Real Estate Term of the Day: Mass Appraising

Real Estate Term of the Day: Mass Appraising

MASS APPRAISING – typically used by tax assessors, an effort to determine salient characteristics of properties in a given submarket, to allow an approximation of value for each. Sophisticated statistical techniques are used frequently in mass appraising (Barron’s Dictionary of Real Estate Terms) 

Below is a great explanation regarding the use of mass appraising from the Jefferson County Assessor’s site:

Mass Appraisal Method

When the Assessor’s office values your property for taxation purposes, an analysis consisting of three sales for each property is not an efficient method. This is due to time constraints for the number of properties that must be valued (more than 190,000), the number of sales used (approximately 25,000) and the resources available (staff, inspections, analyzing individual comparable sales).

Mass Appraisal Sales Period

In addition, the law states a specific time frame in which the sales must occur. The minimum requirement is 18 months, and depending on the number of sales available for the property type, a maximum of 5 years. Residential and vacant land parcels are valued with 24 months of sales, from July 2010 to June 2012. Because the market can change gradually or dramatically during that time frame; the law requires that values cannot be calculated until the sales have been analyzed and adjusted to one point in time, which is the end of June, therefore, before values are calculated, the sales are adjusted for market conditions, concessions, personal property, and time.

Mass Appraisal Value Technique and Process

After the sales are adjusted for time, a technique called multiple regression analysis (MRA) is used to determine market value. MRA is appropriate for mass appraisal purposes because it is essentially an automated application of the sales comparison approach that uses all similar property type sales in geographic areas, not just three. MRA determines the proper adjustment for property characteristics important to the market. This is done through an algorithm designed to fit the sale prices as closely as possible.

The sales are separated by property types (single-family, condominiums, townhomes and duplex/triplex) and regional location (economic areas). Then, different value models are used for each property type and respective economic area. The property characteristics included in the value models are design type, quality, living area size, age, bath type and count, garage type and size, basement type and size, heating type and the neighborhood location. Some characteristics have been collected but are not adjusted, including bedroom count, because other features, such as total living area and quality type, account for it.

Market Approach Methods for Mass Appraisal

Colorado State Statutes [39-1-103 (5) (a) and (8) (a)] require all county assessors to value residential real property solely by the market approach. There are several methods used to determine values by the market: paired sales, market-adjusted cost approach and multiple regressions.

Check out my recent blog: I Received My Property Tax Valuation…Now What?

You should have received your tax valuation in the mail from your county assessor’s office this week. Please know that you have the right to protest your real property value or its classification. The deadline to protest is June 1, 2015. As a complimentary service to my clients, I am happy to discuss your valuation and help you understand how to protest the valuation if you feel the value is too high.  With this service, I will also provide you the best comparable sales that support your position.  According to state law the valuation period must end on June 30, 2014.  Please note, though, that some counties use different starting dates for the sales data used (see below).

If you would like my assistance with your property tax valuation protest, please fill out the form below and I’ll contact you as soon as possible!