Legally, an appraiser has to be state certified to write substantiated real estate appraisals for federally-related transactions. The law entitles you to receive a copy of your completed appraisal from your lender after it has been produced. Contact Towne Appraisals if you have any questions about the appraisal procedure.

Towne Appraisals discusses myths and realities about real estate appraisals and appraisers

Myth: The value that is assessed by the appraiser should be the same as the market value.
Reality: It could be that Washington, like most states, validates the suggestion that the assessed value equals the market value; however, this certainly varies based on state-to-state. Usually when interior remodeling has been done and the assessor is has not investigated the improvement or other houses in the neighborhood have not been reassessed for a good length of time, it may vary widely.

Myth: The buyer or the seller will have impact in the value of the property depending upon for whom the appraiser is working.
Reality: There is no personal interest on the part of the appraiser in the outcome of the analysis, therefore he will complete his work with impartiality and independence, no matter of for whom the appraisal is written.

Myth: Market value should equal replacement cost.
Reality: Without any influence from any outside parties to purchase or sell, market value is what a willing buyer would pay an interested seller for a particular home. The dollar amount required to reconstruct a home is what shows the replacement cost.

Myth: Certain formulae, like the price per square foot, are the ways appraisers use to ascertain the value of a house.
Reality: There are many varied formulae that an appraiser will use to make a full analysis of every factor pertaining to the house, such as the size, location, condition, how close it is to certain facilities and the values of recently sold comparable properties.

Myth: As homes increase in value by a certain percentage - in a strong economy - the houses around the appreciating properties are figured to increase by the same amount.
Reality: The appreciation of a certain house must be determined on a case-by-case basis, factoring in information on comparable houses and other relevant specifications within the property itself. It doesn't matter if the economy is doing well or declining.

Myth: The home's outside is determinate of the expected price of the property; it is unnecessary to do an interior inspection.
Reality: Home value is determined by a multitude of variables, including area, condition, improvements, amenities, and market trends. An outside-only inspection obviously can't provide all of the data needed.

Myth: Considering that the consumer is the one who puts up the money to pay for the appraisal report when applying for a loan for any real estate transaction, legally the appraisal report belongs to them.
Reality: The appraisal report is, in fact, legally owned by the lender - unless the lender "releases its interest" in the appraisal. Home buyers have to be provided with a copy of the document through request as per the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.

Myth: It doesn't matter to consumers what's in the report so long as it satisfies the needs of their lender.
Reality: Only when consumers check out a copy of their appraisal report can they ensure its accuracy and know if they should ask questions. Remember, this is probably the most expensive and important investment a consumer will ever make. There is a wealth of information contained in a report that should be useful to the home buyer 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: The only reason someone would hire an appraiser is if a home needs its value estimated in a lender sales transaction.
Reality: Depending upon their qualifications and designations, appraisers can and do perform a series of different services, including advice for estate planning, dispute resolution, zoning and tax assessment review and cost/benefit analysis.

Myth: You don't have to get an appraisal if you get a home inspection.
Reality: A home inspection serves a completely different purpose than an appraisal report. An appraiser decides upon an opinion of value in the appraisal process and resulting report. A home inspector determines 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 Skagit or Mount Vernon, Washington.