Ask Your Appraiser

Ask the Appraiser: How Can I Fight My Georgia Property Taxes?

5 Ways to Fight Against Your Increased Property Tax

Did you know that fewer than 1 in 50 homeowners will appeal their increased property tax assessment, even though up to 60% of properties are overvalued by tax assessors? Most assessors are not even certified to accurately appraise real estate, yet they are the ones who are placing an assessment on your home. Having your home appraised by a certified real estate appraiser can save you thousands of dollars — and lock in those savings for up to three years.

If you've received an increase in your property tax assessment, the following steps may help bring down your bill.

1. Learn your system

Taxing authorities use different methods when calculating home values. Some look at recent sales of similar homes. In more rural areas where sales are few, they might estimate the cost to rebuild. Others may use a combination of these methods. Contact your local assessor's office and ask how they valuate properties in your area. In many areas, your tax liability is based on a percentage of your property's estimated value. You'll want to know what that percentage is so you can figure out if the value the assessor is assigning to your home is fair.

2. Get your assessor's evidence

Your assessor likely didn't pull their estimate out of a hat, even if it seems that way to you. Contact the assessor's office and ask for the evidence used to value your home. Get your home's property card, which lists basic details like lot size, square footage, and number of bathrooms.

3. Ensure the description is correct

When municipalities or counties re-assess property values, they typically hire an outside contractor who looks at hundreds, or even thousands of homes in an incredibly tight time period. Typically, the assessor is not a state-certified appraiser and often has to take shortcuts. Three vent stacks on the roof? That must mean three full baths — never mind that the upstairs laundry room could be the culprit. 

4. Build your case

Find an appraiser in your area to find out what your home is actually worth. An appraisal from a state-certified real estate appraiser (such as Appraisals By Michael) can stand as independent, third-party evidence of your home's true market value. 

You must file within 45-60 days from the time you received your tax assessment. You'll need to arm yourself with a recent appraisal detailing the exact layout of your home, comparable sales, and assessments that prove your home has been valued too high. 

5. File the report 

Appeals are very time consuming, so it is best to file as soon as you can within the appropriate window. Often, if you let them know that you already have an appraisal from a state-certified appraiser before filing the report, someone will meet with you to look over the report and make the corrections there at the desk.

We're Here to Help

Appraisals by Michael offers a number of appraisal services, but appraisals for property tax appeals is one of our specialties. We are here to provide you with the assurance that you are only paying your fair share of property taxes. While we are unable to guarantee the outcome of your appeal, an appraisal completed by one of our state-certified appraisers is your best chance of success. State-certified appraisers are largely considered to be the experts in real property valuation. We are familiar, experienced, and trained in the ins and outs of your neighborhood.



In a contested divorce, other than the fight over who gets the children, deciding who gets the marital property can be a heated debate.  In most cases, neither party want to give up their rights to the home. Rightfully so, it’s the home they’ve sometimes lived in for years and are emotionally and financially invested. Usually the decision can boil down to selling it and splitting the profit or allowing one party to keep it. Whether you and your spouse have reached a divorce settlement or the judge has ordered you all to divide assets, knowing the true value of your home and having the right certified appraiser on your side is vital.


Is an appraisal necessary?

The only way to know the true value of your home, is to get an appraisal from a certified appraiser. Establishing value for your home is key to insure you are well equipped when filing a divorce. A common misconception people seem to have when deciding whether or not to get their home appraised is that if an appraisal has been done on their home at one point or another, it is still valid. Most state courts require a recent appraisal done by a certified real estate appraiser when determining the market value of the home. If you’ve gotten an appraisal in the last 3 months, there is a good chance the value of your home has changed. With a fluctuating housing market, a house appraised at $150k 4 months ago may be worth thousands more today. Not to mention if any renovations or upgrades have been done following the appraisal.

Our appraisers are trained to analyze your home inside and out. They begin with assessing your home, noting square footage and any upgrades done (most importantly to your kitchen and bathrooms). They then pull homes in your neighborhood that have sold in the last year. Paying close attention to those who have sold in the last 90 days. If your home has features that the others do not have, the appraiser adds to your home’s value. The reverse applies if your home does not have features that the others do, value is then deducted from your home.

Do I need a separate appraiser from my spouse?

In most divorce cases spouses usually want their own separate appraiser.  If things are cordial between the two spouses, they may agree with going with one appraiser and sharing the cost. In a situation of having two different appraisers and two different values, the court might settle on a mid-point in-between the two.


At Appraisals by Michael, we’ve worked with attorneys in Georgia on delicate matters such as divorce for over 15 years. We assemble well-supported appraisal reports for court hearings on an as-needed basis. Judges rely on our expertise when determining the value of the marital home. A certified appraiser should be ready and willing to appear in court or mediation on your behalf to verify and back up the value he/she concluded. Contact us for more information or to schedule your appraisal today!

To get in touch with an appraiser in your area or for more information click on one of the areas below closest to you:

|Dekalb County|Dunwoody|Fulton County|Gwinnett County|Marietta|Sandy Springs


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