What Can You Expect When a Real Estate Appraisal is Ordered

binder with paperwork

Buying and selling real estate entails a variety of steps, most of which have been designed to protect consumers. Many new guidelines were implemented after the 2008 stock market crash. The crash happened because too many people had loans they couldn’t afford due to relaxed lending practices. The relaxed lending practices led to high demand driving housing prices to levels that many could not afford otherwise.


This housing bubble was built long before 2008, it just eventually burst in 2008. The housing prices had risen so sharply at a fast rate, eventually the lenders were left holding the bag when the homeowners could not make the mortgage payments. Many lenders and other real estate market participants laid some of the blame on real estate appraisers as they were the ones determining the home values. This ultimately led to more guidance handed down to appraisers. However, in the defense of real estate appraisers everywhere, an appraised value is an opinion based on what the market will accept. Therefore, if the market was accepting a certain amount at the time of the appraisal, they were not necessarily wrong. Additionally, real estate appraisers must adhere to state-specific licensing requirements as well as Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practices (USPAP) and if they do not they can face penalties and loss of license. Most appraisers aren’t willing to lose their license over an appraisal.

Whether you are financing your home or paying cash, the best way to determine its value at the time of the transaction is a real estate appraisal by a licensed appraiser. An appraisal is an unbiased professional opinion of the value of a home. Once an appraisal is ordered, you can expect the following:

tape measure

            •           The appraiser will contact the homeowner to schedule an appointment for a visual inspection. At the inspection, the appraiser will take pictures of the home’s interior and exterior and measure to determine the square footage. He or she will make notes as to any deferred maintenance or other issues observed.

person researching

            •           Once all the information is gathered at the inspection, he or she will then develop the appraisal report. The research includes examining the current market trends and recent sales of homes similar to the home being appraised, e.g., amenities, square footage, finishes, etcetera.


            •           Depending on the appraiser’s workload, you can expect an appraisal to take between two and four weeks.

Once the appraisal is received, the transaction can move forward. When entering into a real estate contract, it is always a good idea to add a contingency that the appraised value is equal to or more than the sale price. If it is lower than expected, this gives the buyer the opportunity to cancel the transaction and be entitled to any earnest money paid.

For all your real estate questions about buying and selling, contact Stutesman Action Realty at 833.286.8400.


Owning a Second Home is a Possibility

Note: Although this article mostly discusses vacation homes, the same concept applies to purchasing investment properties, land, or a second home.


The National Association of Realtors recently posted an article on LinkedIn about the skyrocketing sales of vacation homes as a result of the pandemic. This trend began last summer when most states were on lockdown and that trend has only strengthened as people have a greater desire to own a second home particularly those living in large metro areas where many lockdowns were much more restrictive. As per the article, according to The 2021 Vacation Home Counties Report, “buyers flooded the real estate market in the second half of 2020 and through April 2021, causing vacation home purchases to rise expeditiously.” The option to work remotely and low-interest rates are helping to drive the vacation home market.

log cabin bedroom

Have you been thinking of buying a vacation home, but don’t think it is a possibility? You might be surprised that you can own your dream vacation home. The low-interest rates make owning a second home much more obtainable. Another added bonus is that the interest paid on a second home is tax deductible for many people. Many second-home buyers are thinking outside the box as they are opting for more than the standard condominium on the beach. They are looking for properties that offer a break from everyday life such as a small house on a little acreage with room for the kids to play and explore outdoors. How about a log cabin situated on rolling hills?

swimming pool house

Are you ready to make your vacation home dream a reality? Give Stutesman Action Realty a call today at 833.286.8400. A professional real estate agent will help you find the perfect second home.


The Effects of Current Mortgage Interest Rates

cash for house

You have seen the news; the housing market has more buyers than sellers creating a shortage of inventory for buyers ready to take advantage of those low interest rates. But why are the interest rates such a big deal when home prices are on the rise? Interest rates have a big role in making up a home’s level of affordability. Even with the increase in home prices, the low interest rates play a vital role in determining how much you will spend on your home in the long term. Quicken Loans has a great read about whether the home’s purchase price or interest rate is more important. In the article, they gave a great example of how important an interest rate is on a home’s affordability level even with an increase in home values.

house for sale

Janet purchased her home for $250,000 and paid 10% down resulting in a $225,000 mortgage. Her interest rate was 6% giving her a payment of about $1,349 per month for a 30-year mortgage. Paying the loan for the entire duration of the 30-year mortgage equates to a total of $260,363 in interest.

