Q: I am in the process of a property tax appeal. What are some good websites I can go to so that I can see how much property values in my area have dropped?
A: There aren’t really any good websites that have up to date information you can rely on for a home value. There are a handful of sites that do profess to offer a guess as to a home’s value (on Zillow.com, it’s called a “Zestimate”) but these can’t be relied upon for accuracy. (In some markets, they’re very accurate, but not so much in others.). BlockShopper.com lists sales prices of property in the area, but it isn’t national yet and doesn’t always include every sale. It doesn’t claim to know what your property is worth.
The best thing you can do is to contact a local real estate agent and ask for help in determining the recent sales prices of homes that are similar to yours.
You can also glean this information by going to your local public recorder of deeds office and pulling up information for specific addresses.
Some counties offer better information than others. In some counties, government websites will actually compile information for you on sales in your area for the time you might specify. Given this information, you can then see if some of the homes in your neighborhood have dropped significantly and you can use that information to contest and fight your real estate tax bills and the valuation given to your home by your taxing authority.
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