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Do you really need a commercial appraiser (Certified General Appraiser) to appraise your agriculture land / farm land in southwest Missouri?

For clarification sake, Missouri essentially has two classifications of appraisers:

  1. State Certified Residential Appraisers--yep, you guessed it...they appraise homes and only those properties with a Highest and Best Use of "residential".
  2. State Certified General Appraisers-they can appraise residential properties but most often specialize in commercial properties, agricultural land or consultation assignments.

***Missouri does have a State Licensed Appraiser classification but they are being phased out by most in the industry and they are prohibited from doing FHA/USDA assignments and anything over $1,000,000.  There are only about 100 of these licensee's in the entire state.***

In 2008 the Missouri Real Estate Appraisers Commission passed a statute identifying Certified General Appraisers (commercial appraisers) as the ONLY appraiser class that can appraise real estate with a highest and best use other than residential.

Although not specifically stated in the statute because the Highest and Best Use is not always in direct correlation with lot size, the generally accepted acreage guideline for appraisers in the state of Missouri is 40 acres.  Any appraiser in the state who is appraising agriculture land, hobby farms, farm land and not operating under a Certified General Appraiser or are not themselves a Certified General Appraiser are most likely violating state statute.

As a property owner, how do you know if you are hiring the right appraiser for the job?  Here are a few guidelines that may help:

  • Typically, small acreage non-tillable properties (with or without a house) can be appraised by a residential appraiser.  The maximum acreage guideline is about 40 acres.
  • In rural/suburban southwest Missouri, if the property has residential improvements AND non tillable acreage (over 40 acres) it likely has a Highest and Best Use as a "Hobby Farm" and would require a commercial/General Certified Appraiser.
  • If the property has any, marketable timber, tillable ground, cattle, development potential or pasture rents, it is also extremely likely that a General Certified Appraiser is needed.

Commercial appraiser's are all different and each typically have there own niche or specialty.  Fee's for appraisals of agricultural properties in southwest Missouri can vary drastically depending on the acreage, improvements and income that has to be analyzed.

  • Our office typically charges $750-$1,000 for non-tillable hobby farms/agricultural ground with over 40 acres.   We cover 11 counties in southwest Missouri, so the fluctuation in fee is typically attributable to travel time.
  • If the property has more than 200 acres, the typical fee is between $1,000 and $2,000. 
  • If the property has less than 40 acres (or close to it) the fee is typically $350-$450.
  • If the property has considerable tillable ground, dairy production, chicken houses, etc. the fee typically ranges from $2,000 to $10,000.

Hopefully this web page will give you some helpful information on deciding which appraiser is right for you.  If you have any questions, please feel free to call Sean Sutton at (417) 865-8811.