How to Appeal Real Estate Taxes
If you’ve ever felt like you’re paying more on your real estate taxes than you should be, you’re certainly not alone. In fact, estimates show that nearly half of property owners pay far in excess of their property’s value each and every year. And yet, only a small portion of property owners ever move for an appeal. Why? Typically, the problem comes down to a lack of knowledge, which is an issue we at Coakley Realty feel should be corrected.
Before You Get Started
When going into an appeal, any property owner should understand why appealing is important. In a nutshell, it’s about ensuring you pay your fair share—nothing more, nothing less. The local offices that handle assessments do good work, but the information they have to work with is often ballpark at best, meaning they’ll be forced into situations where they can far over-assess properties through generalizations or outright inaccurate information.
Appealing is important to keep your taxes down and save on unnecessary expenses. It also keeps assessment office records up-to-date so it doesn’t continue to cost you in the future.
What You Need to Begin an Appeal
You want to accumulate as much hard evidence or direct information as possible, so beginning with the details of your property assessment is the best choice. Look over everything, including the number of rooms listed, the acreage of your property, and home condition. Note any differences and keep this information handy. To further harden your case, getting a property appraisal might be the right avenue of approach, especially if your home hasn’t been professionally appraised in a long while.
Once your information is collected and in hand, you’ll also want to find a solid set of comps, or comparable properties, in your local area that are appraised lower than yours. These are used for comparison against your property and can be a strong argument in your favor in terms of sheer equity.
With your evidence of human error or comps in hand, you can now contact your local assessor’s offices. State that you intend to appeal your property tax and from there, you will make your case. With strong enough evidence of an issue, the matter can be settled right here via an informal discussion, though keep in mind this is rare. It’s more likely you will be rebuffed.
But from here you can go further, requesting a formal review that will go to a review board. Depending on your local laws, this may or may not require your attendance, and the process can take some time. However, if you stick to your information and your information is solid, then you have a good chance of saving yourself the frustration of paying in excess.
Seek Professional Help to Maximize Your Chances
Though the popular opinion among professionals is that you should always appeal, the fact is that only roughly half of the cases presented are successful. There are so many places where you can slip up if you’re alone or points you can miss if you lack legal training and experience.
This is why choosing to work with a professional is highly recommended. Find specialists with a history of appeal experience, and if at all possible, make it the same team that handled your appraisal.
Looking for property tax specialists in the Maryland or Virginia areas? Contact Coakley Realty! Our seasoned agents have been helping property owners for years, and with our history of successful appeals, we can help you get the fair treatment you deserve.
FIND THE PROPERTY YOU NEED.PROPERTY SEARCH
CONTACT US TODAY
Featured Real Estate Listings
Flex (Condo)100 Executive Drive,
PRICE REDUCED!!! Reliable investment property, fully leased. Excellent location right off 606, adjacent to Dulles Airport. This flex/office condo is Unit #2, and is divided into two units, each just under 5,000 SF. The First floor is built out as office/warehouse, and the Second floor is office.VIEW LISTING
Residential 20700 Ashburn Station Pl,
Ashburn, VA 20147
Beautifully renovated and meticulously maintained, this fabulous brick colonial is located in one of historic Ashburn's most desirable neighborhoods and sought-after school pyramids - Cedar Lane/Trailside/Stone Bridge! Gracefully sited on a premium corner lot (nearly half an acre), this property showcases all the distinctive details you are looking for.VIEW LISTING
Residential 23400 Woodfield Rd,
Gaithersburg, MD 20882
Mitchell & Best Home on gorgeous 2+ acre lot in Watkins Preserve - a subdision offering 5 additional lots! 5,700 SF (3,934 fin above grade) incl. 4 bdrms, 3.5 baths, 2 car gar, & a full W/O bsmt. 1st fl features office, formal liv& dining rms, gourmet kitchen w/ cntr island, brkfast area & lg family rm w/ FP. Enjoy the gorgeous sunset views from the spacious deck!VIEW LISTING