In an earlier posting I encouraged real estate agents, brokers, and other real estate experts to follow Seth Godin's advice that you must "own your zip code" by "hyperspecializing" or through "micro-specialization."
My earlier posting suggested that one way of owning your zip code is to you get a basic understanding of how property assessments and taxes work in your area and use it to help your clients. This post goes further to say when and what you show focus on.
Property assessors throughout the United States and Canada will typically be sending out notices of assessment during the period from January through March. Tax laws in many states and provinces require that notices of assessment be mailed to property owners of record whenever a reassessment is performed and assessments change. In most states and provinces the effective date of valuation for assessment purposes is December 31 or January 1, but assessment notices are generally sent after the effective date.
The 2011 notices of assessment will state how the assessment for each property changed from 2010 to 2011 (or since the last reassessment date if annual assessments are not performed) and deadlines for filing assessment appeals. It is very important that this information be emphasized to property owners. So don't shrug your shoulders and think that you'll be redundant if you post an article in your newsletter or to your blog, send an e-mail, or tweet about assessment notices being mailed or appeal deadlines approaching.
In addition to emphasizing that 2011 notices of assessment were mailed (ask your local assessor to verify when the notices were mailed or will be mailed) also consider including:
- Contact information for getting in touch with the local assessor
- Information about the state-mandated level of assessment (ratio) to current market value
- The effective date for the last reassessment and the time period covered for sales study purposes for these assessments
- The website address for the local assessor where clients can access assessment records for their property and similar properties in their neighborhood
- Proving a property tax calendar
Remember, a lot of this information is available to you on the local assessor's website.