One of the most common misconceptions we see as Realtors is the idea that a Tax Assessed Value is the same as the appraised value, also known as the Fair Market Value. This is not the case and often affects the offers we receive on listings. The truth is, the county assesses values on property based on a neighborhood or concentrated area and not an individual property. They also do not assess the value every year, but rather every 2-5 years because of the size of the area and the available team to make such assessments. Brewster County, for example, is the largest county in Texas and covers a wide range of territory. The option for the county appraiser to reach every single property to assess a value each year would be impossible. Most of the time, the properties are assessed at 80-90% of the Fair Market Value. Realtors and Licensed Appraisers actually visit the properties when they determine the Fair Market Value. After measuring the square footage and comparing the home to other sales and listings in the immediate area, a Fair Market Value is determined. This is the true value of a property because it is more specific. When buyers make an offer, instead of looking at the county’s assessed value, they should be asking their Realtor for comparable sales in the area of similar properties and make their offer based on that. It is very frustrating in our jobs when we have buyers telling us the value of the home is too low because the county has it $30,000 less than the list price. The facts are usually that the county hasn’t probably assessed the value in a few years, has never seen the inside of the home, they don’t know about improvements to the property or the neighborhood, and they do not have access to sales information since Texas is not a disclosure state. Sales in our area, and the state, are not reported to counties or taxing entities. Our advice is to ask for the comparables for nearby sales of similar property before making your offer. It’s like comparing apples to oranges. Do not rely on the county assessment.