Common myths about appraising

Legally, an appraiser must be state certified to perform substantiated real estate appraisals for federally-related sales. You also have the right to receive a copy of the completed appraisal report from your lending agency. Contact us if you have any questions about the appraisal process.

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

Fact: It could be that Wisconsin, like most states, supports the idea that the assessed value is the same as the market value; however, this is sometimes the exception rather than the rule. At times when interior remodeling has been done and the assessor is not aware of the improvement or properties in the area have not been reassessed for a good length of time, it may vary wildly.

Myth: The opinion of value of a home will change depending upon if the appraisal is provided for the buyer or the seller.

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

Myth: Market value should equate to replacement cost.

Fact: The way market value is derived is based on what a home buyer would likely pay a willing seller for a property without being under duress from any external group to buy or sell. The replacement cost is the dollar amount necessary to reconstruct a property in-kind.

Myth: Certain methods, such as the price per square foot of the property, are what appraisers use to ascertain the value of a home.

Fact: There are many different ways that an appraiser will use to make an in-depth investigation of every factor in consideration of the property, such as the size, location, condition, how close it is to specific facilities and the worth of recently sold comparable houses.

Myth: When the economy is on the rise and the worth of homes are reported to be rising by a certain percentage, the other homes in the proximity can be expected to rise based on that same percentage.

Fact: Any cost at which an appraiser concludes in regards to a specific home is always personalized, based on certain factors pulled from the data of comparable homes and other considerations within the home itself. It doesn't matter if the economy is doing well or declining.

Have other questions about appraisers, appraising or real estate in La Crosse County or Holmen, WI?

Contact us

Myth: Just examining what the home looks like on the outside gives an idea of its worth.

Fact: House value is concluded by a multitude of factors, including area, condition, improvements, amenities, and market trends. An external inspection obviously can't provide all of the data needed.

Myth: Because consumers pay for appraisals when applying for loans to purchase or refinance their property, they legally own their appraisal report.

Fact: Legally, the appraisal is owned by the lender unless the lender releases their interest in the document. However, consumers must be provided with a copy of the report upon written request, through the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.

Myth: There's no reason for consumers to even concern themselves with what the appraisal contains so long as their lending company is satisfied.

Fact: It is almost imperative for consumers to go through a copy of their appraisal report so that they can verify the accuracy of the report, in case it's required to question its accuracy. Remember, this is probably the most expensive and important investment a consumer will ever make. Also, the appraisal report makes an invaluable record for future reference, containing useful and often-revealing information - 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 vicinity.

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

Fact: Depending upon their qualifications and designations, appraisers can and may provide a lot of services, including advice for estate planning, dispute resolution, zoning and tax assessment review and cost/benefit analysis.

Myth: An appraisal report is the same as a home inspection report.

Fact: Appraisal reports are completely different than a home inspection report. The task of the appraiser is to form an opinion of value in the appraisal process and through producing the report. House inspectors will compose a report that will show the condition of the house and its major components and possible damage.