Texas Appraisal Districts
Guide to a Lower Texas Property Tax
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Appraisal District Protest

Real Estate Valuation

Section Talking Points

  • Commercial property values
  • Property description
  • Appraised value
  • House, condo, and townhome valuation
  • Unequal appraisal

Commercial Property Values
Commercial property refers to apartment, retail, office, indusrial and other income production properties. Valuation of commercial properties is beyond the scope of this website.

Property Description
Talk with one of the county appraisal district's appraisers. Is the property description correct?

  • improvement type - Did the appraisal district appraise the property as a residential property?
  • square footage - Make sure the size of the living area is correct and seperate from the non-living area such as the garage or covered patio.
  • land size - The size of an acreage homesite can make a big difference in the value of a property.
  • year built

Appraised Value
The county appraisal district uses mass appraisal methods to value a property. They do not have the time to perform an individual appraisal on every home. The county appraisal district must repeat the appraisal process for property in the county at least once every three years. This means the appraisal district's assessed value may not be accurate. The market value of an individual property may be less than the appraisal district's appraised value.

Have the appraisal district appraiser explain their appraisal. Are there any property defects that are not noted in the county appraisal district's notes. Did they consider problems such as a cracked foundation or needed repairs? Use photographs to document any problems that might affect the value of your property.

Ask the appraisal district appraiser for a copy of the sales the county appraisal district used to value your property. This is the sales data you will need to value your property. They are required to provide a copy of the sales they will use at an Appraisal Review Board hearing. You may have to file a protest with some appraisal districts to obtain this information. Go to our How to File a Protest section for information on how to file.

House, Condo, and Townhome Valuation
Find out if the appraised value is too high. Look at the sales used to value your property by the county appraisal district. Other possible sources of sales are real estate professionals and neighbors. Collect recent sales of properties that are similar to yours. The assessed value date is January 1st so use sales that took place during the six months prior to year end. The important things to look for are:

  • location
  • land size
  • living area square footage
  • quality of construction
  • condition (updated homes may sell for much more than homes that have not been updated)
  • garage or carport
  • number of bathrooms
  • improvements such as a swimming pool

Use google maps to see if the sale properties are similar to yours. Do they have a pool or other improvements? Also check to see if they are adjacent to a golf course, lake, or green area. Lots that are adjacent to these types of properties are worth more than a typical lot. Is your home near commercial buildings that may reduce the value of your home. If so, take photos to show the county appraisal district.

Drive by the sales provided by the county appraisal district. Take photos of these homes to show the county appraiser or Appraisal Review Board. If your home is a condo take photographs of the building. Use the check list above to compare these sales with your home.

Unequal Appraisal
Is your property valued unequally compared with other properties in the neighborhood? Determine whether the value of your property is closer to market value than other, similar properties. Go to our unequal appraisal section for details.

Related Subjects

County Appraisal District Guide
Appraisal Districts
Bexar County Appraisal District
Brazoria County Appraisal District
Collin County Appraisal District
Dallas County Appraisal District
Denton County Appraisal District
Fort Bend County Appraisal District
Galveston County Appraisal District
Harris County Appraisal District
Montgomery County Appraisal District
Tarrant County Appraisal District
Travis County Appraisal District
Williamson County Appraisal District
Appraisal District Guide
Texas Property Tax
Personal Property Tax
Texas Homestead Exemption
Property Tax Exemption
Property Tax Protest