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Appraisal myths debunked

By law, an appraiser must be state-licensed to produce appraisals for federally-related transactions. The law entitles you to receive a copy of your finished appraisal from your lending agency after it has been produced. Contact our professional staff if you have any questions about the appraisal process.

Myth: Market value has to be similar to the assessed value of the property.

Fact: It could be that Missouri, like most states, supports the common myth that the assessed value is the same as the market value; however, this certainly varies based on state-to-state. Interior reconstruction that the assessor is not aware of and a dearth of reassessment on nearby properties are perfect examples of why the price can vary.

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

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

Myth: The replacement cost of the home will be is on par with the market value.

Fact: Market value is found by what a willing buyer would likely pay a willing seller for a particular home, with neither being under duress to buy or sell. The dollar amount required to rebuild a home is what forms the replacement cost.

Myth: There are specific ways that real estate appraisers use to find the value of a property, such as the price per square foot.

Fact: An appraisal report is an assertion of information based on the property's size, location, proximity to undesirable facilities, the condition of the home and the value of recent comparable sales. You can depend on Levison Appraisal Company's staff to be forthright in assessing this information.

Myth: When the economy is doing well and the worth of properties are found to be rising by a certain percentage, the other houses in the proximity can be expected to appreciate based on that same percentage.

Fact: Any value at which an appraiser concludes in regards to a certain house is always individualized, based on certain factors derived from the data of comparable properties and other considerations within the house itself. It doesn't matter if the economy is doing well or declining.

Have other questions about appraisers, appraising or real estate in Saint Louis County or Chesterfield, MO?

Contact Levison Appraisal Company

Myth: The property's outside is determinate of the actual price of the property; it is unnecessary to do an interior inspection.

Fact: To determine an accurate value beyond all doubt, an appraiser must inspect the house on a variety of factors based on area, condition, improvements, amenities, and market trends. As you can see, none of these things can be found simply by examining the house from the outside.

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

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

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

Fact: Only if home buyers read a copy of their report 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. Also, the appraisal report makes a near perfect record for future reference, containing useful and often-revealing 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 area.

Myth: There is no reason to order an appraisal unless you are trying to get an assessment of the worth of a home during a sales transaction involving a lending agency.

Fact: Based upon their qualifications and designations, appraisers can and may provide a series of services, including advice for estate planning, dispute resolution, zoning and tax assessment review and cost/benefit analysis.

Myth: A house inspection serves the same purpose as an appraisal.

Fact: An appraisal does not fulfill the same purpose as an inspection. The appraiser concludes on an opinion of value in the appraisal process and resulting document. A home inspector analyzes the condition of the house and its major components and reports their findings.