County appraisal lower than purchase price.

Asked by Sabrina, San Antonio, TX Wed Jul 4, 2012

We are interested in buying a new model home. The listing price is 315k but the builder will sell for 280k. When I looked up the county appraisal it shows 235k. Should we ask for an even lower price? We currently do not have a realtor . Should we have one to negotiate a lower price?

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Scott Godzyk’s answer
Scott Godzyk, Agent, Manchester, NH
Sun Jul 8, 2012
Sabrina the assessed value and teh current market value are most times not related. the assessed value is for tax purposes, all towns do not valuate the homes at 100% and most evaluate every 5 years or more. Having a buyer broker can assist you in finding out what the true market value of the home is so you can make an educated offer based on true market value. Buyers brokers are usually paid their fee by the listing agent a fee offered in MLS. The value of their service should save you more than they cost
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0 votes
Ryan Harthan, Agent, Saint Petersburg, FL
Thu Jul 5, 2012
One of the houses I held as a rental but am now flipping is worth $135,000. If I could get that house appraised with the county for $30,000 I would do it in a second because I'd be paying $3,000 less a year in property taxes. County appraisals mean absolutely nothing as far as an indication of value.

Ryan Harthan
1 vote
Dallas Texas, Agent, Dallas, TN
Wed Jul 4, 2012
YES always use a Realtor in any transaction. EXAMPLE would you go to court use the same attorney as the other party NO... you would not !

Appraised value and tax value are 2 set issues. You not knowing this leads me with many other concerns of entering into a sales agreement without be aware of all the procedures must take place.

Contact my office where I can assist you and your family confirm that your real estate purchase is a smooth transaction. Many families end up in court or loss of their earnest money and etc.

Lynn911 Dallas Realtor & Consultant, Credit Repair Advisor
Multimillion Dollar Sales Producer

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1 vote
Darrell D. D…, Agent, Schertz, TX
Wed Jul 4, 2012
Brenda makes some very valid points - I'll just say ditto. In regards to tax appraisal, it may be way off market value, especially for new homes where market value is just getting established.

Darrell D. Drouillard
Home Team of America
16719 Huebner Rd., Bldg 4
San Antonio, Texas 78248
210-881-6760 (Fax)

'Serving all Your Real Estate Needs'
1 vote
Brenda Mullen, Agent, Garden Ridge, TX
Wed Jul 4, 2012
Hi Sabrina,

Well, you will get a ton of advice here. First, as others have said, tax (or county) appraisals are not market prices and shouldn't be used to judge on what you are trying to pay for a home. What needs to be used are comparables in the market area you are buying. A comparable is a home, like the one you are trying to buy, that has sold in the past 3 to 6 months.

That being said, if you are trying to buy a brand new home from a builder, they are going to charge you for what they charge other builds in the area. They may not come too far down off of the price that they have given you. You can ask, but depending on the type of home and area, they have some set prices on what they are willing to do. However, they may be willing to throw in extra amenities.

As far as hiring a Realtor®, well, I think that it's always necessary to have one. But, now that you are working with a salesperson at a builder, they may not allow a Realtor® in with the negotiations. Well, let me change that a bit. They will allow one, they many not compensate one at this stage of the game. This means that you may have to pay for one out of pocket or find a Realtor® you can trust and go to another new home community. However, do ask the new home community if they will be willing to compensate your Realtor® because honestly, you should not be without one when trying to buy any home, new or otherwise.

Realtors® will be able to advise you and make sure that you are getting what you want and your needs are being met. New home sales people are terrific individuals; however, they work for the builder.

Anyway, I hope I have helped. If you are looking for a buyers agent and would like help, please feel free to call me and I will see what I can do. Lots of luck to you.

Brenda Mullen
Realtor®, ABR, e-PRO
RE/MAX Access
1 vote
Pleasbox, Home Buyer, San Antonio, TX
Sat Jul 15, 2017
If I'm aprraised at 66200 and assessed at 48200 what should I do
0 votes
Jason Campbe…, Agent, San Antonio, TX
Fri Jul 6, 2012
The tax value and the market value are always different, and in most cases I see the tax value averaging about 10 to 20% lower than the market value.

A model home is never a bad purchase... it comes with all kinds of upgrades that you don't normally get out of a builder and you end up getting a lot of freebies...

Should you have a Realtor.... I know in my case, buyers ALWAYS get a better deal with me than they can get on their own. Just too many things I can do for you... I will go over all the details with you if you contact me... but the long and short is... I'll get you a lower price, get them to pay your closing costs, get you some extra incentives and upgrades, and my services to you are free! I get paid for by the builder, and the price of the home does not go up just because you have representation... Always worth it!

Give me a call, text, or e-mail:

Jason C Campbell
Option One Real Estate
0 votes
Bruce Lynn, Agent, Coppell, TX
Wed Jul 4, 2012
Always use a realtor for lots of different reasons.
I would normally suggest NOT buying the model, but it can depend on the neighborhood.

