Appraisals - Are They Helpful or Hurtful?

Appraisals - Are They Helpful or Hurtful?

Anyone can become an appraiser in New York State. Although an appraiser can have training in property values, it is still one person's opinion on the value of a property.

Appraisals can be done a number of ways which can diminish the accuracy of the appraisal. (The titles given to the type of appraisals are for reference only.)

  1. Quick Appraisal - This may be a type of appraisal a bank may do for a small loan. It can be done by a bank appraiser that may never see your property. The appraiser can sit  behind a desk in some city and look at your property via satellite imagery and locate your assessment through the property identification on the local county website.
  2. Normal Appraisal - Also an appraisal that may be done by a bank but possibly for a home equity loan which would require more money than a simple loan. Here the appraiser may actually drive by the property and take photos from the road. Information could still be retrieved from the local county website and comparison properties may be used to obtain an appraisal. Unlike when a taxpayer is grieving their property, comparison properties do not have to come from the same taxing jurisdiction. Some comparison properties can come from as far as 40 or more miles away.  
  3. Accurate Appraisal - Seldom used because of the expense, this is when an appraiser would come into your  home and take measurements and notes of each room. The measurements would  then be compared to several comparison properties in the same area and  adjustments made for any differences between the properties. The land values would also be compared to other properties with any differences being adjusted.
When using an appraisal for your grievance be sure of the type of appraisal you may be using.
  • Do Your Own Appraisal - New York State Department of Taxation & Finance and the Office of Real Property Tax Services has an approved approach for a taxpayer to estimate the Full Market Value of their property without the expense of using an appraiser. Using the recommended approach by New York State and the help offered by this website, it is now easier for a taxpayer to contest their assessment. The link to the NYS recommended approach can be found at:  How to estimate the market value of your home
  • Comparable Property or Sales Analysis Approach - Using the Comparable Property or Sales Analysis Approach described on this website for Unequal Assessment may be the most accurate appraisal or estimated full market value of your property than those  described above. New York State and the Office of Real Property Tax Services recommend only three comparable properties to achieve an estimated full market value of your property. This website recommends ten. New York State and the Office of Real Property show eleven criteria (attributes) to achieve an estimated full market value. How to obtain a value is left up to a guess by the taxpayer that can be easily argued by any assessor. This website not only shows fifteen attributes but explains what each attribute is and how to place a value on each. This process can be found on this website under Resources - Grieving by Unequal Assessment