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Real Estate Appraisal


In the intricate landscape of residential real estate, property valuation plays a pivotal role in shaping crucial decisions for homeowners, buyers, lenders, and investors alike. Real estate appraisers are the experts who determine the fair market value of a property, assisting various stakeholders in making well-informed choices. In this blog post, we'll explore the distinct groups that hire real estate appraisers, focusing on the role of banks and mortgage companies in purchase and refinance transactions, while emphasizing that homeowners and their families can also directly engage appraisers for a range of essential purposes.

Banks and Mortgage Companies

Banks and mortgage companies are prominent clients in the realm of real estate appraisal, especially in purchase and refinance transactions. Their primary motivations for hiring appraisers include:

a. Purchase Transactions: In purchase transactions, lenders require appraisals to ensure that the property's value aligns with the proposed purchase price. This safeguards both the buyer and the lender by minimizing the risk of overvalued collateral.

b. Refinancing: When homeowners seek to refinance their mortgages, lenders typically engage appraisers to establish the property's current value. A precise appraisal can impact the terms of the new loan, potentially leading to more favorable interest rates and financial outcomes.

In most cases, the bank or lender can only hire the appraiser and will not allow the buyer to hire their own appraiser.

Homeowners and Family Members

Homeowners and their family members are equally significant clients who can directly enlist the services of real estate appraisers for various essential purposes. These include:

a. Potential List Prices: When homeowners contemplate selling their properties, they can hire appraisers to obtain an accurate valuation. This valuation guides them in setting an appropriate listing price, preventing the common pitfalls of overpricing or underpricing.

b. Marriage Dissolution: In cases of divorce or marriage dissolution, appraisals are instrumental in determining the fair market value of the shared property. This valuation often plays a critical role in property division negotiations.

c. Estate and Tax Purposes: Homeowners may engage appraisers for estate planning and tax-related matters. Appraisals assist in determining property values for inheritance and estate distribution, ensuring compliance with tax regulations.


Real estate appraisers serve a diverse range of clients within the residential real estate sector. While banks and mortgage companies predominantly hire appraisers for purchase and refinance transactions, homeowners and their family members can also directly benefit from their expertise. Whether it's establishing list prices, navigating marriage dissolution, or addressing estate and tax considerations, homeowners have the opportunity to harness the insights of qualified appraisers for crucial decisions. Understanding who hires appraisers and for what purposes underscores the importance of accurate property valuations in empowering informed choices across the dynamic residential real estate landscape.

Posted by Nick Hughes on September 25th, 2023 3:20 PMLeave a Comment

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Are you considering selling your property as a "For Sale By Owner" (FSBO)? While the FSBO route can offer greater control and potential cost savings, it also comes with its fair share of challenges. One of the most critical steps in successfully selling your home is determining its accurate value. This is where getting a professional appraisal can be a game-changer for your FSBO listing. In this article, we'll delve into the reasons why obtaining an appraisal is a smart move for FSBO sellers.

1. Objectivity in Pricing: The Foundation for Success

Pricing your home right is paramount. Setting the right asking price can attract potential buyers, while an incorrect valuation can deter them. An experienced appraiser brings objectivity to the table, offering an unbiased assessment of your property's value. By analyzing market data, local trends, and property specifics, an appraiser provides a solid foundation for pricing your home competitively.

2. Strengthening Negotiations with Confidence

Negotiations with potential buyers can be a tricky terrain. Having a professional appraisal report in hand adds credibility to your pricing strategy. Buyers are more likely to engage in serious negotiations when they see that your asking price is backed by an expert's evaluation. This positions you to negotiate from a place of confidence and knowledge, increasing the likelihood of a successful sale.

3. Defending Your Price: Justifying Value

Buyers, especially in FSBO transactions, may attempt to challenge your asking price. An appraisal report serves as a well-documented defense for your valuation. It provides tangible evidence of your property's worth, showcasing the thorough analysis that went into determining its value. This can help alleviate any doubts and concerns that buyers might have about the fairness of your pricing.

4. Time-Efficiency: Avoiding Price Guesswork

One of the pitfalls of FSBO selling is the potential for drawn-out negotiations that lead to wasted time. By obtaining an appraisal upfront, you can avoid the uncertainty of prolonged price negotiations. Buyers are more likely to take your listing seriously when they see that you've done your homework and are armed with accurate information from the start.

