Market value change is not the same for all areas. Is Your Appraisal Fair?

Market value change is not the same for all areas. According to the Austin Board of REALTORS®, the median sold price for single-family homes throughout the Austin MLS area saw a year-over-year increase of 6.2%% in Dec 2020 when compared to Dec 2019. However, a closer look within each area will reveal a more clear indication of the market value of each home.

Aside from accounting for the fluctuation in pricing within each area, there are also many other factors that contribute to the market value of each individual home. The information below will serve as a guide to determine whether your tax appraisal is a fair assessment.

Why is the tax-assessed value different from the market value?

The tax-assessed value is what the county believes your home is worth. The appraisal district determines the value based on what the property can sell for and the home’s condition on January 1. However, they do not perform an individual market analysis on every home. The county values your home based on similar properties sold in the area, rather than the house, meaning the value may be too high or low, depending on the size, location, amenities, and condition-specific to the property.

How do you determine your market value?

You can contact a real estate professional to provide you with market information, collect information from neighbors who have recently purchased their homes, or contract a company that specializes in assisting with tax assessor valuation protests.

Should you appeal your property valuation?


If the market value on your home is lower than your tax-assessed value, then you should appeal.
When should you receive your property valuation and how long do you have to appeal?

The Texas Property Tax Appeal Deadline is May 15th or 30 days from the date the appraisal district notice was delivered. Don’t wait to protest!

Visit the Texas Public Comptroller of Public Accounts website for more information regarding your rights as a taxpayer.

Property owners have the right to file a protest after receiving their 2021 notice; however, before filing their protest it’s highly encouraged to review the appraisal information sent with the notice, including the comparable sales information in most residential notices. When deciding whether to protest or not, property owners with a homestead should review their market value in comparison with their assessed value. While the market value can increase based on sales in the area, for homesteaded properties, the assessed value is capped at 10%.

How do you appeal your property taxes?

If you believe your property valuation is higher than the current market value, you should appeal your taxes. When people don’t appeal, the taxing authority accepts that their value is correct, which affects all homeowners in a given area. By appealing the assessed value, we all help keep our real estate taxing authority valuations in line with the market value.

  1. File your protest using the “Property Owner’s Notice of Protest” form (see link below). After you have filed, it can take several months for the county appraisal district to schedule your informal hearing.
  2. The purpose of the informal hearing is to present evidence and facts supporting your claim that your home or condo has been over-valued.

Present Your Evidence

The following information can be helpful to present at the hearing:

Comparable Market Analysis

A comparable market analysis looks at market value and shows recent sales for homes that are similar to yours in size, age, location, and type of construction.

Documentation Regarding Your Home’s Condition

Do you have foundation issues? Plumbing problems? Anything that would adversely affect the market value of your home should be documented. Take photographs and bring them with you to your hearing.

Documentation Regarding Your Home’s Location

Again, anything that would adversely affect the market value of your home is evidence that you can use in your appeal. For example, if your home backs up to a busy street, consider printing a Google map to document your location.

Recently Purchased Homes

If you purchased your home in the last several months and the purchase price was lower than your appraised value, bring a copy of your settlement statement.

Things to keep in mind for the day of your hearing:

  1. You are only appealing to the county’s assessed value of your home. The appraisal district is responsible for setting the appraised value, but they have nothing to do with the tax rate. You are not going to the hearing to protest your tax rate or how much you are paying in taxes.
  2. Be polite and courteous.
  3. Bring an extra copy of your supporting documentation to leave with the county.

Learn more about protesting your county tax appraisal:

Visit the county appraisal office website for more information on how to protest your property tax and schedule your meeting:

Bastrop: bastropcad.org
Burnet: burnet-cad.org
Caldwell: caldwellcad.org
Hays: hayscad.com
Travis: traviscad.org
Williamson: wcad.org

About the author

Rich Patterson has been a REALTOR® since 2006 and is the Owner of Urban to Suburban Realty.