Real Estate Myths and Realities

  Myth: The value will vary depending on whether the property has been appraised for the buyer or the seller.

Reality: The appraiser should not have any vested interest in the property and is obligated to provide an independent, objective and unbiased opinion of value regardless of the client.

Myth: The value of a property can be determined by looking at internet sites and / or simply by looking at the exterior.

Reality: Property value is determined by many factors including (but not limited to) location, market trends, condition, improvements, modernization and amenities and the markets reaction to these items.

Myth: The towns assessed value should equal the market value.

Reality: Theoretically, assessed value will approximate market value, unless there have been improvements or deterioration that the assessor is unaware of, or the market has changed and the assessed value has not been updated recently.

Myth: Market value should be similar to replacement cost.

Reality: Market value is based on what a willing and informed buyer would most likely pay a willing and informed seller, without pressure on either the buyer or the seller. Replacement cost is what it would cost in todays dollars to reconstruct the site and building improvements of the property. Therefore, the numbers could be very different.

Myth: When sales prices of homes in an area are reported to be increasing (or decreasing) by a certain percentage, each individual property will also increase or decrease by that same percentage.

Reality: Value appreciation or depreciation of a property must be determined on an individual basis, using data on comparable properties and any other relevant data (including, but not limited to condition, improvements, etc.).

Myth: Consumers own the appraisals used to obtain mortgages and / or loans. .

Reality: The appraisal is, in fact, owned by the lender or client as stated in the appraisal report

However, under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the consumer must be given a copy of the report.