5. Transparency Builds Trust

Trust is crucial in any real estate transaction. By voluntarily providing an appraisal report to potential buyers, you demonstrate transparency and a commitment to a fair deal. This can foster trust between you and the buyer, laying the groundwork for smoother negotiations and a more positive selling experience.

6. Mitigating Risk of Overpricing or Underpricing

Both overpricing and underpricing can be detrimental to your FSBO listing. Overpricing can deter potential buyers, while underpricing can lead to missed opportunities for maximizing your property's value. An appraisal helps strike the right balance, reducing the risk of these pricing pitfalls and ensuring you make the most of your selling opportunity.

In conclusion, selling your property as a FSBO can be a rewarding endeavor, but it's essential to approach it with a strategic mindset. Getting a professional appraisal is a strategic move that provides you with a competitive edge in the market. It empowers you with accurate, well-documented information to set the right asking price, navigate negotiations, and build trust with potential buyers. To ensure you have the best appraisal experience, consider enlisting the expertise of Hughes Appraisals, LLC. Give us a call at 612-964-4961 or email us at An appraisal isn't just an expense; it's an investment that can pay off in the form of a successful and profitable FSBO sale.

Posted by Nick Hughes on August 30th, 2023 10:22 AMLeave a Comment

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In the fast-paced world of real estate, disagreements between real estate agents and their clients regarding the listing price of a home are not uncommon. Finding the right balance between a seller's expectations and market realities can be challenging. This is where the expertise of Hughes Appraisals, LLC comes into play. With over two decades of experience in valuing homes in the metro area, we have honed our skills to bridge the gap and ensure a seamless listing process.

Bridging Experience with Expertise

At Hughes Appraisals, LLC, we understand the intricacies of property valuation like no other. Our team boasts more than 20 years of experience in the real estate market, giving us a deep understanding of market trends, neighborhood dynamics, and valuation methodologies. This extensive experience empowers us to provide accurate and well-founded appraisals that serve as a reliable foundation for setting a listing price.

Aiming for a Smooth Transaction Process

One of the primary concerns when listing a home is ensuring that the final sales price aligns with market realities and the expectations of all parties involved. A mismatch between the listing price and the property's actual value can lead to a variety of challenges, including prolonged market exposure and potential buyer dissatisfaction. This is where Hughes Appraisals, LLC truly shines.

By enlisting our services, you significantly increase the likelihood that the home will appraise at or above the final sales price. This is a crucial aspect of the transaction process as it instills confidence in both buyers and lenders. A well-supported appraisal mitigates the risk of loan transactions falling through due to a valuation discrepancy, helping you avoid last-minute surprises and ensuring a smoother path to closing.

Why Choose Hughes Appraisals, LLC?

Proven Track Record: Our extensive track record speaks for itself. With over 20 years of experience in valuing homes in the metro area, we have successfully guided countless real estate agents and their clients through valuation disagreements, resulting in mutually beneficial outcomes.

Unbiased and Accurate Appraisals: Our appraisals are rooted in thorough research, comprehensive data analysis, and an unwavering commitment to objectivity. We provide an independent and unbiased assessment of a property's value, ensuring that all parties can make informed decisions.

Market Insights: Having closely observed the evolution of the local real estate market, we possess valuable insights into neighborhood trends, property demand, and pricing dynamics. This knowledge empowers us to provide appraisals that reflect the true market value of a property.

Mitigating Risk: By obtaining an appraisal from Hughes Appraisals, LLC, you substantially reduce the risk of valuation discrepancies that could derail a transaction. This enhances the likelihood of a successful closing and a satisfied client.

When differences arise between real estate agents and their clients regarding listing prices, the experienced team at Hughes Appraisals, LLC is here to bridge the gap. With a wealth of knowledge, a commitment to accuracy, and a track record of success spanning over two decades, we offer the expertise needed to ensure that your listings are priced accurately and competitively. By choosing us, you're not just getting an appraisal – you're gaining a trusted partner dedicated to facilitating successful transactions and helping you navigate the intricacies of the real estate market with confidence.

