessed for an prolonged period.

Myth: Depending on if the appraisal is written for the buyer or the seller, the appraised value of the property will vary.

Fact: There is no personal interest on the part of the appraiser in the result of the appraisal report, therefore he will conduct his work with impartiality and independence, despite for whom the appraisal is ordered.

Myth: Market value should equate to replacement cost.

Fact: Market value is arrived at through what a willing buyer would be interested in paying a willing seller for a particular home, with neither being under undue influence to buy or sell. The dollar amount necessary to reconstruct a property is what shows the replacement cost.

Myth: There are specific ways that appraisers use to determine the opinion of value of a home, like the price per square foot.

Fact: Appraisers complete a detailed analysis of all factors pertaining to the worth of a house, including its location, condition, size, proximity to facilities and recent costs of comparable properties.

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

Fact: All increase of price is on an individual basis, concluded by information on relevant considerations and the data of comparable properties. This is true in fair economic times as well as bad.

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

Contact our professional staff

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

Fact: To determine an accurate value beyond all doubt, an appraiser must examine the property on a variety of factors based on area, condition, improvements, amenities, and market trends. There's no real way to get all of this information from just viewing the property from the outside.

Myth: Since you're the one paying for the appraisal when applying for the loan to buy or refinance your house, you own the produced appraisal report.

Fact: Unless a lending agency releases its vestment in the report, it is legally owned by the lending agency that ordered the appraisal. By the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, any consumer demanding a copy of the appraisal report must be provided with it by their lending company.

Myth: It doesn't matter to consumers what's in the report so long as it satisfies the necessities of their lending agency.

Fact: A home buyer should definitely read through their report; there might be some questions or some worries about the accuracy of the inspection that need to be addressed. Remember, this is probably the most expensive and important investment a consumer will ever make. Also, the appraisal report makes a valuable record for future reference, filled with helpful and often-revealing information - including, but 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 order an appraisal is if a home needs its value assessed in a lender-based sales transaction.

Fact: Appraisers can have many different qualifications and designations which allow them to provide a series of different services including - but not limited to - advice on estate planning, tax assessment, zoning, dispute resolution in many different legal situations and cost analysis.

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

Fact: An appraisal report does not serve the same purpose as an inspection report. The purpose of the appraiser is to come to an opinion of value in the appraisal process and through writing the report. House inspectors will create a report that will show the condition of the home and its major components and possible damage.