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Common myths about appraising

Legally, an appraiser is required to be state certified to create substantiated real estate appraisals for federally-backed sales. The law entitles you to receive a copy of your finished appraisal report from your lender after it has been provided. Contact our professional staff if you have any concerns about the appraisal procedure.

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

Fact: It is possible that Georgia, like most states, supports the idea that the assessed value equates to the market value; however, this is not always true. Examples include when interior remodeling has occurred and the assessor does not know about the improvements, or when properties in the area have not been reassessed for an prolonged time.

Myth: Depending on whether the appraisal is provided for the buyer or the seller, the value of the home will vary.

Fact: The appraiser has no personal interest in the result of the appraisal report and should complete his job with independence, objectivity and impartiality - no matter for whom the appraisal is conducted.

Myth: Market value should equate to replacement cost.

Fact: Without any pressure from any different parties to purchase or sell, market value is what a willing buyer would pay an interested seller for a specific home. The dollar amount demanded to reconstruct a home is what constitutes the replacement cost.

Myth: Specific formulae, such as the price per square foot, are the methods appraisers use to determine the cost of a house.

Fact: There are many differing processes that an appraiser will use to make an in-depth investigation of every factor pertaining to the home, such as the size, location, condition, how close it is to specific facilities and the sales price of recently sold comparable houses.

Myth: As homes appreciate by a specific percentage - in a strong economic state - the properties within the same neighborhood are expected to appreciate by the same amount.

Fact: Any cost at which an appraiser arrives in regards to a certain property is always personalized, based on certain factors pulled from the information of comparable properties and other specifications within the house itself. This is true in excellent economic times as well as poor.

Have other questions about appraisers, appraising or real estate in Cobb County or Atlanta, GA?

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

Fact: There are a multitude of different factors that conclude property value; these factors include area, condition, improvements, amenities, and market trends. Obviously, none of these factors can be derived just by looking at the house from the outside.

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

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

Myth: Home buyers need not care about what is in their appraisal document so long as it satisfies the requirements of their lending group.

Fact: A home buyer should definitely look through their appraisal report; there may be some questions or some worries with the accuracy of the analysis that need to be addressed. Remember, this is probably the most expensive and important investment a consumer will ever make. An appraisal report can serve as a record for the future, containing an incredible amount 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 proximity.

Myth: The only reason someone would order an appraisal is if a property needs its value estimated in a lender-based sales transaction.

Fact: Appraisers can have many different qualifications and designations which allow them to perform a variety of different services including - but certainly 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 the same as a home inspection report.

Fact: A home inspection report has a completely different purpose than an appraisal. An appraiser finds an opinion of value in the appraisal process and resulting document. The task of a home inspector is to find the condition of the home and its main components, then create a report on these conclusions.