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2010 Tax values are in! but don't head to the Skyway Bridge just yet!

So how about that news from the Pinellas County Property Appraiser’s office this week? Well before you head out to jump off the Sunshine Skyway read this to get a better understanding of just what that the real estate tax assessment means for you.

Many Pinellas County residents will open that little purple and white envelope this September and suffer from the shock of just how low the Property Appraiser thinks their home is worth. Take heed though, it’s not as bad as you think. You see the Property Appraiser isn’t valuing the home based on interior finishes, which do affect the value and what a buyer is willing to pay, rather they are appraising the exterior condition, square footage of the home and property sales in the area. They are including short sales and foreclosures as comparables to come up with a value. With the recent spike in foreclosed properties selling well below fair market value, because banks don’t want to hold a property over 30 days and the number of short sales that have been sold, would make it appear that the surrounding property values have plummeted. Not true though.

You have to take this “Assessed Value” with a grain of salt because there are many other factors that determine a property’s value. For instance, your property’s interior condition, features and layout play a huge part in determining how appealing a home will be to a buyer, recent sales of comparable properties within a 1 mile radius, sold in the past 6 months or less, plus or minus 15% in Square Footage. If there are enough arms length sales an appraiser will not use short sales or REO’s (bank owned properties) in consideration of valuing the property.

On another note, be aware that there are companies and investors out there that will call or send you a letter if they drive by and see that the property may be distressed and state that your property’s assessed value is X and that they are willing to buy it from you for that value minus repairs. DON’T agree to this as your property may be worth considerably more than the assessed value.

In order to ease your mind and get an accurate picture of your property’s current value speak to an experienced, knowledgeable and trustworthy realtor who works in the area the property is located in. Be sure that you ask that they show you the comparables and ask them why they chose those properties. You want to know the value of your home, not a number that they think you want to hear to get the listing. Also visit open houses in your area and check the newspaper for recent sales.

And yes, of course you can call us for a free consultation and market analysis of your property anytime. 727-851-6189