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Property Tax Protests: Tips from an Appraiser


By Vaughn Kerkorian, Kerkorian Residential Appraisals and Member of CCAR’s REALTOR® & Lender Committee

Over the past year, many homeowners have seen their equity in their home increase due to rising property values brought on by low interest rates, lack of inventory, and high buyer demand. As the Central Appraisal Districts (CADs) mail new property tax notices, many may see property taxes increase significantly due to the increase in property values. If you plan to appeal your newly assessed value, here are several suggestions that can assist you or your clients with the CAD valuation appeal process.

  • Use your pin to eFile your appeal. Once you receive your confirmation that the respective CAD has received the appeal, immediately contact them to request “their comparable sales data” on how they derived the assessed value of your home. Do not wait to see the CAD sales data for the first time at your appeal hearing.
  • Analyze the CAD sales data. Make sure they are comparing similar “apples to apples” and not “apples to oranges.” Similarities of comparison may include location, condition, age, style, amenities, square footage, improvements, or lack thereof. Write down descriptive notes comparing each of the CAD sales to your property.
  • Provide information on items needing repair. If your home is in need of a new roof, gutters, windows, foundation repairs, electrical panel, driveways/sidewalks, or mechanical system upgrades (ac unit(s), HVAC(s), pool equipment, etc.) have a qualified, licensed expert, provide you with a repair estimate for each deferred item. Provide the recently dated estimate at your appeal hearing.
  • Photograph dated interiors. If the interior of your property is dated (flooring, kitchen, bathrooms, popcorn ceilings, cracked interior walls due to settlement, etc.), provide digital photographs to support your appeal and the cost to update or repair each item.
  • Research and provide your own sales data, include written analysis as to why these sales should be considered over the CAD sales. Providing CMA’s and MLS data sheets with no analysis will not help the appeal process. Remember, each CAD has the same access to MLS information. If you are not going to do the research and analysis, the CADs will not either.
  • Determine the respective CAD valuation dates when researching sales data. Do not assume it is January 1 to December 31. Determine the Month/Year the valuation process started and the Month/Year the valuation period ended. Then start your retrospective analysis starting backward from when the valuation period started. If the valuation period started 02/01/2021 and ended 01/31/2022, the CADs will be considering sales starting 01/31/2022 and then going “ historically back” from that date.

If a recent full appraisal has been completed, and the effective date of the appraisal report is within the valuation dates as set forth by the CAD, provide that information as well. If not, consider having a retrospective appraisal completed within the stated CAD valuation dates. It is imperative that full disclosure is made to the appraiser with regards to the exact scope of work along with the intended use and intended users of the retrospective appraisal report. There are tax valuation companies within the metroplex that specialize in residential valuation property tax appeals.

For more information on this or other lending related topics, please contact any member of CCAR's REALTOR® & Lender Committee at


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