Why is my purchase price different from my assessed value?
The Constitution of Virginia mandates that all taxes be fair and uniform.

Fair market value is not necessarily the price paid for a property, but is what it is worth in the real estate market. For this reason, assessed value may differ from purchase price. Assessments are adjusted on a per neighborhood basis utilizing the “Mass Appraisal” method rather than looking at every property individually. Neighborhoods are moved as a whole, either up or down based on the sales transactions that take place in the two years prior to assessment, with more emphasis placed on the most recent sales.

In addition, assessments are required to be uniform and equitable across similar classes of properties with similar characteristics. Generally speaking, when regarding assessments, Equity plus Market Value equals Fair Market Value. The utilization of the “Mass Appraisal” method helps creates fair, uniform and equitable assessments.

Show All Answers

1. Why do Real Estate Assessments exist?
2. What is the difference between mass appraisal and a single property appraisal?
3. When are the assessments done?
4. What is the effective date of the assessment?
5. How do you come up with the change to assessed value?
6. How is assessed value determined?
7. Are foreclosures and short sales used when determining assessed value?
8. Why is my purchase price different from my assessed value?
9. What should a property owner do if they think their assessment is incorrect or if they disagree with their assessment?
10. When will property owners be notified of any new assessment?
11. Does the County have a program to help senior citizens and disabled persons on their property taxes?
12. How is individual property information obtained?
13. What does “improvement” mean on my notice and how will changes to my property affect assessed value?
14. When is it necessary for an appraiser to physically inspect a property?
15. How do changes in assessment value affect the sale price of my property?
16. What are some situations outside of a reassessment when property values might change?
17. Does the assessor determine the tax rate?
18. What property information is publically available via the Real Estate Assessments Division?
19. Where do I get a copy of my deed?
20. Where do I get a copy of my plat?
21. Can I get a copy of my “survey” (the one with the house)?
22. How do I find out the history of a lot such as ownership, date, purchase price, etc. of a particular piece of property?
23. My information on the property information website is incorrect, how do I get it fixed?
24. When is ownership information updated on the website after a sale?
25. What is a Supplemental Bill?