My local tax office appraises my house at 215k and I recently added 2 bedrooms and 1 bath, how do I get the tax appraisal adjusted up?

Asked by Abcd, 68136 Sun Feb 14, 2010

My tax assessment is for 198k and I will want to sell my house for 240k based on improvements and comps. What do I need to do to move the tax appraisal up to match what it is now worth?

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Debra (Debbie) Rose’s answer
Debra (Debbi…, Agent, Livingston, NJ
Sun Feb 14, 2010
Abcd, I respectfully disagree with Don...........

Totally putting market value aside for now - there is a bigger issue - disclosure...........If you want to make sure your home's assessment is accurate because you are selling your home ...then , assuming your contractor got the necessary permits, the town is aware of this, and as Brian siad, it must may be a timing issue until they catch up with you.
So, based on that, I'd call the town and made sure you are scheduled for a final inspection. You can find out when they will come back to inspect the work that was done...and make the proper adjustment in the tax records.

In my opinion, not doing this is cheating the town of the higher taxes that will rightfully be due them - afterall, you put on 2 bedrooms and a bath - that's a huge improvement.......not to mention it will be misleading to the buyer to think their taxes are proper. It's something that could come back to haunt you in the future.

I don't understand how any licensed Realtor can advise you to try and sell your home, knowing full well your taxes are inaccurate.....and not at least disclose this to a buyer, or attempt to make things right. No one likes to pay higher taxes, but you knew your assessment would increase when you decided to make the improvements.

If this is not done in time for you to sell your home., then you should at least disclose it to a potential buyer. (actually, it is part of our seller disclosure forms) . Let them know you made the recent improvements, and are awaiting final inspection from the town, and that the taxes will be would never want them to buy the home with the lower taxes, and not be aware that those numbers will change due to the addtion you put on. Not to mention, if the contractor got the proper permits - there is a record of that with the town. I don't think you will have very happy buyers if they find out, after the fact, that their taxes were going up and no one informed them of that. I don't want to be too dramatic, but if the buyers find out after they move in that final inspections weren't done, and no one disclosed this, might be accused of consumer fraud. This goes to disclosure.

Do the right the town, and let them know the work was completed.........and you are ready for the final inspections ..and dlsclose this openly to any buyers.
One other thing no one mentioned - - you want to make sure the town agrees that the additon was done properly NOW.......not after you sell.

Good luck!
1 vote
Patrick Thies, Agent, Anytown, IL
Sun Feb 14, 2010
You want your Market Value to go up for the purpose of selling, not your Tax Assessment. If you tax assessment goes up so will your taxes.

Pricing a home is not based on the tax assessed value. it's based on comparable properties in your area that are similar to your home.

Tax assessments are usually behind the current market value. It is possible to have a lower tax assessed value than a market value or have a higher assessed value than a market value.

Contact a couple of agents and have them do a Comparative Market Analysis of your home.
1 vote
Don Tepper, Agent, Burke, VA
Sun Feb 14, 2010
Umm. Why the heck would you want the tax assessment adjusted up?

You say you want to sell it for $240,000 based on improvements and comps. That's fine. Interview some Realtors and ask them to do a CMA, which will look at the comps. Maybe your home is worth that. Maybe it isn't. The market will speak to that.

But your tax assessment has absolutely nothing to do with the value of your home. Nothing. Nada. Zilch.

A tax assessment is a broad-based estimate developed for tax purposes. Where I live--in Fairfax County, Virginia--the county's stated policy is that it considers a tax assessment to be accurate if it's within about 10% of the actual value of a home. So a home with a true value of $300,000 could have an assessment anywhere from about $270,000 to $330,000. And that's for an accurate assessment. I suspect there are similar standards where you are.

The only thing--repeat, the ONLY thing--you'd accomplish by having your tax assessment raised is that you'd have your taxes increased by the same percentage. So, if you'd like to have your taxes increased by 15% or so (not sure if you're working from $198,000 or $215,000), then go right ahead and contact your local city or county tax assessor. Tell them you'd like to appeal your assessment. (There are usually specific time frames for that, so you may not be able to do that right away.) That's how you'd go about it. But, again, that'd have no impact whatsoever on what your home could sell for. Its only result would be to raise your taxes.

My advice: Don't do it.

Hope that helps.
1 vote
Carol Schrad…, Agent, Omaha, NE
Wed Feb 17, 2010
Having served as a Chief Deputy Assessor in Douglas County, I am amazed when someone wants to have their valuation for tax purposes raised! But there are folks who plan to sell and believe that getting their assessment raised, will result in a higher selling price. Not necessarily true.
I will tell you to beware: IF YOU ARE DOING THIS IN EXPECTATIONS OF GETTING A HIGHER SELLING PRICE... YOU WILL RAISE THE PRO-RATED TAXES IN THE BUYER'S CLOSING COSTS AND BRING THEM HIGHER PROPERTY TAXES WHEN THEY MOVE INTO THE HOUSE. PLUS: Why would you want to raise the buyer's taxes prematurely? It may well mean the difference between them buying YOUR house or SOMEONE ELSE'S!!!
But if you're hell-bent on getting you valuation raised, call the County Assessor's Office ASAP. Final Values for 2010 must be into the state of Nebraska by March 17.

