By law, an appraiser is enforced to be state-licensed to perform appraisals for federally-related transactions. You also have the right to acquire a copy of the finished report from your lender. Contact our professional staff if you have any questions about the appraisal process.

Atlantic Appraisal Solutions, LLC discusses myths and realities about real estate appraisals and appraisers

Myth: The value that is ascertained by the appraiser will be equivalent to the market value.
Reality: While most states support the suggestion that assessed value approximates 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 area have not been reassessed for an prolonged period of time.

Myth: Depending on if the appraisal is written for the buyer or the seller, the opinion of value of the property will vary.
Reality: There is no real interest on the part of the appraiser in the result of the appraisal report, therefore he will complete his work with impartiality and independence, despite of for whom the appraisal is ordered.

Myth: Any time market value is determined, it should match the replacement cost of the house.
Reality: The way market value is found is based on what a home buyer would be willing to pay a willing seller for a property without being under pressure from any outside group to buy or sell. The dollar amount required to reconstruct a home is what forms the replacement cost.

Myth: Appraisers use a formula, such as a certain price per square foot, to arrive at the value of a home.
Reality: An appraisal report is an amalgamation of data concluded from the house's size, location, proximity to undesirable facilities, the condition of the house and the values of recent comparable sales. You can rely on Atlantic Appraisal Solutions, LLC's appraisers to be honest in assessing this information.

Myth: In a strong economy - when the prices of properties in a given county are found to be rising by a particular percentage - the values of individual properties in the proximity can be expected to appreciate by that same percentage.
Reality: Any value an appraiser reports in regards to a particular house is always individualized, based on certain factors concluded from the information of comparable homes and other considerations within the property itself. It makes no difference whether the economy is robust or on the decline.

Myth: You can usually tell what a property is worth simply by looking at the exterior.
Reality: There are a number of different variables that determine property value; these factors include area, condition, improvements, amenities, and market trends. Obviously, none of these things can be derived simply by examining the house from the outside.

Myth: Since you're the one paying for the appraisal report when applying for your loan to buy or refinance your house, you own the produced appraisal.
Reality: The document is, in fact, legally owned by the lender - unless the lender "relinquishes its interest" in the appraisal. Under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, any home buyer demanding a copy of the document must be provided with one by their lender.

Myth: It doesn't matter to consumers what's in the appraisal report so long as it satisfies the requirements of their lender.
Reality: It is very important for consumers to go through a copy of their appraisal so that they can verify the accuracy of the report, in case it's required to question its veracity. Remember, this is probably the most expensive and important investment a consumer will ever make. An report can double as a record for the future, containing a great deal of information - including, but certainly 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 home needs its value estimated in a lender-based sales transaction.
Reality: 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: A home inspection serves the same purpose as an appraisal.
Reality: Appraisal reports are definitely not the same as a home inspection. The reason behind an appraisal is to arrive at an opinion of market value during the appraisal process and the completion of the report. A home inspector assesses the condition of the home and its main components and reports their findings.

Contact us if you have any other questions about appraisers, appraising or real estate in Hampton Roads.