Myth: Assessed value should equate to market value.
Reality: While most states support the concept that assessed value approximate estimated market value, this often is not the case. Examples include when interior remodeling has occurred and the assessor is unaware of the improvements, or when properties in the vicinity have not been reassessed for an extended period.
Myth: The appraised value of a property will vary, depending upon whether the appraisal is conducted for the buyer or the seller.
Reality: The appraiser has no vested interest in the outcome of the appraisal and should render services with independence, objectivity and impartiality – no matter for whom the appraisal is conducted.
Myth: Market value should approximate current replacement cost.
Reality: Market value is based on what a willing buyer likely would pay a willing seller for a particular property, with neither being under pressure to buy or sell. Replacement cost is the dollar amount required to reconstruct a property in-kind in today’s market dollars. It may be lower, higher, or the same as the estimated market value.
Myth: Appraisers use a formula, such as a specific price per square foot, to figure out the value of a home.
Reality: Appraisers make a detailed analysis of all factors pertaining to the value of a home including its location, condition, size, proximity to facilities and recent sale prices of comparable properties.
Myth: In a robust economy – when the sales prices of homes in a given area are reported to be rising by a particular percentage – the value of individual properties in the area can be expected to appreciate by that same percentage.
Reality: Value appreciation of a specific property must be determined on an individualized basis, factoring in data on comparable properties and other relevant considerations. This is true in good times as well as bad.
Myth: You generally can tell what a property is worth simply by looking at the outside.
Reality: Property value is determined by a number of factors, including location, condition, improvements, amenities, and market trends.
Myth: Because consumers pay for appraisals when applying for loans to purchase or refinance real estate, they own their appraisal.
Reality: The appraisal is, in fact, legally owned by the appraisal company – the lender has the right to use the document for the purposes specified in the appraisal report. However, often consumers may be given a copy of the appraisal report by the lender or person who requested the appraisal, upon request.
Myth: Appraisers are hired only to estimate real estate property values in property sales involving mortgage-lending transactions.
Reality: Depending upon their qualifications and designations, appraisers can and do provide a variety of services, including appraisals for estate planning, matrimonial dispute resolution, capital gains tax, purchases, and pre-listing analysis.
Myth: An Appraisal is the same as a home inspection.
Reality: An Appraisal does not serve the same purpose as an inspection. The Appraiser forms an opinion of value in the Appraisal process and resulting report. A home inspector determines the condition of the home and its major components and reports these findings.