Appraisal myths & facts

It is enforced by legal agencies that an appraiser must be state-licensed to produce appraisal reports for federally-related home sales in South Carolina. The law gives you the right to get a copy of your finished report from your lender after it has been provided. Contact our professional staff if you have any questions about the appraisal process.

Myth: Market value has to be the same as the assessed value of the property.

Fact: It might be that South Carolina, like most states, supports the common myth that the assessed value equates to the market value; however, this is not always true. Examples include when interior reconstruction has happened and the assessor does not know about the improvements, or when properties in the area have not been reassessed for an prolonged period of time.

Myth: The buyer or the seller often will have leverage in the value of the property depending upon for whom the appraiser is working.

Fact: The appraiser has no vested interest in the result of the appraisal and should render services with independence, objectivity and impartiality - no matter for whom the appraisal is provided.

Myth: Market value should approximate replacement cost.

Fact: Without any influence from any outside parties to buy or sell, market value is what a willing buyer would pay an interested seller for a particular home. If the house were rebuilt, the dollar amount necessary to do so would be the replacement cost.

Myth: Appraisers use a calculation, such as a specific price per square foot, to come to the cost of a home.

Fact: There are many varied formulae that an appraiser will use to make a detailed analysis of every factor in consideration of the property, such as the size, location, condition, how close it is to undesirable facilities and the sales price of recently sold comparable houses.

Myth: When the economy is strong and the cost of properties are reported to be rising by a certain percentage, the other houses in the area can be expected to increase based on that same percentage.

Fact: All increase of value is on an individual basis, found by data on relevant conditions and the data of comparable homes. This is true in excellent economic times as well as poor.

Have other questions about appraisers, appraising or real estate in Lexington County or West Columbia, SC?

Contact our professional staff

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

Fact: To determine an accurate worth beyond all doubt, an appraiser must examine the home on a variety of factors based on area, condition, improvements, amenities, and current market trends. An exterior inspection obviously can't provide all of the data required.

Myth: Because the consumer is the one who provides the money to pay for the appraisal report when applying for a loan for any real estate transaction, by law the appraisal is theirs.

Fact: Unless a lending agency releases its interest in the appraisal report, it is legally owned by the lending agency that purchased the appraisal. Consumers must be given a version of the document through request because of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.

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

Fact: A home buyer should definitely inspect their appraisal report; there will probably be some questions or some concerns about the accuracy of the inspection that need to be addressed. Remember, this is probably the most expensive and important investment a consumer will ever make. Also, the report makes an excellent record for future reference, filled with helpful and often-revealing data - including 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 worth assessed in a lender sales transaction.

Fact: Appraisers can have many different qualifications and designations which allow them to provide a series of different services including - but not limited to - advice on estate planning, tax assessment, zoning, dispute resolution in many different legal situations and cost analysis.

Myth: There's no reason to get an appraisal if you order a home inspection.

Fact: Appraisal reports have almost nothing in common with a home inspection. The task of the appraiser is to conclude an opinion of value in the appraisal process and through producing the report. A home inspector assesses the condition of the home and its major components and reports their findings.

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