When you get your appraisal notice that tells you what value your home has been assessed at for the coming year, is that it? You see the appraised value and you are not sure it is quite right. Is there anything you can do? Are you stuck paying more taxes or having your home valued at less than it’s worth?

Fortunately, there are several things you can do and should do when you receive your notice – and these can help you get the best value and the fairest tax and appraised value for your home.

#1 – Read the notice!

It is amazing how many people do not read the notice or compare it to past values they had. Many people just look to see what the taxes will be and as long as they can afford it they don’t give it another thought. If you read through everything and compare the value of your home and the estimated property tax to past years, you may be surprised at how much it goes up.

On the flip side, if you are looking at selling your home this year, you will want to make sure your home has not been devalued, or you could lose out on the money when you try to list your home at the market value. The first step is to make sure you read everything and take the time to fully understand everything on the notice.

#2 – Document Negative Conditions

If you are looking at the possibility of protesting the information and figures on the notice, you need to be armed with proof regarding the condition of your home. If you are going to protest the rise in the value of your home you need to show the things that make your home less valuable:

  • Located near a power plant
  • Water treatment center
  • Damage or needed repairs
  • Any other conditions that impact how much your home would be worth.

#3 – Document Positive Conditions

Just as you need to make note of the things that could downplay the value of the home; it is a great idea to document the things that increase your home’s value. Mention and keep records of the upgrades, remodels, and other factors that would make your home worth more if you are trying to argue for an increase in your home value. Photos and videos are the easiest way to accomplish this.

#4 – Get It in By Deadline

In Texas, there are deadlines that you need to keep in mind in order to file your protest. The deadline typically is May 15, or 30 days after you receive your notice, whichever is later. This protest needs to be filed each and every year as the rulings are only valid for the year you appeal. By protesting each year could save thousands of dollars in taxes in just a few years or you could make sure your home value remains high and can help you get the best price if you do decide to sell your home

#5 – The Appraisal Review Board

A great idea is to attend a hearing held by the Appraisal Review Board. This is where you will get the final ruling and will find out whether or not your appeal is awarded. Regardless of the outcome, you really have nothing to lose, so you might as well try and see if you can get the appraised value of your home more to your liking.

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