After a remarkable surge in home prices and record-breaking low mortgage rates, the U.S. housing market experienced a slowdown in late 2022. Many speculated a potential crash as real estate economists voiced concerns and mortgage companies faced layoffs. However, the latest Case-Shiller home price index reveals a surprising turn of events - home values are on the rise again.

According to Craig J. Lazzara, Managing Director at S&P Dow Jones Indices, the U.S. housing market continued to strengthen in April 2023. After peaking in June 2022 and experiencing a decline until January 2023, home prices have been steadily recovering.

While there was a slight dip of 0.2 percent compared to April 2022, it's clear that the real estate market's pause doesn't indicate a crash. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reports that median sale prices of existing homes had declined year-over-year for four consecutive months through May, with February's drop marking the first decline in nearly 11 years.

It's essential to recognize the unique dynamics at play - a housing market party that lasted longer than anticipated. In the spring of 2022, median prices surpassed $400,000 for the first time ever, and even with the recent retreat, they remain over $100,000 higher since the start of the pandemic.

One significant factor contributing to the current scenario is the low housing inventory. Bidding wars have returned due to a frustratingly tight supply of available homes. Skylar Olsen, chief economist at Zillow, predicts that home prices will continue rising into 2024, which may be good news for sellers but poses challenges for first-time buyers aiming to enter the market.

However, concerns have emerged as mortgage rates rise, and home sales slow down. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell highlighted that housing is sensitive to interest rates and acknowledged monitoring the situation closely.

Despite these developments, housing experts believe that any correction will likely be moderate, unlike the dramatic declines seen during the Great Recession. Homeowners today possess stronger financial positions, with better credit scores and significant home equity. Furthermore, builders have been cautious, leading to a shortage of homes for sale.

The key statistics reveal a more nuanced picture. While home prices decreased year-over-year in May, the decline is not as severe as those seen in previous downturns. Economists are optimistic about the market's future, backed by several factors:

1. Low Inventories: The tight supply of homes is contributing to higher prices and may not allow for a price crash in the near future.

2. Slow Pace of Construction: Builders' cautious approach after the last crash has led to a shortage of new homes, preventing a repeat of the overbuilding seen before.

3. Demographic Trends: The demand for homes remains strong, driven by existing homeowners seeking larger properties and millennials entering their prime buying years.

4. Strict Lending Standards: Unlike the pre-2007 period, lenders now impose stringent criteria on borrowers, reducing the risk of default.

5. Muted Foreclosure Activity: Foreclosures are currently minimal, with homeowners having comfortable equity in their properties.

In conclusion, while the housing market is experiencing a cooling phase, it does not resemble previous real estate downturns. Housing experts believe that a price crash is unlikely, and the market's fundamentals remain stable. The U.S. housing market continues to navigate through these changing times with optimism and resilience.

Note: This blog post was inspired by an article from We have reimagined and adapted the content to provide insights on the current state of the U.S. housing market and its potential trends. Full credit goes to for their valuable contribution to the topic.

Posted by Nick Hughes on July 31st, 2023 11:29 AMLeave a Comment

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As a homeowner looking to refinance or purchase a new property, you understand the critical role of a home appraisal in the process. However, there might be instances when you feel the appraisal has undervalued your home. In such cases, you have the option to submit a Reconsideration of Value Request (ROV) to challenge the appraisal and potentially secure a more accurate valuation. In this blog post, we'll walk you through the steps of the ROV process and highlight the importance of recognizing the expertise and impartiality of appraisers compared to real estate agents and lenders.

Understanding the ROV Process

Review the Appraisal Report: Carefully review the appraisal report for discrepancies or errors that might have influenced the final valuation. Note factors like property size, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, recent renovations, and comparable sales used in the appraisal.

Gather Supporting Evidence: Strengthen your case by collecting relevant documentation that demonstrates the true value of your property. Include recent home improvements, upgrades, and comparable sales data of similar properties in your neighborhood that may support a higher value for your property. 

Communicate with Your Lender: Reach out to your lender to discuss the possibility of initiating an ROV. Understand the lender's specific guidelines and requirements for submitting a reconsideration request.

