How Many Comparable Sales Should I Use?
Some states have specific rules that require a certain number of comparable sales. In general, three to five comparable sales should be sufficient, assuming that you can find comparable sales that are similar in type and relatively close in time to the valuation date. In New Jersey, the valuation date is October 1 of the pre-tax year. So, for the tax year 2019, we’re looking at an October 1, 2018 valuation date. We’d want to look at sales that occurred around that assessment date. If you have a piece of property that is not commonly traded or sold on the market, you may be looking at sales that are quite a few years old. The best way to ensure compliance with local rules is to retain an experienced Tax Attorney
When Must My Comparable Sales Evidence Be Submitted?
You have to know your local rules and procedures to determine when your comparable sales evidence needs to be submitted. It also depends on whether you’re before the local Board of Review, the County Board of Taxation, or State Tax Court. The timing for submitting comparable sales can be detrimental to your case; if you’re unfamiliar with the rules or procedures within that specific jurisdiction. In New Jersey, before the County Board of Taxation, the comparable sales must be submitted at least seven days prior to the hearing date. It is common to see unrepresented taxpayers appear the day of the hearing with their comparable sales and have the board completely disregard any information they have, even if it’s relevant and supports a reduction due to the party’s failure to submit the comparable sales data at least seven days prior to the hearing.
Can’t I Just Reference The Neighbors’ Assessments As The Basis or appealing my tax?
In New Jersey, we’re not comparing tax assessments, we are looking at fair market value. The taxing authority, County Board and Tax Court don’t look at your assessed value versus your neighbors’ assessed values. You have to look to the market to see what the fair market value of your property is, based on comparable sales and other factors. If your neighbor’s house is assessed one hundred thousand dollars less than yours, that’s not something that a court or local board would consider. If your neighbor’s house sold around the assessment date for significantly less than your assessment and is exactly the same, that information would be useful in achieving a reduction.
Where Could I Get Physical Descriptions Of My Property And The Comparable Properties I Will Use As Evidence?
A good place to start for finding physical descriptions of your property and comparable properties is the tax assessor. There is no single source to get physical descriptions of your property and comparable properties. A real estate listing may provide some information; however, you are relying on information that cannot be verified.
Will Photographs Of My Property And Other Property Help?
The more information you have about your property, the better. You can show photos of your property in comparison to a similar property. This will help in showing the finish and condition of the property which will impact its value.
When Will I Receive My Hearing Notice?
When you receive your hearing notice will depend on what state you’re in and what stage you are at in the appeal process. At the local level, you can get a hearing notice shortly after you file your appeal. In some instances, they’ll send it 30 days before the hearing date. In other cases, you can receive it two weeks before the hearing date. In New Jersey, it also depends on which county board you’re appearing before as the scheduling may vary.
For more information on Using Comparable Sales In Tax Appeals, a complimentary initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (973) 227-1912 today.