Give me a call if you need further clarification on the valuation process, or solid counsel on the comparative value of your property.

Carol Schrader
DEEB Realty
(402) 676-1751
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0 votes
Dan Cheuvront, Agent, Arlington, NE
Mon Feb 15, 2010
As long as your contractor pulled permits for the remodel, the assessor will find out and most likely increase the value. Most home owners in your situation go to bed each night praying that the assessor bypasses their home when reassessing since, I higher value=Higher Taxes=Less $ in the homeowners pocket. Ultimately, when selling the property a buyer will look at the assessment but, the value really comes down to the current market conditions. Buyers know there is additional value in a home with a finished basement and typically see this during their search of comparable homes with and without a finished basement.
If you still looking to increase the value, you could have a Realtor provide you with a market analysis of current similar homes and present it to the assessor. But really, you would be doing the assessor's job for them and in return be rewarded with higher taxes.
If you are looking to sell, please contact me. I have an excellent track record of selling homes quickly while saving sellers more of their equity than the competition.
Dan Cheuvront
Deeb Realty
0 votes
, ,
Mon Feb 15, 2010
Honestly, there is no need. In Omaha most homes sell above there local tax assessment. Realtors know and expect this. It is an advantage to a buyer to purchase the home prior to any adjustements in assessed value in reduced escrows. The real question is how did you come up with your 240k market value? 40k in upgrades doesn't always equate to like kind increase in market value. Your neighborhood and the how you spent the money are paramount. The key to all this is undertanding the difference between market value, appraisal value and assessed value and the relationships they all have to how much money you net on your sale.

Again, having a good relationship with a Realtor is a must. There is a difference between transactional Realtors and those of us that enjoy all things home related. The good thing is most Realtors love to talk and our opinions are free.
0 votes
Debra (Debbi…, Agent, Livingston, NJ
Sun Feb 14, 2010
Just for the record - "pulling permits" and having the home inspected by the town following completion of the work can be 2 different things.

People can apply for or pull permits, but don't always follow through and have the work done. Numeorus permits are pulled by residents all the time. The town has no way of knowing when the work has been completed. To the best of my knowledge (in my area, anyway) the onus is on the owner of the home to call and schedule the final inspection when all the work has been completed.

This isn't a game to be played to see how long you can get away with it to fool the town.......anyone adding 2 bedrooms and a bath.....or, for example, a second garage or a new family room knows ahead of time they will be assessed at a higher number. If the higher taxes are an issue, then they shouldn't make the improvements.

I walked into a home with a 3000 sq ft was obvious the taxes had not been adjusted (by the way, as a buyer's agent, it was my duty to point that out to my buyer - I knew that the taxes displayed on the listing were nowhere close to what they should be)...anyway, the owner never called for the final inspection..he thought he was being cute - he left 2 outlets open, without covers, so he could claim the work hadn't been completed. If he found a buyer who was willing to be complicit in that arrangement, then, as an agent, I'd want it in writing that I notified the buyer that the taxes were not what they should be.

Abcd - to answer your exact question as to " how to get the tax appraisal adjusted upward".....simply call the town, and let them know you have completed the work. They will let you know what happens next.

By the way - I commend you for asking how to do the right thing!
And, make sure to disclose this situation to a potential buyer. We are in the day and age of disclose, disclose, disclose...........failure to do so can leave you liable in the future.

Best wishes.........
0 votes
., , Louisville, KY
Sun Feb 14, 2010
Hello Soon-to-be Home Seller,

I wouldn't be too eager to have your tax assessment adjusted; it will happen soon enough. Assuming permits were pulled for your recent upgrades, the upgrades will show in the next scheduled assessment year. Don't worry about the tax appraisal and market value not matching; they rarely do since re-assessments do not occur annually, at least not in larger cities. Your Realtor or the Buyer's Agent will explain these discrepancies to any potential buyer and forewarn them that their taxes will probably be increasing down the road as a result of your upgrades. Best of luck selling your home.
Michelle Doscher
ReMax Opia
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0 votes
Brian McMurr…, Agent, Tawas City, MI
Sun Feb 14, 2010
Presumably your contractor filed permits for the work being done. The assessor will be aware of this and will most likely make the adjustment. This if probably just a timing issue.
0 votes
Courtney Coo…, Agent, Seattle, WA
Sun Feb 14, 2010
In Seattle we aren't as concerned about tak value vs market value. They are just two very different things and your agent should be able effectively market the difference in price to prospective buyers. Asking the county to raise your value will also raise your taxes and we just don't usually try to do that. A savvy buyer will see the improvements you have made - especially if they are noted in the marketing remarks,
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