Common myths about appraising

It is required by the government that an appraiser must be state-licensed to write appraisals for federally-related property transactions in Alabama. The law allows you to receive a copy of your finished appraisal report from your lending agency after it has been provided. Contact our professional staff if you have any questions about the appraisal procedure.

Myth: Assessed value should always be equal to market value.

Fact: While most states support the suggestion that assessed value equates estimated market value, this commonly is not the case. Often when interior remodeling has been done and the assessor is not aware of the improvement or properties in the neighborhood have not been reassessed for quite a while, it may vary wildly.

Myth: The value of a house will vary depending upon if the appraisal is ordered for the buyer or the seller.

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

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

Fact: Market value is found by what a willing buyer would be interested in paying a willing seller for a certain home, with neither being under duress to buy or sell. The dollar amount needed to rebuild a property is what constitutes the replacement cost.

Myth: There are specific ways that real estate appraisers use to show the opinion of value of a house, like the price per square foot.

Fact: Appraisers make a detailed analysis of all factors in consideration to the price of a house, including its location, condition, size, proximity to facilities and recent values of comparable houses.

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

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

Have other questions about appraisers, appraising or real estate in Tuscaloosa County or Tuscaloosa, AL?

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Myth: Just looking at what the house looks like on the outside gives an idea of its value.

Fact: There are a multitude of different factors that show the value of a house; these factors include location, condition, improvements, amenities, and market trends. There's no real way to get all of this information from simply examining the property from the exterior.

Myth: Since you're the one coughing up the cash for the appraisal report when applying for your loan to buy or refinance your home, you own the produced appraisal report.

Fact: Unless a lender releases its interest in the document, it is legally owned by the lending company that ordered the appraisal. Consumers have to be provided with a copy of the document through request because of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.

Myth: There's no point for consumers to even concern themselves with what the report contains so long as their lending agency is fine with the contents therein.

Fact: A consumer should definitely look through their appraisal; there could be some questions or some worries about the accuracy of the report that should be addressed. Remember, this is probably the most expensive and important investment a consumer will ever make. There is a wealth of information contained in an appraisal that should be useful to the consumer 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 area.

Myth: There is no reason to hire an appraiser unless you are trying to get an estimate of the price of a house during a sales transaction involving a lending institution.

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

Myth: There's no need to get an appraisal if you have had a home inspection.

Fact: Appraisal reports are nothing like a home inspection. The appraiser finds an opinion of value in the appraisal process and resulting appraisal. A home inspector assesses the condition of the building and its major components and reports their findings.