Common myths about appraising

By law, an appraiser needs to be state-licensed to offer appraisals for federally-related purchases. Also by law, you have the ability to request a copy of the finished report from your lending agency. Contact Willamette Valley Appraisal Professionals if you have any questions about the appraisal process.

Myth: Assessed value should always be similar to to market value.

Fact: It might be that Oregon, like most states, validates the suggestion that the assessed value is the same as the market value; however, this is not always true. Examples include when interior reconstruction has happened and the assessor does not know about the improvements, or when homes in the area have not been reassessed for an prolonged time.

Myth: The buyer or the seller will have impact in the cost of the home depending upon for whom the appraiser is working.

Fact: The value of the property does not affect the salary of the appraiser; as such, the appraiser has no preconceived interest in the opinion of value of the home. What this means is he will provide business with impartiality and independence regardless for whom the appraisal is produced.

Myth: Market value should approximate replacement cost.

Fact: The way market value is found is based on what a buyer would be willing to pay a willing seller for a house without being under pressure from any external group to purchase or sell. If the home were reconstructed, the dollar amount needed to do so would be the replacement cost.

Myth: There are certain methods that real estate appraisers use to find the value of a home, like the price per square foot.

Fact: Appraisers complete a full analysis of all factors pertaining to the price of a home, including its location, condition, size, proximity to facilities and recent sale prices of comparable houses.

Myth: When the economy is robust and the cost of houses are reported to be appreciating by a certain percentage, the other houses in the proximity can be expected to increase based on that same percentage.

Fact: Any price at which an appraiser concludes concerning a certain property is always personalized, based on certain factors derived from the data of comparable properties and other considerations within the house itself. This is true in strong economic times as well as bad.

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

Fact: To find an accurate price beyond all doubt, an appraiser must examine the property on a variety of factors based on area, condition, improvements, amenities, and market trends. As you can see, none of these things can be derived just by examining the home from the outside.

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

Fact: Unless a lender releases its vestment in the document, it is legally owned by the lending agency that purchased the appraisal. However, consumers have to be supplied with a copy of the appraisal upon written request, under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.

Myth: There's no reason for consumers to even concern themselves with what the appraisal contains so long as their lender is satisfied.

Fact: It is very important for home buyers to peruse a copy of their appraisal report so that they can double-check the accuracy of the document, in case there is a need to question its accuracy. Remember, this is probably the most expensive and important investment a consumer will ever make. An appraisal report can serve as a record for the future, since it contains an incredible amount of data - 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 area.

Myth: Appraisals are ordered only to estimate home values in home sales involving mortgage-lending deals.

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: An appraisal is no different than a home inspection.

Fact: An appraisal does not serve the same purpose as an inspection report. The appraiser concludes on an opinion of value in the appraisal process and resulting report. House inspectors will create a report that will determine the condition of the home and its major components and possible damage.