Assessed Value vs Market Value
Every January homeowners in Victoria, BC receive a letter from BC Assessment (I just got mine yesterday) indicating assessed values of properties – and in recent years, many owners have seen their property assessment go down. And then again, some go up. Should you as an owner be concerned?
Q: Is this a bad thing that my assessed value went down?
A: Not necessarily. It could mean that your taxes went down as well. That’s good!
Q: Does this reduce the market value if I choose to sell?
A: Not necessarily. Your perception may be that a home is worth less but in actual practice, a buyer will pay what he or she feels the property is worth – regardless of what the assessment says. For example, the home might have many upgrades and is in tip-top shape compared to others in the area. And, because of this and other factors, might be very attractive to the right buyer who falls in love with the home and just has to have it. Sometimes with more than one buyer, there might even be a bidding situation which drives the price up. It’s the law of supply and demand. So, take the assessed valuation with a grain of salt.
Q: So if assessment goes down, what can I do to get the most money when I sell?
A: Repair, renew and relax. Seriously, it’s most important to repair all those things you’ve been meaning to do, large and small. Clear the clutter, clean thoroughly, paint, tidy up landscaping; make the home the best it can be within your budget. You only have one chance to make a first impression! Then, with confidence, list your home at a competitive price that’s based on actual recent sales figures and not necessarily assessed values.
Q: If my assessment went up can I get more money when I sell?
A: Not necessarily. Your assessment might have gone up but ask yourself: is your home in better shape than other comparable properties in the area? If not, then it should be – to get the most when you sell. Again, your home is worth what a buyer is willing to spend. So make it appear as the best in the neighborhood!
Q: As a buyer, will I get a deal if assessments go down or have to pay more if they go up?
A: As a buyer, the best thing to do is to research similar properties thoroughly and compare recent sold prices. Then, negotiate the best price you can.
As a licensed Realtor®, I can help you with all these questions and more.
For more information from the BC Assessment Office: