Common myths about appraising

It is enforced by legal agencies that an appraiser must be state-licensed to perform appraisals for federally-supported real estate transactions in Wisconsin. The law allows you to receive a copy of your finished appraisal report from your lending agency after it has been provided. Contact Walz Appraisal if you have any concerns about the appraisal process.

Myth: The value that is assessed by the appraiser will be exactly the same as the market value.

Fact: This usually isn't true; most states do support the concept that the assessed value is the same as market value, but not always. Sometimes when interior remodeling has occurred and the assessor is not aware of the improvement or other houses in the area have not been reassessed for quite some time, it may vary wildly.

Myth: The buyer or the seller sometimes may have leverage in the value 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 report, therefore he will complete his work with impartiality and independence, no matter for whom the appraisal is created.

Myth: Market value will approximate replacement cost.

Fact: The way market value is derived is based on what a home buyer would likely pay a willing seller for a property without being under duress from any external group to buy or sell. If the property were reconstructed, the dollar amount needed to do so would form the replacement cost.

Myth: Appraisers use a formula, such as a specific price per square foot, to arrive at the cost of a property.

Fact: Appraisers complete a comprehensive analysis of all factors in consideration to the price of a property, including its location, condition, size, proximity to facilities and recent opinion of value of comparable houses.

Myth: When the economy is robust and the value of properties are reported to be rising by a certain percentage, the other houses in the area can be expected to appreciate based on that same percentage.

Fact: All increase of price is on an individual basis, concluded by data on relevant elements and the data of comparable houses. This is true in strong economic times as well as poor.

Have other questions about appraisers, appraising or real estate in La Crosse County or Holmen, WI?

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

Fact: To conclude an accurate value beyond all doubt, an appraiser must inspect the house on a variety of factors based on area, condition, improvements, amenities, and current market trends. An outside-only inspection obviously can't provide all of the data required.

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

Fact: The document is, in fact, legally owned by the lender - unless the lender "releases its interest" in the appraisal. Home buyers must be provided with a copy of the appraisal report upon written request due to the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.

Myth: It doesn't mean anything to consumers what's in the report so long as it satisfies the needs of their lending company.

Fact: It is a very good idea for home buyers to go through a copy of their 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. There is an incredible amount of data contained in an appraisal report that will probably 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 proximity.

Myth: Appraisals are ordered only to assess real estate property values in home sales involving mortgage-lending transactions.

Fact: Depending upon their qualifications and designations, appraisers can and often do perform a multitude of services, including advice for estate planning, dispute resolution, zoning and tax assessment review and cost/benefit analysis.

Myth: You shouldn't need to get an appraisal if you have had a home inspection.

Fact: A home inspection report has a completely different purpose than an appraisal. An appraiser concludes on an opinion of value in the appraisal process and resulting report. House inspectors will write a report that will show the condition of the home and its major components and possible damage.