We Specialize In These Alaska Area Communities

AnchorageEagle RiverFairbanks
Fort WainwrightJBERNorth PoleWasilla

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How we helped Mike Dixon by going above and beyond

"Well, so far it's been quite positive. I signed the contract for them to list my home, and one week later I had an offer. They never took pictures of it. They never put a sign on it. They showed it one time, and I had an offer on it. Everything they're doing, they're going above and beyond. I had it listed with another Realtor and it sat for six weeks. They had three people look at it, and for them to have an offer within a week, I think that just goes to show they went above and beyond with everything they're doing."
      Mike Dixon, Home Seller

Do Appraised & Assessed Values Impact Market Value?

What is the difference between assessed and appraised values? How do they impact the market value of your home? I’ll go over everything you need to know today.

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Our VIP client Daniel sent in a great question that I would like to answer today: “What is the difference between assessed and appraised values? Do those values have an impact on the market value of your home?” 

Thanks for your question, Daniel! A $25 gift certificate is coming your way. 

Now, there are three different types of values in real estate: assessed value, appraised value, and market value. 

The assessed value is used by your bureau, county, or municipality to determine your property taxes. The assessor uses common appraisal tactics such as neighborhood drive-bys, recorded sales (although sales price is not on the public record in Alaska—we use voluntary sales information), and property tours. 

In Alaska, you will get a notice in the mail asking you what you paid for the house and what kind of financing you used. This is voluntary information; you don’t need to fill out the form and you don’t need to invite the assessor into your house. However, if you think your assessed value is too high, it can help to have established communication with the tax assessor. 

The assessor takes that value, multiplies it by the mill rate for your area, and subtracts any tax exemptions in order to determine your tax obligation. 

The appraised value comes into play when you finance your home purchase through a mortgage. The lender will hire a third-party appraiser to determine the value of the property. The appraiser is the eyes and ears for the mortgage lender; they mitigate the risk for the lender and justify the contract sales price for the loan. 

Since the Dodd-Frank Act, there have been many changes in this process and a push to make those appraisals more conservative. As a result, appraisals rely more on an equation rather than local market knowledge; that math problem doesn’t always work because you might be comparing apples to oranges. 

The market value of your home is dictated by market conditions like supply and demand and the condition of your home. The market value also depends on your listing agent’s negotiation skills. 

Both the assessed and appraised values have impact on the market value. However, the appraisal has much more bearing on market value, especially since 90% of home sales are financed by a lender. 

The appraised value has more of an impact on your market value.

If an appraisal comes in low, the buyer has the ability and leverage to negotiate the sales price to a lower value. In many cases, the appraisal sets the market value. 

If you have any other questions, send me an email. If I answer your question with a video, you will receive a $25 gift certificate. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I look forward to hearing from you!

What Happens to Earnest Money When a Deal Falls Apart?

When a deal falls apart, what happens to the earnest money? We’re going over that exact situation today.

Looking to buy in Alaska?  Get a full home search
 Looking to sell in Alaska? Get a free Home Price Evaluation

Today we are answering a question from VIP client Rick Swanson. He asked, “What happens to my earnest money if my home sale falls through?” That’s a great question, Rick. We’ve got a $25 gift card coming your way. Now let’s get to the answer.

Obviously, this isn’t the ideal situation to be in. Let’s start at the beginning. Earnest money is a good-faith deposit that a buyer makes when they write an offer on a home. This is the consideration at stake that makes the contract valid. This sum must be secured in the form of wired funds, a certified check, or a personal check. Cash won’t work for the bank.

Now, the purchase and sale agreement details the obligations for both buyers and sellers. When one party doesn’t perform their obligation, we can get to a point where the buyer and seller agree to disagree and the deal falls through. 

When this happens, we execute a rescission agreement. This requires both parties to agree on earnest money disposition. We identify why the deal is falling through, where the earnest money goes, and make sure all bills are accounted for. Unpaid bills are usually taken out of the earnest money.

If both parties cannot agree on a solution, there are a few different remedies. Here are the possible solutions:

1. The broker holding the earnest money can dictate the disposition of the earnest money and decide who they want to give it do. 
2. Mediate internally. This is the method I prefer.
3. Hiring a professional mediator to work with both parties to come to an agreement.
4. Hiring an arbitrator to give a binding agreement for the disposition of the earnest money.
5. Let the buyer and seller duke it out in a court of law.

I prefer internal mediation.

A good Realtor should be able to help you avoid this type of situation by setting realistic expectations and staying in constant contact. If you do get into a situation like this, however, they are the best people to help you out. If you have any questions for us, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. If we pick your question, we’ll send you a $25 gift card, too. I look forward to hearing from you.