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Appraisal myths debunked

By law, an appraiser must be state-licensed to produce appraisals for federally-related sales. The law gives you the right to receive a copy of your finished report from your lending agency after it has been produced. Contact our professional staff if you have any questions about the appraisal process.

Myth: The value that is ascertained by the appraiser should be exactly the same as the market value.

Fact: It is possible that Missouri, like most states, validates the idea that the assessed value equals the market value; however, this is sometimes the exception rather than the rule. Interior reconstruction that the assessor is not aware of and a lack of reassessment on nearby homes are prime examples of why the price can vary.

Myth: The buyer or the seller may have some pull in the cost of the house depending upon for whom the appraiser is working.

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

Myth: Any time market value is found, it should be similar to the replacement cost of the property.

Fact: Without any suggestion from any different parties to buy or sell, market value is what a willing buyer would pay a willing seller for a particular home. Replacement value is the dollar amount required to reconstruct a house in-kind.

Myth: Appraisers use a calculation, such as a specific price per square foot, to conclude the cost of a house.

Fact: There are many differing ways that an appraiser will use to make a comprehensive analysis of every factor pertaining to the home, such as the size, location, condition, how close it is to undesirable facilities and the sales price of recently sold comparable houses.

Myth: As properties appreciate by a specific percentage - in a strong economic state - the houses nearby are figured to appreciate by the same amount.

Fact: Any value at which an appraiser concludes in regards to a specific property is always personalized, based on certain factors found from the information of comparable properties and other considerations within the house itself. This is true in fair economic times as well as poor.

Have other questions about appraisers, appraising or real estate in Saint Louis County or Chesterfield, MO?

Contact Levison Appraisal Company

Myth: The house's exterior is determinate of the actual worth of the property; it is unnecessary to do an interior inspection.

Fact: House worth is determined by a multitude of variables, including - but not limited to - location, condition, improvements, amenities, and market trends. As you can see, none of these variables can be found just by viewing the home from the outside.

Myth: Since you're the one providing the money for the appraisal report when applying for your loan to purchase or refinance your home, you own the produced appraisal report.

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

Myth: Home buyers need not worry about what is in their appraisal document so long as it meets the needs of their lending group.

Fact: Only if home buyers read a copy of their appraisal report can they double-check its accuracy and possibly need to question the result. Remember, this is probably the most expensive and important investment a consumer will ever make. There is a wealth of data contained in an appraisal report that can be useful to the home buyer in the future, such as 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: There is no reason to order an appraisal unless you are trying to get an assessment of the cost of a home during a sales transaction involving a lending institution.

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

Myth: There's no reason to get an appraisal if you have had a home inspection.

Fact: Appraisal reports are completely different than a home inspection report. The reason behind an appraisal is to find an opinion of fair market value during the appraisal process and the production of the appraisal report. The purpose of a home inspector is to assess the condition of the home and its major components, then provide a report on their findings.