Considering Your

Assessor Valuation

As a For Sale by Owner, you can also consider the - assessor valuation - when establishing a price for your home.

Your Tax Statement

Dig out and look at your most recent property tax statement. The assessment amount that appears here will give you some kind of idea of the value of your home. However, I strongly suggest that you view this value with a grain of salt, and use it as a guide line only.


Unfortunately your local tax office doesn’t have the time or the personnel to visually tour each property within it’s jurisdiction and check for improvements and additions that add value. Therefore they are forced to use a “mass appraisal” assessment method which is generally somewhat based on the average selling price of hundreds of homes within a certain given area over the last several years.

Is that vague enough for you?

It should be! Because each assessor’s office in the country has it’s own set of rules when it comes to “mass appraisals”. Secondly this valuation for tax purposes may be several “months” to several “years” old. Very few assessor’s offices will update your “tax value assessment” on a yearly basis.

The important point here is, that while your assessment will give you a “general” idea of your property’s value, it is usually several thousands of dollars less than what you should be setting as your asking price.


Another thing you can do, involving the assessor’s office, to help you come up with an asking price concerns researching recent home sales within your neighborhood.

We have all heard stories about a former neighbor who supposedly got a great price for their home, and your home should sell for at least as much, or more, right? After all yours is on a corner lot and has a lot more trees, not to mention the complete kitchen remodel you paid almost $10,000 for last November.

Well there is a way that we can peek in on these sales and see just how much your neighbor got for his home.

Your local assessor’s office files all records of real estate sales. They keep these records because “recent sales” is a huge part of the formula they use to establish a “mass appraisal”.

If you know of three or four home sales in your neighborhood, drive by them and jot down their street addresses. While you are at it you should also make a note as to whether you feel it is “more expensive”, “less expensive” or “about the same” as your home. Nothing scientific, just your general opinion at that time is sufficient.

Now, look at your last property tax assessment, the assessor’s office address will appear on it. Go there and look up these real estate sales for comparison. They will be filed by property address. Obviously, the more you know about the house in question, the more readily you can compare it’s features to the features of your home. If you’re unfamiliar with a particular property then the general notes that you made to yourself will have some weight.

This research can be productive, but could involve a half day or more of your time. In essence, you are also doing a part of “a fee appraiser’s” research.