Asking Price vs Assessed Value - Does it matter?

Does the assessed value matter when pricing a home (or when determining your offer price)?  My answer, for our market is no. There is too much variation in prices and too little change in assessed value on a consistent basis that I do not typically use this as a pricing guide.  The assessor doesn't keep up with current market values as they don't change the assessed value on a regular basis.  The best results for pricing in our area come from an in-depth comparative market analysis (CMA) comparing the subject property to similar properties that have recently sold or are currently on the market. 

What is it like in your area? 
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January 22 2012 - US
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In Louisville,KY, we use the CMA process. Tax values here do not keep up with the times. Extensive use of fixed percentages distort both up and down.
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January 22 2012
Rumson and Fair Haven are two NJ towns with nice homes and great schools. In our area we also use the CMA process, and for the same reasons.
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January 22 2012

People are always telling me how excited they are about the new value of their home. This is definitely something to get excited about but, the problem can sometimes be the accuracy of the source of this value. You either get a notification in the mail about the tax assessed value going up or you refinance your house and the appraised value is so much higher than what you originally paid for the house. A lot of times people will use the zillow website and find that their house is worth something totally different than the other two estimates. What is the real value? Lets start with what these other three value finders are.

1. The Appraised Value is probably the most accurate of these three, but it is still not completely accurate. When refinancing your house, the lender fills out paperwork based on what you both need the value to be. The appraiser does all he can to get you that value. They have a very accurate system of doing this, but this does not always make the home worth this value.

2. Zillow is simply a website that takes the tax record description of the property which is usually made up of the original square footage and number of bedrooms and baths. They then compare that to other recorded sales in the area. The problem with this is that no improvements or additions that have been made to the property are taken into consideration.

3. The Tax assessed value is much like the zillow value. The same records are used to determine the value of the house based on recent home sales in the area. In Tennessee, this is done every five years. This value also does not take into account any improvements or additions that have been made to the property. These have been known to be wrong and there is an appeal process if you think your tax assessed value is wrong and you want to contest it.

The true value can not be determined from an appraisal, a website, or a tax assessor. The real value is whatever someone is willing to pay at any given point for your house. Real estate is obviously a market, but many times we forget this. What is the most accurate way to find out your homes value? Contact a real estate agent to find out what homes have sold in the last six months. They can help you determine the most accurate price according to what has actually sold recently, not by some dream price that your neighbor is attempting to get down the street. Many people think there home is worth a lot more than it actually is, don't make this same mistake. Listen to what agents tell you or at least let the statistics speak for themselves. Ask them to email you the comparables that are most like your home so you can see for yourself what your home is really worth. Think like a potential buyer, what would you pay for your home based on similar homes that have sold recently?

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January 24 2012
 
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