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5 useful types of evidence for real estate assessment disputes

On Behalf of | May 24, 2024 | Real Estate Law

In New Jersey, property owners sometimes feel that their property assessments are too high.

To present a case for a lower valuation, it is important to provide convincing evidence. Several types of evidence can be particularly helpful.

1. Comparable sales

One of the strongest forms of evidence is the sale prices of comparable properties. Comparable properties, or “comps,” are those that are similar in size, style, age and location to the property in question. Presenting recent sales data of these comparable properties can show that the assessed value of the property is higher than the market value. The sales would ideally be within the past six months to a year to reflect current market conditions.

2. Property condition

The physical condition of the property is another important piece of evidence. If the property has structural issues, outdated systems or other defects that would reduce its market value, document this. Photographs, inspection reports and estimates for repairs can all serve as evidence. These documents help to show that the property’s condition does not justify the assessed value.

3. Income and expense statements

The median value of a home in Passaic County is $413,500. For income-producing homes or properties, such as rentals, income and expense statements can be effective. These documents provide a clear picture of the property’s profitability. If the net income generated by the property is low, it can indicate that the assessment overvalued the property. Detailed records of rental income, maintenance costs and other expenses are necessary to support this argument.

4. Appraisals

A professional appraisal can be a compelling piece of evidence. An independent appraiser will evaluate the property and provide a report with their opinion of its market value. This appraisal should be recent and based on comprehensive analysis, including comparable sales, property condition and other relevant factors.

5. Market trends

Information about broader market trends can also be useful. If property values in the area are in decline, data on this trend can support a case for a lower assessment. Reports from real estate agencies, articles and statistical data from reputable sources can all illustrate market conditions.

Using these types of evidence can significantly strengthen a case for a lower property assessment. Gather and present this evidence clearly and thoroughly to improve the chances of a successful assessment dispute.