Tips for Value-Based Submissions

  1. You will more likely persuade the Board of your position if you provide convincing rationale supported by solid market evidence. You may prepare market evidence on your own or you may consider hiring a professional real estate appraiser to assist you.
  2. A common mistake by property owners is to simply provide discussion of the percentage increase in the property’s assessed value. The Board rarely considers this compelling evidence. A percentage increase analysis does not account for any errors in the last year’s assessed value and may not account for the change in the overall market for similar properties. For this reason, the Board prefers evidence of market value based on actual sales of similar properties.
  3. Do not simply critique BC Assessment’s report or numbers. Even if you are successful in critiquing BC Assessment’s evidence, if you provide nothing better in its place then the Board may be left with no alternative but to accept BC Assessment’s evidence. The parties are responsible for providing evidence to support their position. It is not the Board’s practice to conduct research for the parties.
  4. Do not attempt to value the land and improvements separately and then add them together. Usually, when an improved property is sold, no one knows what the purchaser paid for land or buildings as he/she is buying both as a package. Given it is difficult and awkward to value them separately, it is recommended you determine the property value as a whole.
  5. The usefulness of comparison properties as indicators of value depends on their similarity to your property. If they differ substantially, you will need to look for other properties to use as comparisons.
    • Ideally you want to provide some comparable properties that are superior to your property and some that are inferior, to “bracket” your property and highlight how it fits into a range of value.
    • Keep in mind that sales comparables are not restricted to those that occurred before the Valuation Date. You or BC Assessment may provide sales that occurred before or after the July 1 Valuation Date. Time adjustments may be needed for any market movement between the sales dates and the Valuation Date.
  6. Location is often one of the key factors. Keep in mind that the further away in distance the comparison property is from yours, the greater the likelihood that different market considerations will apply, and the less useful the comparison may be in establishing the value of your property.
  7. Do not expect the Board to order “micro” adjustments to your assessed value (e.g., a few percent or less). Appraisal is not an exact science and the lack of precision often results in a range of values, all of which are equally appropriate.
  8. Do not simply compare your assessment to that of your neighbours or others, without providing evidence of market value. For example, the argument “my neighbour’s house is assessed $40,000 less than mine” is not helpful. The Board has no indication of whether or not this difference is justified by its market value (maybe it is smaller, poorer quality, less view, etc.).