Understanding Property Tax Assessments

A tax assessment is placed on a home by the local government (city or county) to charge appropriate property taxes to the homeowners. The local government determines a home’s worth by reviewing property data from previous years, and at some point an assessor may even visit the house usually as a drive-by on the exterior, but will not go inside for this process.

Since tax assessments are typically conducted every year and there can be a lag in reporting on the local government’s tax records of up to six months or more, tax assessments are not always the most accurate when determining true home worth in the current market.

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Tax assessments can be valuable estimates to consider when writing an offer and thoroughly reviewing a property’s tax record with your real estate agent is highly recommended so you are also aware of property history, outstanding taxes and tax history, qualified tax credits and ownership records.

If you search for "property tax assessment" for your specific county or city, you can find information there but it would be helpful to discuss the meaning of the tax record with your real estate agent. They are experts at interpreting what the record means and explaining it to you in terms you can quickly understand.

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