A Realtor can do all that, and will be willing to do so for you. One other word of caution: Do not rely on online, automated sites like Zillow. Sometimes the numbers are fairly good; sometimes they're horrible. I personally prefer http://www.RealEstateABC.com because it allow a user to more finely tune the comps. But even that's nowhere near as good as having a competent Realtor run the numbers for you.
But, just to reiterate, pay no attention at all--none, nada, zilch--to a tax assessment when trying to determine the value of a property.
Hope that helps.
Due diligence is important..keep asking questions -- tax assesors offices in many areas of the country have strived to keep up with market values and this includes using new technologies/programs,shorter periods of assesment and improved tracking of sales.they are not insignificant
best of luck
The assesed value has nothing to do with current market conditions but is only what the city values the property at for tax purposes. I could do a quick Market analysis for you if you'd like me to. Just give me the address and I'll give you my oppinion. Remember the higher the assesment the higher the taxes.
Don summed it up. FYI, In Salem, 5 homes between $350,000 and $450,000 show as SOLD in the MLS. All assessements reported are 2007. Here's a list: Sold $389 - assessed $404, Sold $375 - assessed $410, Sold $355 - assessed $288, Sold $354 - assessed $352, Sold $400, assessed $388.
If you want to research specific properties in Salem, try the assessors database which you can find through the city web site or at the address below. Some assessor's sites let you search for comparable sales. This one doesn't seem to allow such a search.
That being said, I will also tell you that the average Listing price in Salem is $350,000 while the average Sold price is $315,000. But, prices have increased 5-7% in the past year. Remember a house must appraise out in order to obtain a mortgage on that property and today's appraisals are very strictly regulated.
Finally, has the property had recent updates, is it waterfront or waterview, is it in one of Salem's Historic Districts? These are all questions that you must know the answers to in order to value the property. Due diligence on your own or with the assistance of an experienced realtor is the best answer.