What Does a Real Estate Assessor Do?

Tuesday, January 17th, 2023

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When buying or selling a home, the realtor might mention the “assessed value” of the property. While often used interchangeably with a real estate appraisal, an assessment is not the same thing. One important distinction is that an appraisal estimates the price that a home could sell for. An assessment helps to calculate the property tax amount. Another difference is that an appraisal is performed by a contractor hired by a mortgage lender, while an assessment is done by a government employee from the county or city assessor’s office. In our region, that is either the St. Louis county assessor or the City of St. Louis assessor.

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What is a Listing Agreement?

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2023

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When a homeowner decides to hire an agent to sell their property, both parties usually sign a contract called a listing agreement. The listing agreement grants a broker legal authority to represent the owner in a real estate transaction. The document lays out important information for the seller, such as agreed-upon terms regarding commission percentages, timelines, and marketing tactics. Having a formal contract is a good thing for both the owner and the agent.

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It’s hard to believe, but the holidays in St. Louis didn’t always involve putting up elaborate decorations and rushing around to find one last gift. In fact, the idea of a Christmas tree didn’t exist in Missouri until the 1830’s, when German immigrants brought small decorated tabletop trees into their Franklin County homes. Instead of the string lights we now wrap around our trees, they put candles on branches for a shimmering touch – similar to the Jewish Festival of Lights. They also introduced simple German traditions like hanging stockings for St. Nick to fill with small toys and fruit, gathering with family to sing carols together, and baking Plätzchen (Christmas cookies) to share with friends. 

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At first glance, there is little difference between an apartment and a condo. Both share a building with other dwellings and attract people who do not want a single-family, stand-alone home with a yard. But there are many differences, too, and understanding the characteristics of apartments and condos—and when each option makes the most sense—is helpful when looking for a new place to live.

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When a seller gets a contract on their house, they have one more hurdle to clear - the home inspection. The way they respond to the inspection might determine whether the sale goes through, or sinks. If a seller won’t, or can’t, fix issues in the inspection report, they probably will have to take a lower offer - if they don’t lose the deal altogether. When a sale is contingent on the results of the home inspection, 17% of deals fall apart. 

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One of the first questions people ask related to home selling is “What is my home worth?” Sure, one can quickly get a suggested list price using an online tool. However, an algorithm can only crunch the data a user enters. Because a live person doesn’t review the information, homeowners don’t always have an accurate picture of their home value.  

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