It’s that time of year again – BC Assessments are in the mail (who else is excited?) As a Realtor who assesses a lot of properties in Kamloops, I often get asked “Is Your BC Assessment The Same As True Market Value”? So let’s take a look at the information provided in your assessment and how related to your property value.
Is my house worth the same as my assessment?
BC Assessment values increasing year after year (average of 6% in Kamloops in 2020). Correspondingly, I often get calls from homeowners in January who are wondering if their property is worth the same as their assessment.
BC Assessment appraisers are responsible for assessing over 2 million properties in British Columbia each year by considering your property’s basic characteristics, including:
The location of the home
The view from the home
The size of the home
The age of the home
Garages, carports, decks, pool, etc.
Comparable sales prices and other real estate market information
For those reasons, your home assessment is a good indicator of trends in market value for your city and neighbourhood, but it is not always guaranteed money in your pocket.
Why is there a difference between
assessment values & market values?
The reality is that BC Assessment values are really used to help your municipality determine your property taxes and not to determine the actual market value of your home. When is the last time a BC Assessment appraiser physically visited your house? It’s probably been awhile if ever.
Since BC Assessment appraisers don’t view the inside of your home, see your new kitchen renovation or the deck you added on the back, factors such as these are not taken into account during your assessment. When a Realtor or 3rd party appraiser assesses your property, all aspects (inside and out) are used to calculate the true market value of your home. As we know, the true value of your property is often a reflection of supply/demand in your area and what any given Buyer(s) are willing to pay for your home and its features.
Consequently BC Assessments are not necessarily wrong but should only be used as a rough measuring stick or as one of many indicator of your home’s market value.
Don’t forget the timeline of BC Assessments
In addition, we should keep in mind that the assessment is not exactly current. Your BC Assessment value is determined for July 1st of the previous year, meaning that the value indicated is already 6 months behind.
When assessing a property for true market values, I prefer to only use the past 2-3 months sales history for the most up to date comparable numbers. Depending on the property, sometimes the sales are few and far between and you do have to resort to data that can be 6+ months old, but it’s certainly not our first choice!
If you’re looking for more information on how the BC Assessment process works, visit the BC Assessment website. There you can view properties in your neighbourhood, their value, sales history for the past 3 years and more. If you would like to know the True Value of your home, I offer a free Comparative Market Analysis which you can easily book by clicking the calendar link below!