Tax appraisal values vs. fair market value

The Walker County Appraisal District uses information available to them to determine what they believe a home is worth. Many times, these values vary greatly from fair market value. Fair market value is the value of your home when you sell it, or what someone is willing to pay for it. Fair market value is determined by recent sales in your neighborhood. 

Realtors have access to the sales of homes that were sold by real estate agents using the Houston Association of Realtors Multiple Listing Service. In Huntsville, the majority of our inventory of homes include older homes so many of these homes have unique features and upgrades that make it more difficult to compare homes by value. This is in contrast to a newer subdivision where all of the homes share a few floor plans, have similar features and lot sizes.

When selling a home, the price you list your home for is typically based on the price other similar homes sold for in the last 3 to 6 months.

Appraisal districts do not use the same methods and information as Realtors to determine a property’s value for tax purposes, therefore the values on the tax rolls are very different from fair market value. Some properties have not been updated in a while and the tax assessment value never goes up, but the land value does, so that property is way undervalued by the appraisal district. While a Realtor knows that the land is much more valuable now than it was in the past.

Comparing tax appraisal value to fair market value is like comparing apples to oranges. Trust your Realtor to lead you in the right direction when listing your property for sale or making an offer to purchase a home.

Daiquiri Beebe is a Huntsville resident and realtor for Abby Realty