Home Buying in Laurel>Question Details

Sammie, Home Buyer in Falls Church, VA

Tax Assessed Value vs. Listing price

Asked by Sammie, Falls Church, VA Sat Oct 29, 2011

I'm interested in a home located in Laurel, MD. After doing some reasearch on the area, community, and the home itself, I see that the tax assessment value completed this year is about $30,000 less than the current listing price. That's a huge difference! Is the tax assessed value the same as the appraisal/market value?

Help the community by answering this question:


The tax assessed value provides a base for the home to be taxed. You can list a home for whatever you like. Value is determined by the market and how much a buyer(s) are willing to pay.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 10, 2012
In addition to the excellent info in the other answers below, keep some other things in mind that would affect you if you end up purchasing this home. The tax assessed amount WILL effect your monthly payment. As it stands currently, your monthly payment would be lower (yay!) until the next assessment cycle.
If this home's assessed amount is lower as you say, consider it a (temporary) blessing. Many homes in PG County are still assessed WAY high compared to their current market value, and homeowners are paying the difference. Until the difference is brought to their attention due to a purchase/buyer, an appeal to re-assess, or scheduled re-assessment it will stay out of sync with the market value.
More than likely, when it comes time for the next re-assessment (done every three years), it would fall relatively closer to the purchase price, so in this case, the taxes may go UP, making the monthly payment go up also. Good luck. BTW I am a life-long "Laurelite." If you have questions about the area or need Real Estate advice give me a buzz. Good luck!
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 30, 2011
The assessed value is used for tax purposes. The assessor doesn't visually inspect the subject home or the comparable homes. So any updates, etc are most likely not taken onto consideration. That's why sites like Zillow aren't very accurate. Unless somebody manually inputs the listing and includess all the upgrades etc it's impossible to determine a proper value, and even then they are usually off. The most accurate way to determine a "range" of value is look at what has sold within the last six months in the immediate area.

Christopher Pagli
Licensed Associate Broker
Accredited Buyer Representative
GREEN Designated Agent
William Raveis Legends Realty Group
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 30, 2011
Hello! All of the answers provided are on point regarding the Tax Assessed Value vs. the Listing Price. However, the tax assessed value could be used to initiate a base value, but in reality the market value of sold properties within the same neighborhood with similar features,e.g. number of bedroom, baths and improvements will utimately be the best method to determine the list price. In the past tax assessment records provided a better picture of the value of a home, but with the glut of foreclosures and short sales on the market this approach is somewhat outdated considering current market conditions. If you would like to develop your own analysis of the value please use the search feature on my website at http://www.ahawkesrealtors.com to formulate your comparison.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 30, 2011
Hi Sammie,

The tax value may have some correlation to the home value but a much better gauge of value is going to be looking at recently sold homes and home sale trends in the neighborhood. I've had homes sell well above tax value and homes sell below. Tax value has never been a factor that I use as a real estate pro when pricing a home.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 29, 2011
The tax assessment value on a property is not the same as the appraisal or market value. The value of a property is determined by what the market/buyers are willing to pay for it. The indication of that would be in the recently sold comparables in the community and/or area.
Your real estate agent should be able to pull comps in the area for you to give you a clear idea of value in the area. If you don't have one yet, i would be happy to be of help. I live and work in Laurel.

Temitope Adeyemo
Exit Right Realty, Laurel MD
Off: 301.362.4500
Cell: 202.279.1246
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 29, 2011
Both of the previous answers are correct. I am Realtor in Laurel and I will be happy to pull up the comps in the area.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 29, 2011
Absolutely not! This is so hard to understand but most tax assessors do not actually come out and evaluate your property, not to mention taking into account improvements, condition, upgrades etc. And they generally are not doing a drive by either. They use a statistical formula based on market trends etc to formulate a value. Most assessors don't actually enter a property but maybe every 10+ years, there are just too many.

The best place to find out market value of a home is with a CMA (comparable market analysis) performed by a Realtor. An agent can pull the most recent sales data and actually compare the homes side by side in terms of baths, bedrooms, square footage, upgrades, renovations, updates. As an agent, I will sometimes look at the tax assessment values vs sold prices of recent homes to get an idea of what percentage range they are in comparatively, but honestly I don't put much weight on the value itself. Solely what the relationship has been between the 2 values.

Get a great agent with lots of knowledge about the area you are pursuing to make sure you are getting the right deal. No county assessor could tell you that!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 29, 2011
Keep in mind that assessed value has no bearing on market price; in order to determine a fair offer review comps with your agent, recently sold similar properties in the immediate area, see what the data suggests and go from there...
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 29, 2011
Tax assessed value is a basis for your real estate tax. It is just that. Market value sometimes may be greater or less than the tax value. Market value is what buyers are actually paying for homes similar to yours. If you are getting showings you may be close the the market value. If you are getting offers after showings you are very close to the market value. Hope this helps. All the best.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 9, 2014
In residential real estate, a number of different methods exist to value a property. For municipalities, assessed value is used most often because it's normally how tax on a property is determined.
For homeowners trying to sell a home, market value (what the home will sell for to a ready, willing and able buyer) is the most commonly used.
Find out more about your local real estate market condition by analyzing current sale price, tax assessed value, home sale inventory level, distress sale and price index online for free at http://www.searchq.com or check http://www.nextace.com for updated property tax record.
Web Reference: http://www.searchq.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 9, 2014
I was wondering the same thing. It seems like the listing price should somewhat match the tax assessed value. Are you required to provide information on the tax assessed value when selling a home? I might need to just get some sort of tax services to help me out with this. It seems to be a weird discrepancy. http://www.lovelandtaxprep.com/services.html
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 7, 2014
Thank you everyone for your answers. For what it's worth, this home is located in the Anne Arundel portion of Laurel and not in PG County. In any case, I was dragging my feet (nervous first ime homebuyer!) and it's under contract.at least now I know the difference between the market value and tax value!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 14, 2012
The assesments in Prince Georges county are out of wack big time. It appears to me the assessors office is politically motivated. I have seen time and time again where the land value has in some magic way risen by 30-45% since 2009 while at the same time the structue (house) has fallen resulting in little or actual tax reduction. Seem like it's time for a class action suit.
Web Reference: http://www.sotrustmtg.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 14, 2012
My running joke for the day is we should send the tax assessor out with the appraiser!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 10, 2012
Thank you both for the information and explanation! This is very helpful.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 29, 2011
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