This is particularly true if you bought your home or it was re-assessed at the peak of the housing market. (You know who you are!) Did you know that in California homeowners who believe their county has over-assessed their home can appeal the decision themselves at no cost? The key is to submit evidence from comparable sales of similar properties in your general neighborhood to the County Assessor’s office.
There are companies out there that will charge you a fee to research and prepare the basis of your appeal. But this is also a FREE service that the best Realtors provide to their clients, friends and neighbors! They will prepare what is called a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) that identifies the properties that have recently sold in the appropriate area that can provide the basis for a possible appeal. Often they already have the office information and forms necessary to get started.
Having said all this, it’s important keep these key steps in mind. After all, there is no allowance for not paying your property taxes on time due to a possible assessment appeal!
- Get a CMA from your realtor and determine if you feel your property is over-assessed.
- Talk to the Assessor first to confirm any special programs or the current process to appeal.
- File the appeal within the specified time period – for example in CC County the appeal period is from July 2 to Nov 30.
- Appear at the hearing.
- Be prepared to present evidence to support your opinion.
- Pay taxes when due to avoid delinquent penalties.
Please contact me if you need any additional information on this subject. I am happy to help you determine if your home is over-assessed and with any other real estate needs you may have.