Common myths about appraising

By law, an appraiser must be state-licensed to offer appraisals for federally-related purchases. Also by law, you have the right to demand a copy of the completed appraisal from your lending agency. Contact our professional staff if you have any concerns about the appraisal process.

Myth: Assessed value should always be the same as to market value.

Fact: While most states support the idea that assessed value equates estimated market value, this often is not the case. Examples include when interior remodeling has occurred and the assessor has not seen the improvements, or when homes in the vicinity have not been reassessed for an prolonged time.

Myth: The value of a house will be different depending upon if the appraisal is provided for the buyer or the seller.

Fact: The value of the home does not affect the pay of the appraiser; because of this, the appraiser has no vested interest in the cost of the property. This means that he will provide task with impartiality and independence regardless for whom the appraisal is conducted.

Myth: Market value will be the same as replacement cost.

Fact: The way market value is arrived at is based on what a home buyer would likely pay a willing seller for a home without being under influence from any external party to buy or sell. If the house were reconstructed, the dollar amount required to do so would set the replacement cost.

Myth: Appraisers use a calculation, such as a specific price per square foot, to figure out the worth of a house.

Fact: There are many varied processes that an appraiser will use to make a detailed analysis of every factor in consideration of the house, such as the size, location, condition, how close it is to certain facilities and the worth of recently sold comparable homes.

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

Fact: Any worth at which an appraiser concludes concerning a particular home is always individualized, based on certain factors pulled from the data of comparable houses and other considerations within the house itself. It doesn't matter if the economy is on the rise or declining.

Have other questions about appraisers, appraising or real estate in Clark County or Las Vegas, Nevada?

Contact Las Vegas Appraisal Service, Inc.

Myth: You can generally find what a home is worth simply by looking at the exterior.

Fact: To find an accurate worth beyond all doubt, an appraiser must assess the property on a variety of factors based on area, condition, improvements, amenities, and market trends. There's no possible way to get all of this data from simply inspecting the property from the outside.

Myth: Since you're the one funding for the appraisal when applying for the loan to purchase or refinance your home, you own the ordered appraisal.

Fact: Legally, the appraisal report is owned by the lending agency unless the lender relinquishes their interest in the document. Consumers have to be provided with a copy of the document through request because of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.

Myth: It doesn't concern consumers what's in the report so long as it satisfies the requirements of their lending company.

Fact: Only if consumers look at a copy of their appraisal 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 can serve as a record for the future, containing a great deal of data - 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 order an appraisal is if a house needs its cost estimated in a lender-based sales transaction.

Fact: Appraisers can have many different qualifications and designations which allow them to perform a series of different services including - but definitely 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.

Fact: An appraisal does not serve the same purpose as an inspection. The purpose of an appraisal is to conclude upon an opinion of fair market value during the appraisal process and the production of the appraisal. A home inspector determines the condition of the home and its major components and reports these findings.