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Common myths about appraising

Legally, an appraiser must be state certified to write substantiated appraisal reports for federally-backed sales. Also by law, you are allowed to request a copy of the completed appraisal report from your lending agency. Contact our professional staff if you have any questions about the appraisal procedure.

Myth: Market value will be the same as the assessed value of the property.

Fact: While most states support the concept that assessed value approximates estimated market value, this commonly is not the case. Examples include when interior reconstruction has occurred and the assessor does not know about the improvements, or when properties in the area have not been reassessed for an extended period of time.

Myth: The buyer or the seller sometimes may have an influence in the cost of the home depending upon for whom the appraiser is working.

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

Myth: Market value will approximate replacement cost.

Fact: Without any pressure from any external parties to purchase or sell, market value is what a willing buyer would pay a willing seller for a specific house. If the house were reconstructed, the dollar amount required to do so would be the replacement cost.

Myth: Appraisers use a calculation, like a certain price per square foot, to come to the cost of a home.

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

Myth: In a strong economy - when the prices of properties in a given neighborhood are reported to be appreciating by a particular percentage - the costs of individual properties in the proximity can be expected to appreciate by that same percentage.

Fact: Worth increase of a specific home has to be concluded on an individualized basis, factoring in data on comparable homes and other relevant considerations. This is true in excellent economic times as well as bad.

Have other questions about appraisers, appraising or real estate in Brazoria County or Pearland, TX?

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Myth: Just seeing what the home looks like on the outside gives an excellent idea of its cost.

Fact: There are a number of different factors that conclude property value; these factors include area, condition, improvements, amenities, and market trends. An external inspection definitely can't provide all of the information required.

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

Fact: The report is, in fact, legally owned by the lender - unless the lender "relinquishes its interest" in the report. Under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, any home buyer requesting a copy of the report must be given it by their lender.

Myth: There's no reason for home buyers to even care about what the appraisal contains so long as their lender is fine with the contents therein.

Fact: A consumer should definitely inspect their appraisal; there will probably be some questions or some concerns with the accuracy of the appraisal report that should be addressed. 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, since 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 price assessed in a lender-based sales transaction.

Fact: Appraisers can have many different qualifications and designations which allow them to perform a lot 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 the same as a home inspection.

Fact: Appraisal reports have almost nothing in common with a home inspection. The job of the appraiser is to conclude an opinion of value in the appraisal process and through producing the report. The job of a home inspector is to determine the condition of the property and its major components, then produce a report on their findings.