Janet sold her home to Joe for $300,000. He also put 10% down giving him a mortgage of $270,000; however, his interest rate is only 4% (a full 2% below Janet’s). Although he paid more for the home than she did, his monthly payment will only be $1,289 ($60 lower than Janet’s). In addition, he will only pay $194,048 in interest over the life of the 30-year loan. That is a whopping savings of $66,315 in interest expense. From this example, you can see that an increase in home prices does not necessarily equate to a home being unaffordable, which is why buyers are jumping on these low interest rates. In a nutshell, they are able to buy more house for less money.

yellow house

If you are thinking of buying or selling, the time is now. Sellers are getting top dollar for their homes and buyers are getting great interest rates increasing the affordability of homes. Although the Feds have indicated interest rates won’t go up until 2022, why wait? Your dream home could be waiting for you now! released the first quarter of 2021 housing stats revealing that “homes are selling at historical speed, with the time on market dropping to a low of 43 days.” If you are thinking of listing or selling your home, give Stutesman Action Realty a call, 833.286.8400 to reach one of the three offices located in Nevada, Missouri, Lamar, Missouri, and Fort Scott, Kansas. 


Summer 2021 Real Estate Market Forecasts

arrows in the sky

Spring has sprung and summer is just around the corner. The housing market is still hot and that trend is expected to continue throughout 2021. U.S. News published an article at the beginning of April 2021 about the summer housing market expectations. Some changes are expected, but overall it is anticipated to continue on an upward trajectory. The factors contributing to the positive market are:

  • Low-interest rates. Although interest rates may rise slightly, they are expected to remain low and ideal for buyers.
  • The desire for more space among homebuyers will continue to drive the market.

new home construction

  • Due to increased new construction and sellers deciding to put their homes on the market, inventory is expected to increase, but the market is expected to remain favorable for sellers.
  • The suburbs and smaller markets will continue to see most of the focus as many are moving out of cities. However, the quick vaccine rollout will offer some revival of the real estate market in larger cities.


Whether you are a buyer, seller, or home builder looking for a bit of acreage to build speculation homes, Stutesman Action Realty has many real estate options for you. For example, this six-acre parcel subdivided into three, two-acre lots located in Fort Scott, Kansas is perfect to build three spec homes to meet buyer demand.

available listing

Yes, there are many factors pointing to a seller’s market, but there are just as many favoring buyers such as the low-interest rates, remote working opportunities allowing people to live in areas that they would not otherwise be able to live. Stutesman’s Action Realty knowledgeable and professional real estate agents are ready to assist you in both Missouri and Kansas. Call 833.286.8400 to reach one of the three offices located in Nevada, Missouri, Lamar, Missouri, and Fort Scott, Kansas.


Avoid the Headache & Hire a Real Estate Professional

woman on phone

The growth of social media and real estate websites has had many positive impacts on selling and buying real estate but not without some negative impacts. Yes, it has given us the convenience of scrolling through thousands of homes at all hours of the day. On the other hand, many people have attempted to buy and/or sell real estate solo resulting in headaches for many. On the front end the saving the real estate commission sounds like a great idea, however, more often than not, going at it alone comes with many obstacles that many are not equipped to deal with. Real estate agents are used to dealing with these issues and know how to avoid many of them such as scams and incorrect or missing paperwork.

contract with keys

They can also help you prepare a purchase contract agreement that will protect you, alert you if a home is priced over market value of if an offer is too low, and more. Other benefits to hiring a real estate professional are:

  • Recommend trustworthy lenders.
  • Often has knowledge of soon-to-be listings before they are exposed on the open market.
  • They help buyers prepare a solid offer by guiding them on a fair sales price reflective of the market.  
  • Help buyers and sellers negotiate price. A real estate professional is knowledgeable about prices that are reflective of the actions of buyers and sellers in the market.
  • Attend a home inspection on your behalf.
  • Negotiate repairs, if necessary. If damages or repairs are found, an agent will negotiate for the seller to fix all repairs before closing.
  • Communicates with the seller’s or buyer’s agent
  • Help you get to closing. The mortgage process is complicated, but a real estate professional will make sure you get to closing and move into your new home.
green house keys

If you are thinking of buying or selling a home or other real estate, contact Stutesman Action Realty at one of the three convenient locations, 1.833.286.8400. You will be glad you avoided the headache of trying to do it all on your own. Let the professionals do the work for you and make the process a smooth one.


