Tax Value vs Market Value

Q. Yvonne, I’m researching a house I would really like to buy. But the tax value is not any where near the sales price. Should I be concerned?

A. Looking at real estate tax value for an individual house is irrelevant because that is just a snapshot of value. As you know, the market value of a house always changes. For example here in Raleigh, NC, the tax assessor determined the tax value of our Wake County real estate in early 2008. Of course, our market value has changed greatly since then. So, an individual house’s tax value is rarely the actual market value.

Having said that, I can tell you that comparing tax values can be very useful. The tax value is very helpful to use to see trends in neighborhoods.

Some Raleigh or Cary, NC neighborhoods have significantly increased their market value compared to their tax value. Some are selling for 125% or more of their tax value (Average tax value $350,000. Average sales price $437,500). This is a good sign this neighborhood is still appreciating nicely compared to 2008.

Other neighborhoods are selling for around 100% of their tax value. (Average tax value $425,000. Average sales price $425,000). These neighborhoods have weathered the storm. Prices may have fallen over the course of the last few years, but the price is recovering and now holding steady.

Some neighborhoods, particularly ones in the upper end price point are seeing homes sell for 70% of tax value. (Average tax value $1,539,000 vs Average sale price $1,077,300). If you are looking for a home in this price point you are in luck! There are Raleigh and Cary communities that have beautiful million dollar homes at bargain prices.

So, Wake County, NC tax values can be useful in establishing the trend patterns for neighborhoods. But I would absolutely caution you about looking at individual home tax values. You don’t know if the owners appealed their tax value or if the home has had some major upgrades since 2008. Remember this tax value was simply a snapshot of the tax assessor’s appraisal in early 2008 (for Raleigh, NC real estate). Look at the snapshot from a “big picture” point of view and you can see how a neighborhood is doing – and find some bargains.

Visit to search for all homes listed for sale in the Raleigh area. Or contact Yvonne directly at or 919.624.6055

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About Yvonne Schaefer

I am a Real Estate Broker at Keller Williams Realty in Cary, NC and President of Hands of Compassion International supporting our Health Center in Guayaquil, Ecuador. Here are some important things to know about me: -Consistent follow up and attention to detail during real estate transactions -Awarded Top Listing Agent and Top Selling Agent awards in my office. -Constantly improving computer and internet knowledge -Focused area is Raleigh, NC. This includes the surrounding areas of Cary, Apex, Holly Springs, Fuquay Varina, Clayton and Knightdale. -2007 and 2008 President of the Raleigh Chapter of the Women's Council of Realtors -2008 Member of Year - Raleigh Chapter, Women's Council of Realtors -Customer Service "SuperStar" Award - Monarch Services @ IBM -Board of Directors of Hands of Compassion International. I have served on this Board for eight years. -Lead teams of medical personnel to Guayaquil, Ecuador every year to provide free medical care to the poor who have no other means of receiving this type of assistance. To date, I have led 16 teams providing humanitarian care to Ecuador. -Married for 35 years and mother of 4 sons - three of which have served in the military. - Grandmother ("Mimi") to 3 yr old Alia, 10 month old twins David and Caleb, 4 month old Myka and 1 month old Olivia! Call me at 919.624.6055 or email Visit;;
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