Common myths about appraising

Legally, a real estate appraiser must be state certified to perform substantiated appraisal reports for federally-supported sales. Also by law, you are allowed to receive a copy of the completed appraisal report from your lender. Contact our professional staff if you have any concerns about the appraisal procedure.

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

Fact: It could be that Texas, like most states, supports the suggestion that the assessed value is the same as the market value; however, this is sometimes the exception rather than the rule. Interior remodeling that the assessor is unaware of and a dearth of reassessment on nearby houses are perfect examples of why the price can vary.

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

Fact: The value of the house does not affect the salary of the appraiser; due to this, the appraiser has no preconceived interest in the value of the house. Obviously, he will render task with impartiality and objectivity regardless for whom the appraisal is conducted.

Myth: Market value should approximate replacement cost.

Fact: Market value is derived from what a willing buyer would be interested in paying a willing seller for a specific home, with neither being under duress to buy or sell. The dollar amount needed to rebuild a home is what shows the replacement cost.

Myth: Specific methods, such as the price per square foot of the property, are what appraisers use to come to the worth of a home.

Fact: Appraisers make a full analysis of all factors pertaining to the value of a home, including its location, condition, size, proximity to facilities and recent opinion of value of comparable homes.

Myth: In a strong economy - when the worth of houses in a given neighborhood are found to be appreciating by a particular percentage - the values of individual properties in the proximity can be expected to rise by that same percentage.

Fact: Worth increase of a certain house has to be concluded on a case-by-case basis, factoring in data on comparable properties and other relevant specifications within the home itself. It makes no difference whether the economy is strong or on the decline.

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Myth: The house's outside is determinate of the actual value of the home; it is unnecessary to do an interior appraisal.

Fact: There are a multitude of different variables that conclude the value of a house; these factors include location, condition, improvements, amenities, and market trends. As you can see, none of these things can be derived simply by viewing the house from the outside.

Myth: Considering that the consumer is the one who puts up the capital to pay for the appraisal when applying for a loan for any real estate transaction, legally the appraisal belongs to them.

Fact: The document is, in fact, legally owned by the lending agency - unless the lender "relinquishes its interest" in the appraisal. Home buyers have to be provided with a copy of the document upon written request as per the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.

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

Fact: Only if consumers read a copy of their appraisal report can they ensure its accuracy and possibly need to question the result. Remember, this is probably the most expensive and important investment a consumer will ever make. An appraisal report can double as a record for the future, as it contains a great deal 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 proximity.

Myth: The only reason someone would hire an appraiser is if a property needs its value assessed in a lender sales transaction.

Fact: Appraisers can have many different qualifications and designations which allow them to perform a multitude 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: You don't need to get an appraisal if you have had a home inspection.

Fact: An appraisal report does not serve the same purpose as an inspection report. The reason behind an appraisal is to form an opinion of fair market value during the appraisal process and the production of the appraisal. The purpose of a home inspector is to assess the condition of the house and its main components, then create a report on their findings.