Haisler: Agents have upper hand in knowledge about real estate
There seems to be great debate as to who can truly provide the best opinion of value when considering the assessment of one’s property. Recently, a township assessor in McHenry County has been touting that appraisers are the best source for opinion of value – better and more reliable than real estate agents.
Appraisers and agents both access the local multiple listing service and use the same data set. Agents actually visit homes, verify data, take photos and enter it into the system. Often agents have been inside the homes they are providing as comparables to the taxpayers and have detailed knowledge of the differences between properties. Appraisers do not as often have such familiarity and it is not uncommon for an appraiser to call an agent to get better insight into a particular property.
Contrarily, assessors rely heavily on the recorder’s office for data. Assessors can see from the “green sheet” what a home recently sold for, but cannot see into the home and may be totally unaware of many salient details. Agents, on the other hand, know not only what it sold for but how long it was on the market as well as the original list price. Both will likely know if the property was a conventional “arm’s length” sale, a short sale, or a foreclosure (bank owned). That may or may not impact the price depending on the property’s condition.
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