Assessed Value vs. Fair Market Value

It usually starts out on a rainy Sunday afternoon. You act on the musings of your imagination, and begin to Google Florida real estate. You of course find your way to Trulia, Zillow, House Hunt, etc. all the while seeing  various homes that seem relatively appealing, until… THERE IT IS! The absolute home of your dreams! There’s something different, unique, about this one… it isn’t sitting on top of another home in some gated development, it is open and spacious, with a beautiful pool and spa, it even resides on a canal with a boat dock… a postcard of Florida living.

As anyone who has just located their ideal retirement destination, you begin to delve deeper into this property. You can’t control this overwhelming urge to know everything there is to know about this home! With address and listing-price in hand, you have located the county’s property appraiser website. As any educated homeowner, you would like to see what the taxes are and really start calculating how you will make this rainy-daydream become a reality.

Wait. What? Assessed value? This must mean fair-market. Assessed, by definition means measured and judged… so why then, is the listing-price is so much higher? Have the seller and real estate agent gone mad?!

This is all too often the frustrated inquiry of prospective buyers. As a Realtor, I am eager to explain the difference between the assessed (taxable) value of your home and the fair-market value of your home. I hope this information will aide in your research of local real estate.

Assessed (or Taxable) Value

The assessed value begins at the time of purchase of real property. When a home, or piece of land, is purchased the assessed value is reset upon closing to the purchase price of the real property. In the state of Florida, due to the high retirement, and thus generally fixed-income, population the assessed value can only increase up to 3% annually to avoid homeowners defaulting on their homes as a result of high taxes (e.g. Save Our Home Act). This is where it gets tricky for prospective buyers. When looking at a home via property appraiser’s sites, note the last date of purchase. If it was in 1985, the assessed value can (and usually will) be significantly lower than what would be considered fair market value for the property.

Fair Market (or Appraised) Value

An appraisal is a report done by a licensed appraiser to determine current market value. It takes into account recently sold comparable properties, properties that are currently on the market, and various market conditions. The major difference is that appraised value takes a “snapshot in time” and will always be impacted by market activity.

As a licensed Realtor I am able to determine a relative market value on the home you are interested in. It is not as detailed as an appraisal, however it takes into account most, if not all, of the same factors. If you are interested in purchasing or selling a home please contact me so that I can put together a Comparative Market Analysis for you and we can discuss what we find.

As always, I am eager to help in any way I can. Please feel free to contact me regarding any questions or concerns on beautiful Naples, FL!