Drafting and Submitting the ROV

Write a Comprehensive Reconsideration Letter: Maintain a respectful and professional tone while stating why you believe the initial appraisal was undervalued. Provide detailed evidence to support your claim, including photographs and proof or recent improvements that may have been overlooked by the appraiser.

Submit the ROV: Send the ROV and supporting documents to your lender as per their guidelines. 

Appraiser's Expertise vs. Real Estate Agents and Lenders

While real estate agents and lenders play essential roles in the buying and refinancing process, it's crucial to recognize that they may not be impartial when it comes to property valuation. Their focus is on facilitating the transaction and achieving the best outcome for their clients, rather than providing objective appraisals.

Appraisers, on the other hand, are licensed professionals with specialized knowledge in determining market value. Their evaluations are unbiased and consider a wide range of factors, ensuring an accurate assessment.


An undervalued home appraisal can be frustrating, but with an ROV and the support of an experienced appraiser, you can seek a fair valuation for your property. While real estate agents and lenders offer valuable insights, their expertise may not match that of professional appraisers. By understanding the differences, homeowners can make informed decisions and secure accurate market valuations for successful real estate transactions.

Posted by Nick Hughes on July 20th, 2023 5:39 PMLeave a Comment

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If you're a homeowner looking to remove Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) from your mortgage, you may have encountered the high costs associated with appraisals offered by US Bank. But what if we told you there's a better, more affordable alternative? At Hughes Appraisals, LLC, we specialize in helping clients like you eliminate PMI Insurance at a fraction of the cost. In this blog post, we'll explore how our services can save you money and make the PMI removal process a breeze.

The Costly Reality:
Many homeowners who choose to work with US Bank face hefty expenses when it comes to ordering an appraisal. On average, US Bank charges up to $225 more for an appraisal compared to our services at Hughes Appraisals, LLC. This significant price difference can leave homeowners feeling frustrated and seeking a more reasonable option.

Unlocking Savings with Hughes Appraisals:
At Hughes Appraisals, LLC, we understand the importance of saving money while achieving your financial goals. Our team of experienced professionals is committed to providing exceptional service at an affordable price. When you choose us, you can be confident that you're receiving top-notch assistance without breaking the bank.

The Benefits of Choosing Hughes Appraisals, LLC:

Cost-Effective Solutions: By opting for our services, you can save up to $225 on your PMI removal appraisal compared to US Bank's rates.

Expertise and Reliability: Our team consists of highly skilled appraisers who have extensive knowledge of the real estate market. We guarantee accurate and reliable appraisals that meet industry standards.

Personalized Attention: We understand that every homeowner's situation is unique. That's why we take the time to listen to your specific needs and provide tailored solutions to help you remove PMI Insurance promptly.

Streamlined Process: Removing PMI Insurance can be a complex process, but we simplify it for you. Our efficient procedures ensure a smooth experience from start to finish, saving you time and effort.

To inquire about removing PMI Insurance and saving up to $225 on your appraisal, reach out to Hughes Appraisals, LLC at [contact information]. Our friendly team is ready to assist you and guide you through the process.

Don't let PMI Insurance drain your finances. Choose Hughes Appraisals, LLC, and unlock your path to financial freedom today!

Posted in:PMI and tagged: PMI Removal US Bank
Posted by Nick Hughes on June 15th, 2023 3:11 PMLeave a Comment

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When it comes to handling estates, accountants play a crucial role in managing the financial affairs of their clients. As estates often involve various assets, including real estate, it is essential for accountants to work with trusted professionals to ensure accurate valuations. In this blog post, we explore the benefits of involving Hughes Appraisals, LLC, with its 20 years of experience in estate appraisals, and why accountants should consider their expertise.

Accurate Valuations for Estate Planning and Tax Purposes:
When settling an estate, accurate valuations of real estate assets are essential for tax purposes and estate planning. Hughes Appraisals, LLC, led by their team of experienced appraisers, possesses two decades of expertise in providing precise property valuations. Their thorough understanding of location, condition, comparable sales, and market trends ensures the accurate assessment of the estate's value, minimizing discrepancies or disputes during estate administration.

