Home / All about selling / Establishing the value of a house without a municipal assessment

Establishing the value of a house without a municipal assessment

It may be tempting—for buyers and sellers—to use the municipal assessment to judge a property’s asking price. But in reality, this information is only useful to determine the amount of municipal tax that the future owner will have to pay.

In fact, the municipal assessment is not a good indicator to use when establishing the real market value of your home or condo. But this question comes up a lot, especially when the municipality submits a new property assessment roll.

“You can be misled if you only use the municipal assessment,” explains Marc-Antoine Tardif, a certified appraiser with DuProprio. “First, the market is likely to have experienced significant ups and downs since the reference date. And second, work may have been done on the property since the last visit of a municipal inspector. These factors can create a gap between a property’s municipal value and its actual market value.”

Drawn up every 3 years

The property assessment roll is an inventory of all the buildings within a municipality’s territory. It includes the value of each property, as established by the city’s assessment department. According to the Act Respecting Municipal Taxation , a new property assessment roll must be drawn up every three years.

But the market keeps changing

You should also know that 18 months go by between the time that your municipality’s assessment department determines the value of the property and the time when the new property assessment roll comes into effect. However, over that period, the real estate market has evolved, as have home values. Here’s an example:

The values listed in the current three-year property assessment roll for Québec City take into consideration the market conditions that were observed on July 1, 2017. These figures were tabled on September 14, 2018, and came into effect on January 1, 2019. Remember that these numbers are used as the basis for calculating the property taxes for 2019, 2020 and 2021.

Establishing the value of a home

The best way to estimate your home’s market value is to analyze comparable properties on the market. This means looking at properties similar to yours that have sold in your area recently.

Property owners who choose to sell with the help of DuProprio get access to appraisal assistance tools. These will guide you when setting your asking price. If your property has special features, it’s then recommended that you use the services of a certified appraiser.