Some Myths and Realities About Appraisals

Myth: Assessed value should equate to market value.
Reality: This often is not the case. Often the assessor is unaware of the improvements or the current condition of the house. Often properties have not been reassessed for an extended period.

Myth: The appraised value of a property will vary, depending upon whether the appraisal is conducted for the buyer or the seller.
Reality: The appraiser has no vested interest in the outcome of the appraisal and should render services with independence, objectivity and impartiality – no matter for whom the appraisal is conducted.

Myth: Market value should approximate replacement cost.
Reality: Market value is based on what a willing buyer likely would pay a willing seller for a particular property, with neither being under pressure to buy or sell. Replacement cost is the dollar amount required to reconstruct a property in-kind.

Myth: Appraisers use a formula, such as a specific price per square foot, to figure out the value of a home.
Reality: Appraisers make a detailed analysis of all factors pertaining to the value of a home including its location, condition, size, proximity to facilities and recent sale prices of comparable properties.

Myth: In a robust economy – when the sales prices of homes in a given area are reported to be rising by a particular percentage – the value of individual properties in the area can be expected to appreciate by that same percentage.
Reality: Value appreciation of a specific property must be determined on an individualized basis, factoring in data on comparable properties and other relevant considerations. This is true in good times as well as bad.

Myth: You generally can tell what a property is worth simply by looking at the outside.
Reality: Property value is determined by a number of factors, including location, condition, improvements, amenities, and market trends.

Myth: An Appraisal is the same as a building inspection.
Reality: An Appraisal does not serve the same purpose as an inspection. The Appraiser forms an opinion of value in the Appraisal process and resulting report. An inspector determines the condition of the home and its major components and reports these findings.