Compliance with Legal and Accounting Standards:
Accountants handling estates must comply with legal and accounting standards to protect their clients' interests. By collaborating with Hughes Appraisals, LLC, accountants benefit from their rigorous adherence to the highest industry standards. The team's objective and independent assessments provide reliable reports that accountants can confidently rely on when dealing with estate tax returns, probate matters, or financial statements.

Mitigating Risks and Enhancing Estate Administration:
Hughes Appraisals, LLC's estate appraisal services offer several advantages in mitigating risks and enhancing the overall estate administration process. By partnering with them, accountants can:

a. Minimize Tax Audit Risks: Accurate property valuations by Hughes Appraisals, LLC minimize the risk of tax audit issues by providing substantiated values for real estate assets.

b. Resolve Disputes: The credible and impartial evidence provided by Hughes Appraisals, LLC's appraisals effectively resolves potential disputes related to property valuations.

c. Inform Investment Decisions: The team's insights into market value and the potential of real estate assets empower accountants to make informed decisions regarding selling, leasing, or retaining properties within the estate.

d. Facilitate Equitable Distribution: Hughes Appraisals, LLC's fair and reliable property valuations enable accountants to distribute assets more equitably among beneficiaries, ensuring a smooth and transparent estate settlement process.

In the realm of estate administration, accurate property valuations are essential for accountants handling estates. Hughes Appraisals, LLC, with its 20 years of experience in estate appraisals, brings unparalleled expertise to the table. Collaborating with their team allows accountants to ensure compliance, mitigate risks, and enhance the overall estate administration process. Hughes Appraisals, LLC's wealth of experience and commitment to excellence make them a trusted partner in achieving fair and equitable outcomes. By choosing Hughes Appraisals, LLC, accountants can optimize estate management and provide peace of mind for all parties involved.

Posted by Nick Hughes on June 6th, 2023 12:03 PMLeave a Comment

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When it comes to determining the value of a residential property, home appraisals play a crucial role. Appraisers consider various factors to arrive at an accurate appraisal value, and one of the key components in this process is the use of comparable sales, also known as "comps." In this blog post, we will delve into the role of comparable sales in home appraisals, exploring why they are essential and how they impact the final valuation.

What Are Comparable Sales?
Comparable sales are recently sold properties that share similar characteristics with the subject property being appraised. These properties are used as benchmarks to assess the value of the subject property. Appraisers carefully select comps based on factors such as location, size, age, condition, and other relevant features to ensure accurate comparisons.

Determining Market Value:
The primary objective of an appraisal is to determine the market value of a property, which is the price a willing buyer would pay and a willing seller would accept in an open market. Comparable sales provide valuable insights into the current market conditions and help establish a baseline for determining the market value of the subject property.

Key Factors in Choosing Comparable Sales:
When selecting comparable sales, appraisers consider several factors:

Proximity: Properties located within the same neighborhood or immediate vicinity are preferred as comps since they are likely to share similar market dynamics and neighborhood influences.

Similar Property Types: Appraisers look for properties with similar characteristics, such as property type (single-family home, townhouse, condo), square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and overall layout.

Sale Date: The sales of comparable properties should be recent, typically within the past six months. Market conditions can change, so using recent sales ensures the most accurate reflection of the current market value.

Condition: Comparable properties should be similar in terms of overall condition, renovations, and upgrades. If the subject property requires extensive repairs or has unique features, appraisers adjust the values accordingly to reflect these differences.

Analyzing Comparable Sales:
Once the appraiser has identified a set of suitable comps, they analyze the sales data and adjust for any variations in features or conditions. This analysis helps them arrive at an estimated value for the subject property. Adjustments may be made based on factors such as square footage, number of rooms, upgrades, or any other differences that impact the property's value.

The Impact of Comparable Sales on Appraisal Value:
Comparable sales heavily influence the final appraisal value. Appraisers assign greater weight to comps that are most similar to the subject property, ensuring that the valuation is based on the most relevant market data available. The sales prices of the comps are used as a benchmark for determining the fair market value of the subject property.

Comparable sales play a vital role in home appraisals, providing valuable market data and a basis for determining the fair market value of a property. By carefully selecting and analyzing comparable sales, appraisers ensure that the final appraisal reflects the current market conditions and accurately assesses the value of the subject property. Understanding the role of comparable sales can help homeowners, buyers, and sellers appreciate the importance of this factor in the appraisal process, promoting transparency and confidence in real estate transactions.

