Property Owners Have 30 Days to Protest Home Appraisals

Homework looks different for property owner Esther Fernandez.

“Well, I know I need to get some comps, and I need to take some pictures, you know, do my homework,” Fernandez said.

Appraisers commonly refer to sale comparables as “comps”. They are based on local sales and listings of homes.

Fernandez said she recently purchased a home in Dallas County and plans to protest her appraisal.

“I think it went up over $100,000,” Fernandez said.

Appraisals reflect the local real estate market, and according to the Texas Association of Appraisal Districts or TAAD, the buyers’ market remains aggressive.

“When the market is aggressive and increasing, the appraisal districts have to go along and increase those values, following the local market trends that we see in each of our respective counties,” Brent South said. South serves as TAAD’s legislative committee chair and the chief appraiser for Hunt County Appraisal District.

"There's going to be a lot of times when we don't have enough data to get it 100% right, 100% of the time," South said. "So please, if you disagree, take a look. Pay attention to those appraisal notices and if you disagree with the value, come talk to us."

According to Smith, the more information provided when protesting, the better.

“Bring in repair estimates, photos, anything and everything that helps our appraisers,” South said. “We're not going inside your home. So, we don't always know the condition of your home, if there are things that need to be updated or upgraded, or if there's any structural damage to the home, we don't have that information.”

Yet, many owners still wonder if they stand a chance to win their case.

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