Fair Assessments, LLC vs. Appraisers

Posted by Daniel Jones on Jan 14, 2013 9:01:00 PM

Fair Assessment

This article contrasts the work done by Fair Assessments, LLC vs. Appraisers. During the recent real estate depression (some might say ongoing) many people saw that there was money to be made in property tax reduction work and got into the business. Many of the people/companies that have gotten into this work are real estate appraisers. Some people might think that this is a natural extension of what appraisers already do for a living. They might be wrong. 

The appraisal business has changed a lot since I did this work twenty years ago. The government, in the name of protecting federally insured institutions and the public, has (unintentionally) driven down the price of a real estate appraisal. There are a handfull of large companies that make software for appraisers, and some of them saw a way to make more money by providing marketing services to appraisers. One that I am aware of, a la mode inc., pushes it's print and email marketing software to appraisers that "will proactively help you get new clients that pay higher fees."

One of the new sources of income these companies are pushing is property tax appeal work. Occasionally a potential client will ask me if they need a real estate appraisal for their property tax appeal. In some cases I have actually tried to talk people out of getting a real estate appraisal for this purpose, and some won't listen.

Real estate appraisers are licensed professionals that render an unbiased estimate of the fair market value of real property. This means that an appraiser has to use the best comparable sales data that they can find to appraise your property. The value estimate is usually the estimate of what the property would sell for on the date of inspection. Does this mean that the appraisal will come in lower than your tax assessment? There is no way to know before ordering and paying for the appraisal. An appraiser cannot be paid based on the value estimate they produce. That is a violation of the law.

Fair Assessments, LLC is a property tax consulting firm that only engages in property tax consulting. We do not do appraisal work and we do not present ourselves as appraisers in the course of business. We are interested in finding the lowest sales that are available to support a reduction in taxable value. Unlike the real estate appraiser we also look at equity or fairness, in respect to your neighbors or competition.

When you engage Fair Assessments we are your advocate. A real estate appraiser cannot be your advocate. They must be independent and unbiased. When you engage Fair Assessments we can use the lowest sales available, and ignore the best sales. A real estate appraiser has to use the best sales available. When you engage Fair Assessments we will find comparable properties with lower tax assessments to support a reduction of your tax assessment. The real estate appraiser is uninterested in how the tax assessment values differ from one property to the next.

In conclusion, if you get a real estate appraisal for a property tax appeal, you may be leaving money on the table. Although real estate appraisal and property tax assessment seem to be closely related, the real estate appraiser is restricted in what they can do for a property tax appeal appraisal. In Fair Assessments, LLC vs. Appraisers, Fair Assessments, LLC wins.   

Topics: real property tax advisors, property tax professionals, real estate tax consultant, Georgia property tax appeal, real estate tax service, property tax consultant, Property tax appeal Georgia, Property tax appeals, Fair Assessments, Fair Assessment

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