Taking the Worries Out of the Home Buying Process

Home buying can be a scary and overwhelming process. For most, purchasing a home is the largest investment a person will make. Therefore, it is no surprise that people tend to get nervous about such a large commitment. Here are a few tips to ease your worries:

  • Hiring the right real estate agent is one of the first and most important steps you will take in the home buying process. Choose a real estate professional that is experienced, knowledgeable about the market, and willing to remain your trusted real estate advisor. Tell your agent what you are looking for and about your budget requirements. It is important to have professional real estate representation when you find the perfect home and want to make an offer to assure you are entering the right contract for you. Did you know that a real estate professional can assist you in purchasing a For Sale By Owner (FSBO)? Many FSBOs are willing to work with a buyer’s agent even though they are not using a selling broker.
pre approval
  • Pre-approval from a mortgage lender is the next step. Once pre-approved, a lender will write you a letter of pre-approval. Being pre-approved lets sellers know you are serious about purchasing their property.
virtual showing
  • Start touring properties. Your real estate agent will schedule showings and assist you in finding the perfect home based on your specification. These showings can either be in-person or virtually. The COVID-19 pandemic has catapulted the real estate industry forward several years when it comes to virtual showings. They have become one of the most popular ways to initially view a home.  Just let your real estate agent know that you want a virtual showing, and he or she will set it up and tour the home with you virtually. This is also a perfect way for out-of-town purchasers to view homes before they are able to come to town.
real estate contract
  • Once you find your dream home, your real estate agent will prepare a competitive offer to get you the best deal and will guide you through negotiations and help with a seamless closing experience.

When you are ready, Stutesman’s Action Realty is ready to serve you. The real estate agents pride themselves on excellence and constantly surpassing the expectations of their clients. Call 1.833.226.8400 to reach one of the three branches located in Missouri and Kansas.


Take Advantage of Historically-Low Interest Rates

Interest rates are at historic lows and you certainly don’t want to miss out on your opportunity to take advantage of them. The best way to capitalize on these rates is to purchase that new home or tract of land you’ve always dreamed of.

house exterior

Although home prices have been rising in many parts of the country due to increased demand, it’s still a good time to buy your first home or upgrade to another one to meet the current demands of your family. By going ahead with the purchase transaction now, you may be able to lock in one of the lowest interest rates in many years. The locked in interest rates give you peace of mind that the payments will remain the same throughout the life of the loan.

woman standing in front of forest

The pandemic has also brought about another unforeseen home buyer — those looking to purchase a second home or rural recreation/hunting tracts of land. Many people are making these real estate purchases to take the place of vacation plans given the uncertainty surrounding future travel.

house key

Interest rates are expected to remain low throughout 2021, but that is difficult to predict. The time is now to take advantage of these rates. Stutesman Action Realty has a variety of property types to fit every buyer’s needs. From large dream homes situated on 50+ acres to gently rolling grassland acreages complete with a horse barn, riding arena, and fencing to that commercial business you’ve always dreamed of owning. The time is right. Call 1.833.286.8400 to reach any of the three Stutesman Action Realty offices.


It’s a Sellers’ Market, but Should Buyers be Discouraged?

You have heard that the pandemic created a sellers’ market in 2020. What exactly does a “sellers’ market” mean? Basically, it means that the demand for homes is higher than the supply in the market. How can this be when unemployment rates were at all-time highs? There are a couple of reasons.

  1. Many sellers that had their homes listed prior to the pandemic, pulled the listings off the market to wait and see if there were going to be any adverse impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic. When sellers pulled listings, this immediately decreased the supply of available homes in the market creating a shortage.
  2. The historically low interest rates encouraged buyers to go ahead and make that new home purchase they had been thinking about.

