Appraisals - Helpful or Hurtful?

Here are the references on our website regarding appraisals. 


Anyone may become an appraiser in NYS. Appraisals are more an art than a science and are just one person’s estimate on what they believe your property is worth.

Appraisals can both be helpful and hurtful depending on what you are trying to prove.


Challenging Your Assessment

When collecting supporting evidence to grieve your taxes: If you believe your assessment is incorrect, collect all the supporting evidence you can to show the assessor. This can be with recent sales, appraisals, comparisons, remodeling...anything you believe will help. Caution: see FAQs on Appraisals before taking an appraisal into the assessor.


Supplying an appraisal is something you will commonly hear when questioning your assessment. Most of the time it is good to use an appraisal, but not always.

If you are using the argument of unequal assessment, your appraisal in certain instances can hurt more than help because a realtor could value or price your house at the highest possible amount for sale purposes. With all the inequities in the current system you may find comparable houses that will allow you to argue a case that is lower than your appraisal. If you find this to be the case, simply do not offer the appraisal to the Board of Assessment Review as evidence because the Board will have a hard time lowering your assessment below that appraisal. The reasoning for this is the Board is trying to weigh the evidence. They have the assessor’s information (who is always assumed to be correct) at a higher assessment, your appraisal, which may be lower than the assessor’s but also higher than what you are asking. In this scenario, the evidence works against you.


Commons Concerns

If I get my assessment lowered will the resale value of my house go down?

No. This is a huge misconception. Market or Resale Value is based on how much someone wants to pay to purchase your property. Some houses actually sell for more than the assessed value. A lower assessment can actually attract prospective buyers. Sale price is usually determined with a realtor and appraisal. See sample of properties that have sold for less than their assessment.


Tips for Grievance Day

Relax. Be yourself.

Be quick, but do not hurry your presentation.

If you do your homework, you won’t need an appraisal. It WILL take some work.


New homes

 If you are building a new home and receive your new assessment, do not assume it is always correct. Your assessment may be about what you paid for your home and property but it still can be unequally assessed compared to other homes.  This by no means is the fault of the assessor, just the property tax system.  Although an appraisal is a good indicator, it may not help you as much as going through and doing comparisons on the assessment rolls.