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It is enforced by law that an appraiser be state-licensed to perform appraisals for federally-related transactions in Georgia. Also by law, you have the ability to receive a copy of the completed appraisal from your lending agency. Contact JRW International Inc. if you have any questions about the appraisal process.

JRW International Inc. discusses myths and realities about real estate appraisals and appraisers

Myth: The value that is assessed by the appraiser must be equivalent to the market value.
Reality: It could be that Georgia, like most states, supports the suggestion that the assessed value equates to the market value; however, this is not often the case. At times when interior remodeling has occurred and the assessor is not aware of the improvement or properties in the neighborhood have not been reassessed for quite some time, it may vary widely.

Myth: The buyer or the seller sometimes may have an influence in the cost of the house depending upon for whom the appraiser is working.
Reality: There is no real interest on the part of the appraiser in the result of the appraisal, therefore he will complete his work with impartiality and independence, despite of for whom the appraisal is written.

Myth: Market value will be the same as replacement cost.
Reality: Market value is arrived at through what a willing buyer would be interested in paying a willing seller for a particular house, with neither being under pressure to buy or sell. If the property were reconstructed, the dollar amount needed to do so would make up the replacement cost.

Myth: Appraisers use a formula, such as a certain price per square foot, to come to the value of a home.
Reality: Appraisers make a comprehensive 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 houses.

Myth: When the economy is on the rise and the sales prices of houses are reported to be rising by a certain percentage, the other houses in the area can be expected to rise based on that same percentage.
Reality: Any value an appraiser derives concerning a certain house is always personalized, based on certain factors found from the data of comparable houses and other considerations within the house itself. It makes no difference if the economy is robust or poor.

Myth: Just examining what the property looks like on its exterior gives an excellent idea of its value.
Reality: There are a multitude of different factors that determine the value of a house; these factors include area, condition, improvements, amenities, and market trends. As you can see, none of these things can be derived simply by looking at the house from the outside.

Myth: Because consumers fund appraisals when applying for loans to purchase or refinance real estate, they own their appraisal.
Reality: The report is, in fact, legally owned by the lending company - unless the lender "relinquishes its interest" in the report. Home buyers have to be provided with a version of the document through request due to the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.

Myth: There's no need for home buyers to even concern themselves with what the report contains so long as their lending agency is satisfied.
Reality: Only when consumers read a copy of their report can they verify its accuracy and know if they should ask questions. Remember, this is probably the most expensive and important investment a consumer will ever make. An report can serve as a record for the future, as it contains an incredible amount of data - including, but 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 vicinity.

Myth: There is no reason to hire an appraiser unless you are trying to get an assessment of the value of a property during a sales transaction involving a lending agency.
Reality: Depending upon their qualifications and designations, appraisers can and will perform a variety of different services, including advice for estate planning, dispute resolution, zoning and tax assessment review and cost/benefit analysis.

Myth: A property inspection serves the same purpose as an appraisal.
Reality: A home inspection has a completely different purpose than an appraisal. The reason behind an appraisal report is to arrive at an opinion of market value during the appraisal process and the production of the appraisal. House inspectors will write a report that will determine the condition of the home and its major components and possible damage.

Contact us if you have any other questions about appraisers, appraising or real estate in Cobb or Kennesaw, Georgia.