Experts agree there are many other reasons like a mass move out of bigger cities, residents that were forced to stay at home realized they needed bigger living spaces and more conducive to remote working and schooling, and the list goes on. The bottom line is that residential home sales in most areas have come out a winner in this pandemic.

Does this mean that buyers should be discouraged from purchasing real estate? Absolutely not! However, keep in mind that you shouldn’t low ball your offer. A seller’s market is no time to do that. Work with a real estate agent and have them conduct a comparative market analysis and make a reasonable offer based upon your findings. A comparative market analysis examines similar properties that have recently sold.

Finally, working with a real estate agent will help you navigate the market. A real estate professional will help you negotiate deals and guide you through the entire process. Stutesman’s Action Realty will always treat you fairly showing consideration for your time and giving you all the truthful facts and information to help you throughout the entire real estate transaction process. Call today and put your new real estate team to work for YOU!


Selling Your Home in the Winter

Winter isn’t usually thought of as “the season” to sell a home, but home sales have gradually increased across all seasons. While it may be true that people tend to stay indoors when the weather is cold and wet, it doesn’t mean that you can’t sell your home. In fact, one positive that came from the COVID-19 pandemic is that it really pushed virtual showings forward. Like all other businesses, real estate professionals were forced to rethink how they conducted business to adhere to social distancing and/or lockdowns. Real estate professionals are used to adapting and overcoming whether it be the colder months or a pandemic.

Check out these helpful tips for selling your home during the winter:

  • It is true that the cold weather keeps some people home and now we have the pandemic making it more important than ever to have a great online listing. Clients respond especially well to 3D home tours.
  • It doesn’t matter what time of year it is, if a home isn’t priced according to market demand it won’t sell. A home priced in accordance to what buyers are actually paying in you market will sell much faster. The best way to determine a market price is to use recent sales comparables from your market.
  • Hire the right agent. You want to find someone that you are comfortable working with and a professional at his or her job. The right agent will also give you a great online listing presence and help determine an appropriate market value for your home.

Don’t let the season determine if you are selling your home. Now is the time. Interest rates are low and there is a shortage of inventory. If you are looking to sell or purchase a home this winter, give Stutesman Action Realty a call. There are three locations to better serve you: Nevada, Missouri, 417.667.8400; Ft. Scott, Kansas, 833.286.8400; and Lamar, Missouri, 833.286.8400.


Pandemic Hot Real Estate

If there is a silver lining to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s that the residential real estate market is hot. Demand is outweighing supply making it very much a seller’s market. If you have been thinking about selling your home, now is the time. Much of the market’s increase has to do with the all-time-low interest rates, but demands in the local market served by Stutesman’s Action Realty (Southwest Missouri, and Southeast Kansas) can be attributed to the sudden “stay at home” orders from various government entities.

What types of properties are pandemic hot?

  • Smaller second- and third-tier cities located outside urban areas have seen an increase in market activity amidst the pandemic and perhaps a market winner. An article published in The Business Times stated that these cities are “in a better position as the pandemic wanes.” Cities that promote healthy living such as the Northwest Arkansas, Southwest Missouri, and Southeast Kansas areas abundant with hiking, cycling, walking and many other outdoor activities with the gorgeous landscape backdrop are increasingly interesting buyers from much larger fast-paced areas.
  • Real estate with acreage to accommodate a home site, hobby farming, and/or recreational property have had an increased interest with buyers from large metropolitan areas. Many buyers are looking for off-grid living and get back to nature.
  • Americans were forced to slowdown and rethink how they live. Pre-COVID, many American families were busy working and rushing from one kid activity to the next (I’m not judging, trust me, I was doing the same thing) and suddenly those busy schedules were disrupted. In the beginning, we weren’t quite sure what to think of all this free time on our hands, but the longer the pandemic has gone on and events have been cancelled, the more we realize that we kind of like nesting at home. Many buyers are looking for larger homes and/or homes with more outdoor space to continue their newly found love of staying home.

Stutesman’s Action Realty has multiple properties in this pandemic hot market. Properties range from beautifully restored homes, home sites with acreages, commercial and agricultural/recreational land. If you are thinking of buying a property, the interest rates are great and if you are thinking of selling, it’s certainly a seller’s market in this area. For your next real estate transaction, you can trust Stutesman’s. Call today to speak to a real estate professional.