What do Real Estate Assessments Mean?

What do Real Estate Assessments mean? It’s the value on which you (and I) pay taxes.

C-Ville interviewed the Bubble Bloggers: (update December 2017: C-ville seems to have broken the link, and might have deleted the story – I can’t find it.)

What do the 2011 assessments not show, with regards to local housing? Assessments are not appraisals. They are not completed by people who have actually examined the home. Assessments do not show how many folks are at the brink of foreclosure, struggling to make home payments, unemployed, late on taxes, trying to get a mortgage modification. Assessments don’t show how few sales there are nowadays. Assessments don’t show soaring inventory. In some sectors, it’s 12, 18, 24 months’ worth. At the high end, it’s years’ worth.

How do the assessments relate to the number of days properties spend on the market?‘Days on Market’ means almost nothing because it is manipulated. Houses are relisted and repriced to make them [resemble] ˜fresh’ listings, because listings get the most attention in the first 30 days.

– “Gaming the MLS” to reset the Days on Market is less common now, but it certainly is still done. Any good Buyer’s Agent will provide the true timeline of a property to his or her client.

My answer to a client this morning asking about the assessments’ relation to market value and pricing their home to sell

“Assessments are not a reflection of market value. They are a backward-looking assessment of what the market value may have been at the time the assessor looked at the house (most likely online, and not in person). The assessor may or may not know the condition of the property, the condition of the property’s neighbors, may not consider the traffic noise, crime stats, proximity of sexual offenders, level of inventory, smell of the neighborhood, etc. etc. etc. Assessments are why you pay taxes on.”

And from the Bubble Bloggers’ post:

c-ville: What do the assessments mean in relation to the CAAR report, and CAAR-provided stats like the # of days on market, etc?

Almost nothing.  Any reputable Realtor will tell you this.

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