Appraisal myths & facts

By law, an appraiser is required to be state-licensed to perform appraisals for federally-supported purchases. You also have the right to demand a copy of the finished report from your lending agency. Contact us 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 back the concept that assessed value is the same as 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 houses in the vicinity have not been reassessed for an extended period of time.

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

Fact: There is no personal interest on the part of the appraiser in the result of the appraisal, therefore he will complete his work with impartiality and independence, no matter for whom the appraisal is ordered.

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

Fact: The way market value is found is based on what a home buyer would likely pay a willing seller for a house without being under duress from any outside group to buy or sell. Replacement value is the dollar amount necessary to rebuild a house in-kind.

Myth: There are certain ways that appraisers use to show the cost of a house, like the price per square foot.

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

Myth: When the economy is strong and the sales prices of houses are reported to be rising by a certain percentage, the other properties in the proximity can be expected to increase based on that same percentage.

Fact: Any worth at which an appraiser concludes in regards to a specific home is always individualized, based on certain factors found from the information of comparable houses and other specifications within the property itself. It makes no difference whether the economy is robust or on the decline.

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

Contact Walz Appraisal

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

Fact: Home value is determined by a multitude of factors, including - but not limited to - location, condition, improvements, amenities, and market trends. An outside-only inspection definitely can't provide all of the data needed.

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

Fact: Legally, the appraisal is owned by the lending company unless the lender releases their interest in the document. However, home buyers must be provided with a copy of the appraisal upon written request, under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.

Myth: Home buyers need not be concerned with what is in their report so long as it meets the requirements of their lending institution.

Fact: It is very important for consumers to read 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. An appraisal report can double as a record for the future, since it contains a great deal 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 vicinity.

Myth: There is no reason to order an appraisal unless you are trying to get an estimate of the price of a home during a sales transaction involving a lender.

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

Myth: An appraisal report is the same as a home inspection report.

Fact: An appraisal does not fulfill the same purpose as an inspection. The purpose of the appraiser is to form an opinion of value in the appraisal process and through writing the report. House inspectors will produce a report that will explain the condition of the home and its major components and possible damage.