Normally the model will be decked out with perhaps $100,000 in extra upgrades, depending on the neighborhood. So I would want to look at the average prices of the neighborhood, which might be a lot lower than the model. This could hurt your resale value in the future. This could be the reason for the lower tax valuation. You probably need a realtor to help you determine or decide this.

Now with that being values are no way to evaluate a property. Some houses will sell more than tax value, some below, some at. Tax values can swing significantly from year to year, while the actual value of the home stays more or less the same. Don't depend on tax value which is determined by a computer to be the market value of the home.

If you need a great realtor to walk you through the process, just let me know and we'll recommend the best in San Antonio.

Bruce Lynn
Keller Williams Realty
0 votes
Susan Casas, Agent, San Antonio, TX
Wed Jul 4, 2012
Hello Sabrina,

Just curious, have you been financed? Who is the home builder? May I suggest that you speak with an agent first. If you are too far into your negitiations, not sure if an agent will be able to help at this stage, but call me Sabrina, my lender is GREAT!!! Call me today and we can discuss other options for you. Thanks for reading.

0 votes
Tracie Hassl…, Agent, San Antonio, TX
Wed Jul 4, 2012
The only thing I would add is that the realtor's fee may not be 24k. That is based on a commission set by the builder-- ask him what that is...Scott got his figure on a 6% commission, and our commission in Texas is not a set fee. It can be any figure set. By the seller. Mine have always varied to meet the needs of the client, and I have cut commissions on my own depending on those circumstances.
0 votes
Annette Law…, Agent, Palm Harbor, FL
Wed Jul 4, 2012
We live in an environment with a plethora of numbers. Zillow will give a property a value. Trulia provides a value, Uncle Bill's army buddy's neighbor who rents in Atlanta will give a number and so will the County Tax appraisal. And we do love numbers!

As you will find, they are all MEANINGLESS unless you know how they are derived AND the reliability of the data used for these calculations. Let's focus ONLY on the County Tax appraisal number.

In my personal experience, here in the Tampa area of Florida, and I absolutely do track this data, the tax appraisal number, from my own calculation of recent sale data, can range from 45% to 150% of sale price. If American Airlines had such variability in their schedule, no one would get anywhere!

In your situation, you would be well advised to chat with a real estate professional. Dealing with a builder is very different then negotiations with a home owner. You are in a situation of becoming a victim of what you do not know.

If there is currently construction underway, it is HIGHLY unlikely the builder will be malleable to your price reduction strategy. They will show you the door. This has LONG TERM consequences for them. Let you agent help you develop a strategy that has a better potential of delivering benefits you will like.

Best of success to you
Annette Lawrence, Broker/Associate
Remax Realtec Group, Palm Harbor, FL
727.420. 4041 -
0 votes
Jose Novelo, Agent, San Antonio, TX
Wed Jul 4, 2012
Hi Sabrina, please have an experienced Realtor to represent you, it makes a great difference.
Call me if you want me to represent you, I have been in business since 1976.
Good Luck
0 votes
JOE CRAIN, Agent, Alamo Heights, TX
Wed Jul 4, 2012
It is not unusual for the difference between the selling price and county appraisal - in fact most new homes are not yet up to date with the county and can take a year or more to catch up. Yes you should have a Realtor, but for more than just price assistance, they can point out numerous issues few buyers ever see and act as your go between with the builder taking you out of the hotseat.
Best wishes,
Joe Crain.
0 votes
Scott Hulen, , 64068
Wed Jul 4, 2012
In our market the county appraisals mean little or nothing, they are generally not updated yearly or done in regard to any rhyme or reason. I have had million dollar properties valued at 450k and have seen 175k properties valued at 250k. The county generally has no clue and there are a variety of factors which influence the county records. You may need a Realtor® to assist you in determining value or hire your own appraiser for peace of mind. NOTE: The builder maybe discounting the home to you if it is not listed or he has an agreement with his current Realtor® to wave the real estate fees of any buyer he personally brings to the subdivision. If you show up with a Realtor® he may decide to no longer sell you the property at 280k as he would owe a commission to the Realtor® thus possibly changing the structure of the negotiation. Many will state it cost nothing to have a Realtor® and on existing homes this is generally the case, on new home construction this is not always the case. Many buyers approach builders with the express desire to cut out the Realtor® and real estate fees. (For us on a 400k home this is 24,000 in fees) the builder may or may not give you credit for those fees, we generally credit those fees as we usually build custom homes under a cost plus contract. The bottom line is many homeowners do need representation and a FULL TIME professional Realtor® who has experience in new construction; they can be of great assistance to both the builder and the homeowner during the construction process. Good Luck!
0 votes
Dave Tracy, Agent, Eau Claire, WI
Wed Jul 4, 2012
I would get a local Realtor to help you get the best deal possible. If you need a name of the closest RE/MAX office let me know.
0 votes
maegan olgu…, Agent, San Antonio, TX
Wed Jul 4, 2012

If you would like some help negotiating, I'm more than happy to help. I'd need a little more info, but from what you said I don't see why you couldn't ask for a different price.

Email me do I can get a better idea for you. Look forward to talking to you!

Maegan Olguin
JBGoodwin Realtors
0 votes
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