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5 Reasons to Have Your Home Appraised: An Interview with Chris C. Talley of North State Appraisals

By Chris C. Talley

Please tell us a little bit about your company and the services you offer.

North State Appraisal services the northern California counties of Butte, Glenn, Lassen, Plumas and Tehama. With over 15 years of appraisal experience, I have been through the ups and downs of the market. We provide quick, data-backed appraisal reports on a wide variety of residential properties. Our services include refinance and purchase appraisals for lending institutions, as well as family trust and appraisals for the purpose of tax assessment petitions to possibly lower your yearly property taxes.

What is one of the most common reasons that someone has their house appraised?

I receive calls every week from people wanting to figure out how the current market conditions have affected the value of their home. An appraisal is the best way to determine where your property stands in terms of its value in comparison with actual sales and listings in your neighborhood and market segment.

When you're buying a home, how can an independent appraisal be helpful?

As we all know, a listing price is a subjective determination which can be influenced by many factors, some of which are less reliable than others. Many home sellers are blind to the market around them and can feel like their property is worth much more than the reality of the market would dictate. An independent appraisal can be useful in giving an impartial opinion of market value to a home, which can assist in the negotiation of a contract price.

How does a home appraisal relate to the assessment of property taxes?

When it comes down to it, the tax assessor's office is using the same market information to value your property as an independent appraiser uses. The difference is that the assessor has not inspected your property recently and has to use a good amount of assumptions in determining the value of your home for tax purposes. An appraisal performed by a licensed real estate appraiser will give a very clear picture of the current market value of your home, as it actually compares with recent sales in your neighborhood and can greatly help in your petition to lower your taxes.

What tips do you have for a homeowner who wants a home appraisal for estate planning purposes?

Estate planning is essential for people in any stage of life. Having a current appraisal of your home will give your estate planner the details necessary to construct an accurate plan for you and your family's future.

Is there anything that most people don't know about home appraisals that they should know?

As I have recently heard from the head appraiser of a major banking institution in our area, the sales of comparable properties drive the appraisal. What this means is that the value of your home is directly related to what the most similar properties in your neighborhood are selling for. The adjustments we make in an appraisal report for large, or even small differences, are derived from the market segment itself. These adjustments are not just arbitrarily decided by the appraiser because they felt like it (or at least they shouldn't be). They are made to reflect the motivations of sellers and buyers in your area as evidenced by actual market data. Having an experienced appraiser can make a big difference in the outcome of your valuation.

What's the best way for people to contact your company?

Because I strive to give the best customer service possible, I'd love to hear from you directly. Call our office number (530) 251-5766 or email me at

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