Get an appraisal before filing an appeal of a Pennsylvania real estate assessment

Timothy Allan Berger's Property Tax Legal Blogs

Licensed for 23 years

Attorney in Media, PA

Before you file a tax appeal that challenges the assessed value of your property, you need to know the property’s fair market value.  Unless you bought the property in an arms-length transaction within the last year (in which case the appeal can be based on the sales price), you need to get an appraisal.

When considering different appraisers, you should consider whether the property is residential or commercial, and whether you are likely to need the appraiser to testify. (Testimony may be needed if an appeal is taken to the Court of Common Pleas from the decision of the Board of Assessment Appeals).

Since the appraiser will need some time to inspect the property and prepare the appraisal, don’t wait to order the appraisal until just before a deadline for filing an assessment appeal.  (In many Pennsylvania counties, you must file an appeal of the following year’s assessment by August 1).

Having the appraisal in hand well in advance helps you avoid filing an ill-advised appraisal; remember that, by filing an appeal, you are opening the door for an increase in your assessment if the evidence convinces the Board of Assessment Appeals that the property is undervalued.

If you have questions about appealing your assessment so as to reduce your property tax, more information can be found on our website at, or contact me by clicking here or by phone at 610-565-4750.  We handle appeals throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania, including in Delaware County, Chester County, Montgomery County and Bucks County.

Before filing an appeal of a real estate assessment, you need an idea of the value of your property.  Usually, you must get an appraisal in order to file a successful appeal.  Now is the time to start thinking about an assessment appeal and an appraisal.

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