Assessment vs. Appraisal

Assessment and appraisal are two different processes used to determine the value of a property, typically for different purposes. Here are the key differences between assessment and appraisal:


  1. Purpose: Property assessment is primarily done for tax assessment purposes. It is used to determine property taxes.

  2. Authority: Assessments are carried out by local tax assessors or assessment offices. These assessments are typically conducted periodically, such as annually or biennially.

  3. Methodology: The assessment process often relies on mass appraisal techniques, where properties in a given area are grouped together based on certain characteristics, and a standard valuation approach is applied.

  4. Value Determination: The assessed value is used to calculate property taxes. The assessed value may not necessarily reflect the current market value of the property.

  5. Public Record: The assessed value of a property is usually a matter of public record and is accessible to anyone interested.

  6. Objective: The primary objective of property assessment is to determine the taxable value of a property, which may not always align with its fair market value.


  1. Purpose: Property appraisal is conducted to determine the fair market value of a property for various purposes, including buying, selling, financing, or estate planning.

  2. Authority: Appraisals are typically performed by licensed and certified real estate appraisers who are impartial and provide an objective value assessment.

  3. Methodology: Appraisers use various methods, such as the sales comparison approach, income approach, or cost approach, to determine the property's fair market value. The appraisal is often more detailed and customized to the specific property.

  4. Value Determination: The appraised value reflects the property's current market value, considering its condition, location, and comparable sales data.

  5. Private Document: Appraisal reports are typically private documents commissioned by individuals or organizations for specific purposes and are not public record.

  6. Objective: The primary objective of property appraisal is to provide an accurate and unbiased estimate of the property's market value, which can guide decisions related to buying, selling, lending, or other transactions.

In summary, the key distinction is that property assessment is mainly used for tax purposes and is conducted by local government authorities, while property appraisal is a more comprehensive process carried out by independent appraisers to determine the market value for various private and financial reasons.

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