What is the true value of my property?

I just received my 2011 tax assessment and it is unchanged from last year ($795,000), but you have it listed between $485,000-$616,000. This seems like a very large spread and I am trying to get a more accurate figure without having an actual appraisal as I am trying to get a modification through the 2MP. Do you think the county assessment is too high or is your estimate too low? Thanks! Angela Medina
  • July 28 2010 - Capitol Hill
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Answers (8)

Zillow uses historical sales information to value your property, but the county tax assessor will usually continue to increase the value of your property regardless of market conditions. You need to file a dispute with the county and ask for a reduction. Get a CMA from a Realtor in your area to use as a starting point.

Just as an fyi...some municipalities are REQUIRING an appraisal. I have this problem with one property I own, and for me its not worth it at this time. However, you may have a large spread between tax assessment and market value, so it might be worth yours.

Happy to help with the CMA if you need it.
  • August 02 2010
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Your always best to contact a local Realtor in your area. Ask a friend or family member for a referral. Realtor have access to the MLS and are able to provide you recent sales as well as what's listed and pending in escrow.

  • July 31 2010
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Profile picture for bethghomes
Hi Angela~

You shouldn't have to have a figure for the loan modification.  If they ask you for one, I'd take the lowest number or mid range from zillow.  The bank should have an agent do a BPO (Broker's Price Opinion) for the process.

If you do end up needing a value, contact an agent & have them do a CMA (Comparative Market Analysis) for you.  They should do this free of charge for you.

Also, after you get a value, it sounds as if it will be lower than the $795K so you should definitely challenge the tax assessment & your property taxes should go down.

Best of luck~

Beth Grotelueschen
John L. Scott Real Estate Broker
  • July 28 2010
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Hi there,
I'm not 100% certain here - but when applying for a loan modification, you shouldn't need to worry about having an appraisal done - your lender will send out a licensed agent to do a BPO (Broker Price Opinion) on your property or have an appraisal done if they feel they need. Your appraisal or opinion isn't going to count for anything, so I wouldn't waste the time or money unless you're personally curious. But again, I'm not familiar with the ins & outs of the 2MP - is the appraisal process different with the 2nd Lien Modification Program?

The tax assessed values in Capitol Hill are typically higher than the actual market value at this time. Zillow has actually been fairly accurate in that location (in my experience). You could probably judge the quality of construction and condition of your house against your neighbors and comparable homes...and get a pretty good idea of where your home lands on that scale of $485k - $616k.

Good Luck!
  • July 28 2010
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You can either pay for an appraisal or have a local realtor come out to the house to do a market analysis. The county assessor doesn't come in your home, they drive by most of the time and take a picture of your house/property from the window of their car. Zillow is a tool/resource, not always accurate, mind you it's free also so with that said, the proffessionals don't put much bearing on the numbers listed on here either. Tax assessments aren't real time either, they are for the benefit of county/state/school levies and taxes. Obviously the higher they are, more likely than not the county/state is getting more money. So unless you appeal it (which you can) they will leave it as is regardless if it's right or not.

Deborah & Socal suggested an agent do a market review, if I were in your shoes that's exactly where I would start.

Good luck
  • July 28 2010
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Your house is a commodity.  The true value is simply what the highest bidder is willing to pay at any one time.  The only way to truly know what that number is would be to sell our home and find out.  I am assuming that isn't practical.  Every other method of evaluating the value of your home is simply an educated guess.  

If you are trying to get a modification, check with that institution and find out what they require.  Appraisals will cost several hundred dollars.  Before you consider laying out that kind of money, make sure you are doing the right thing and that the institution will accept the appraisal.  Otherwise you are just wasting your money.
  • July 28 2010
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Profile picture for SoCal Engr
Angela - Concur with Deborah, neither the Zestimate nor the tax assessment should be used as a guage of actual value when things are getting serious. Get multiple CMAs from REAs who are familiar with your locale, and compare these to get a range.
  • July 28 2010
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Profile picture for Debbie Holmes
If you have a friend who is a real estate agent have them do a market analysis.  That would give you comps to find the city if they are that far off... Zillow is more likely to be off.
  • July 28 2010
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