BC Assessments vs What Your Home is Truly Worth


BC Assessment notices have arrived in the mail and I am getting a lot of questions about whether this value translates into a true market value for your home. For those with a marked increase it can either trigger excitement and thoughts of selling your home, or upset over increased property taxes. So what is the answer? Does a $50,000 increase in your assessed value mean a $50,000 increase in your market value (aka potential list price for your home)? The short answer is no.

There are many reasons for this. First of all, assessment values can start out significantly too high or too low. Added to this is the fact that a government appraiser rarely ever visits the home. Look closely at your property description on the BC assessment site-is it accurate? I look at these regularly as a way of getting a “sneak peek” at a property before I go there. And so often I am surprised at how inaccurate they are. You will often see inaccurate numbers of bedrooms and bathrooms, square footage, and number of floors. And what about extra outbuildings you’ve added and all the renovations that have taken place? Forget it! Unless a government appraiser has dropped by and you’ve given them a personal tour of your property then those things are unknowns and are not reflected in the value. Alternatively there are many homes that have not been updated or maintained at all and these could be listed well below the assessed value. Quality of construction is something to consider as well.

Realtors price homes based on comparables and recent sales in your market. They also work regularly with buyers in your market and know what they are looking for. A good realtor has seen all of the homes similar to yours that have been on the market recently and have received feedback from their buyers. They know what their buyers are willing to pay for your house. They will be able to easily identify all of the great selling features as well as any potential “deal breakers” that will reduce its value.

Instead of relying on a government document that goes back to sales prior to July 1 and is prepared by someone far away who has never seen your property, give me a call to price your home before you’re ready to list. It will give you the chance to get to know me and you can rest assured that you will be getting an accurate list price from someone who is experienced in the Quadra Island market.