Many of the questions that I get about home value stem from the valuation listed on the county auditor’s website. The questions are either, “Well, the auditor says my house is worth xxx so is that what I should ask for it?” or, “I can’t believe that the county auditor only thinks that my house is worth xxx…is that right?!” Well, the answer to both questions is…no, they’re not right most of the time.
The process that Ohio county auditors use to determine the value upon which they assess property taxes is mandated by Ohio law. Auditors are required to conduct a full reappraisal of real property every six years and update values in the third year following each sexennial reappraisal. That means that the value listed on the auditor’s website is at best what was determined by a county appointed appraiser sometime in the year prior to the change in valuation. By definition, an appraisal is an opinion of value and is only valid as of the date of the appraisal and since full reappraisals are only done every 6 years, they cannot be relied upon as a source to determine market value.
Market value is what a buyer is willing to pay and what a seller is willing to accept and is what your property is really worth. Since your house is not on the market and you don’t yet have an offer that you’d accept, you really don’t know the market value.
So, how do you figure it out? That’s where a real estate professional comes in. A real estate professional will use the data available to them in the Multiple Listing Service (the shared database of homes that are active, pending and sold, sometimes abbreviated as MLS) and their own local market knowledge from being on the front lines of negotiations between buyers and sellers to help you determine where you should price your home to position it to sell quickly.
If you are even thinking about selling in the next year and you would like to know your home’s market value, call me, I can help! My team and I offer free, no obligation pre-listing consultations where we will help you both understand how much your home is worth and what things you can do to maximize the amount of money you put in your pocket.
Next Month: What to do if you don’t agree with your home’s valuation.