County assessor's appraisal system is flawed

Oklahoman Published: May 20, 2011
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County assessors use a system called “mass appraisal” to determine property market values. The system looks at comparable sales in your neighborhood and, in conjunction with an appraiser, picks three sales to determine a market value. My observation is that the system has used the home sales among the highest to determine market value. This year the Oklahoma County assessor picked out the three highest-valued sales to determine my market value, an increase of 9.9 percent. The three houses used to determine your market value aren't readily available without having an informal hearing.

During my hearing I questioned why the highest-valued sales were used. I was told they were comparable. When asked why my neighbors' homes, very comparable to mine, only increased 2.8 percent and which sales were used to determine their market values, the appraiser wouldn't answer the question. I appealed the decision to the Board of Equalization, which is a good process — it's not intimidating and, based on my experience, board members will listen and give you feedback about your concerns and questions.

The mass appraisal system doesn't produce what you can reasonably expect from a home sale. The assessor's website allows you to look at your home and see how it compares to your neighbors. Look out for yourself because the assessor's office doesn't look out for you.

William Roberts, Edmond