It’s inevitable that at some point in our lives we will have real estate of our own and will need estate appraisal services in Maryland. The problem is, there is a common misconception about what an appraisal is, the difference between appraisal values and assessment values, and how both of these affect the value of our homes.
While both of these services are important to have done as a homeowner, sometimes their distinct purposes can become a little muddy. Let’s break it down so it’s a bit easier to swallow.
Tax assessments are required by State Law and are performed by your county’s municipality at regular intervals. The purpose of an assessment is to provide an accurate value in order to collect the taxes necessary to meet the current owner’s annual budget. An assessment is NOT done in order to provide a potential future buyer with the price they will need to pay.
Moreover, assessors are not necessarily licensed appraisers and therefore may not ever see the properties that need to be assessed. Assessors have access to public records where they can obtain most of the information needed; this can, however, exclude recent property updates or repairs, which can mean inaccurate selling prices.
Assessors are there to make sure that properties are being taxed properly in order to meet State and Federal requirements.
Appraisals, on the other hand, are needed in order to determine the current market vale, or sale price, of a piece of real state at a specific point in time. These types of appraisals must be done by a licensed professional who can work with and evaluate market data and provide an accurate sale price of a home or estate based on other properties that are similar in size, style and location.
To sum it all up in short, the evaluation done by an assessor only provides the suggested value of an estate, whereas an appraisal offers an accurate value on your home based on market date pulled from similar estates. An assessment is a valuation of what your town feels your property is worth, which reflects how much you pay in taxes. The downside to this, and the reason you cant rely on this information when looking to sell your home, is because these valuations may not be up to date and current.
An appraisal, on the other hand, establishes the current fair market value of your property which is much more valuable and useful when looking to buy or sell a home.
For the most part, regular assessments are great in order to keep your records up to date and make sure you’re meeting both your State Law and IRS standards when it comes to paying your taxes. But when it comes to buying or selling your home, most mortgage companies and lenders require a valid and licensed appraisal of the home in order to make the investment. This is why estate appraisal services in Maryland end up being so important.