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  • Writer's pictureGeorge Heredia


Updated: Dec 24, 2019

Many Texans are used to doing the annual tax appeal for their property. Some services offer to file for you or provide a list of sales as evidence to support a lower tax appeal. Homeowners can also try to file a tax appeal on their own by getting “Comps” or list of sales from sites such as Zillow. While these efforts may result in some tax relief, they may not be able to max out your property tax decrease.

Think of it as either hiring an accountant or doing your IRS tax filing on your own. While you can do it yourself in most cases, you may not be getting the most benefit or tax relief. For property tax appeals, that’s where a professional real estate appraiser completing an appraisal of your home will have the best results.

With an appraisal performed by a Certified or Licensed appraiser in Texas, you will have the most accurate and professional valuation of your home, even better than what the tax assessor can do. There are two basic scenarios where this helps:

First, if you have an older home (20 or more years old) with few or no updates, and your neighborhood homes sold in the last 12 months generally had updates, it is likely that you are over-assessed and over-paying on your property taxes, simply because the tax assessor has determined their baseline tax value on those updated homes.

Secondly, if you have a newer home (5 or less years old), chances are that the new builder homes are being sold at higher prices, which means that the tax baseline will be higher.

What about if you’re in the middle – the 5 to 20-year-old homes? Well, there’s good news there too. You might fall into both areas of having homes updated or new home construction within your area, or you might have some repairs needed like a new roof, plumbing, etc.

Lastly, in the past 10 years Texans have seen home prices increase steadily. However, in the last 12 months most market areas have seen little or no increases, with some market areas actually declining in value. An appraisal will be able to best determine the pricing trends, and apply that to a valuation.

You can still file a property tax appeal on your own, but provide the appraisal with it as support of your appeal. In most cases the tax assessor will simply accept the appraisal’s value. It’s that simple.

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