Assessment In Real Estate

Definition of "Assessment in real estate"

Maritza Hernandez real estate agent

Written by

Maritza Hernandezelite badge icon

Empire Real Estate, LLC

The assessment in real estate definition means the evaluation of a property’s value by an assessor. They are generally required to evaluate the property annually as the assessment is necessary to calculate real estate or property taxes. However, in some counties or states, the real estate assessment definition doesn’t require evaluations more often than five years apart. During the assessment, the evaluating authority uses various factors to better estimate the real estate property’s value in regards to the city or town it pertains to. The physical conditions of a house and how they compare to neighboring residences are just some factors. There are other pieces of information that a real estate agent can’t tell you about the neighborhood, but you can verify through other means.

How does real estate assessment work?

Assessments most commonly apply to real estate properties to determine the property tax a homeowner owns the municipalities. The assessor evaluates the property’s structural condition, their footage, lot size, etc., so that they can compare the property’s value to the sale price of comparable neighboring properties. To evaluate a property, the assessor might not always visit the property as assessments can also be determined through real estate data. Some states require regular visits to the property to determine the values of real estate properties, so you need to check with your state officials.

After the assessment is completed, the evaluation helps municipalities determine how much property tax the homeowner must pay. Property taxes are added to the annual budget of each community that can be spent to improve that community.

Disagreeing with an Assessment

There are situations in which a homeowner can contest a real estate assessment if they do not agree with the value determined by an assessor. That’s where a reassessment comes into play.


Ensuring that the real estate property was correctly assessed can be done through a cost-free way or a costly way. The cost-free way would be to compare the assessed property with other comparables to analyze differences in assessments or size, etc. The information can also be found through the municipality or on real estate sites. The costly option would be to hire an assessor. This will be an added expense, but it all depends on the reason for wanting an accurate assessment. One thing we can tell you is that a reassessment will not help you contest the property tax you pay for your home.

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