Market Value, Appraised Value, and City Assessed Value

Market Value, Appraised Value, and City Assessed Value

Very often when I am in a client’s home discussing their home’s value I am asked the difference between these 3 valuations (Market Value, Appraised Value, and City Assessed Value).

“But David the City says my home is worth x, why is there a difference in the numbers?”
I explain that all 3 of these valuations are “correct” within each of their individual contexts which I will explain.

Market Value is the actual price that a buyer will pay for your home as of today’s date. (Markets are dynamic and can shift from day to day and week to week.)

Appraised Value is the value assigned to a home by a certified property appraiser based on similar homes in your area which have typically been sold in the last few months.

City Assessed Value is a “broader” assessment of your home’s value based on the City’s computer model of your neighbourhood data.

In most cases, when it comes to market value and appraised value, a Realtor and an appraiser will most likely have been to your property to visually inspect it and see what improvements and amenities you may have. In the case of City Assessed Value, it is very likely that it has been years that the city has been to your home. The City is relying on historical data and building records.

In all three cases, if the question remains “Which one is correct?” the answer is “It depends on intended use of the information.”

If your intention is to sell your home within the next few months, the best course of action would be to get a “Market Evaluation” from an active Realtor. In fact, if you are selling, it’s a good idea to get three of these evaluations – they should all be fairly close. Be wary of one that is either very high or very low from the other two. A veteran Realtor should not only be able to give you an accurate number based on recent sales data but also will be able to give you an idea of market trends in your area. “What is the current feel of the market?” A veteran Realtor should be able to answer this question.

If your intention is to remortgage your home or get a line of credit then your bank will want to get an “Appraisal” of your home for lending purposes. An appraiser will visit your home, prepare an Appraisal using our Realtor MLS sales data and then arrive at a number. Based on this number, your bank will determine the mortgage or line of credit amount that they will loan you.

If you are not moving and not refinancing, then most likely the “City Assessed Value” would interest you the most. When you receive your City Assessment in the mail and if you agree with it, then you need to do nothing. If you feel it is incorrect (too high) then there is an appeals process you can go through with the City.

If you need any further help navigating any of these three “valuations” please call or text me anytime at 204-981-1940 and I can discuss your specific situation and point you in the right direction.

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