Posted in:General and tagged: Real Estate Appraisal
Posted by Nick Hughes on May 24th, 2023 9:38 AMLeave a Comment

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Automated Valuation Models (AVMs) have become increasingly popular in recent years as a quick and convenient way to estimate the value of real estate. ClearAVM is marketed as one of the more accurate AVMs available, but in reality, it may not be as reliable as advertised.

As a licensed professional appraiser, I have seen firsthand the limitations of ClearAVM and other AVMs. In fact, a colleague of mine recently had a ClearAVM done out of curiosity on their own property, and the results were shocking.

ClearAVM used comparable sales that were nothing like the subject property. The main characteristic of comparison that ClearAVM appears to have used was the presence of an in-ground pool. However, none of the comparable sales were on the subject's lake or any lake for that matter. It doesn't even take a trained professional to know that lake frontage is usually the most important contributor to value for a property on a lake. Furthermore, ClearAVM indicated that the subject property was a modular home, which is not accurate as it is a normal stick-built home. These are not minor issues that don't affect value. Imagine if you were relying on ClearAVM to decide on listing your lake home and they suggested a list price significantly lower than market value?   These issues highlight a significant limitation of AVMs - they often lack the context and nuance that only a licensed appraiser can provide.

The limitations of ClearAVM go beyond the lack of context and nuance. ClearAVM and other AVMs are entirely computer-based and do not involve a human appraiser physically visiting the property or analyzing the local market trends. This can lead to inaccuracies in the estimate, especially in areas with complex or unique properties or in neighborhoods with rapidly changing market conditions.

Furthermore, AVMs like ClearAVM rely on publicly available data such as recent sales and property characteristics to make their estimates. However, they do not take into account factors that may affect a property's value but are not publicly available, such as the condition of the property, any recent renovations or upgrades, or the neighborhood.

Finally, while ClearAVM and other AVMs may be convenient tools for estimating a property's value, they should not be relied upon as a substitute for a professional appraisal completed by a licensed appraiser. The limitations and inaccuracies of AVMs like ClearAVM can lead to costly mistakes and legal complications. Again, imagine relying on ClearAVM to come up with a list price for your home on a lake, and it used comparable sales that seriously undervalued your home. The loss of potential proceeds could add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars. It's particularly concerning that AVMs are increasingly being used by banks and lenders to make lending decisions, as this could have far-reaching consequences for both consumers and the economy. Without accurate and reliable valuations, there's a risk of undervaluation or overinflated property values, higher rates of default and foreclosure, and instability in the real estate market. If you want an accurate valuation of your property, it's best to hire a licensed appraiser who can provide a thorough analysis of the property, local market trends, and other relevant factors.

May 9th, 2023 10:34 AM
When it comes to estate settlement, there is often a lot at stake, both financially and emotionally. As an executor, you are responsible for carrying out the wishes of the deceased and ensuring that their assets are distributed appropriately. To do this, you need accurate and reliable appraisals of their property and possessions. This is where Hughes Appraisals, LLC comes in.

At Hughes Appraisals, LLC, we understand that estate settlement can be a stressful and emotional process. That's why we work quickly and with compassion to provide the highest quality appraisals possible. We know that you need to act promptly and with sensitivity to the feelings of everyone involved, and we are here to help.

One of the core values of our business is to produce top-notch, ethical appraisals that attorneys and other parties involved in estate settlement can depend on. We are familiar with the specific needs of everyone involved in the process, and we work closely with all parties to ensure that our appraisals are accurate and reliable.

Our team of experienced appraisers is well-versed in constructing appraisal reports that exceed the needs of the legal system and various agencies. We take pride in the quality of our work and the level of detail that we provide in our reports. With Hughes Appraisals, LLC, you can trust that you are receiving appraisals that are both comprehensive and reliable.

In short, if you are an executor in need of an appraisal for estate settlement, it is essential to hire Hughes Appraisals, LLC. We understand the sensitive nature of the process and are committed to providing the highest quality appraisals possible. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you with your estate settlement needs.

Posted by Nick Hughes on May 9th, 2023 10:34 AMLeave a Comment

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