The housing market was once stronger than it is today. Properties are still losing their value fast, despite there being hope that soon the real estate market rates will increase with a strong economy. It’s an unfortunate situation, but there is a silver lining. A drop in home values means your property assessment will also be lowered, lessening the property taxes you would owe in a particular year.

What if you think your house has been assessed too high even still? Is fighting your property assessment even worth the trouble? It may be.

Understanding how the county values your home is the first thing to do. Viewing comparables and replacement or rebuilding values are two of the most common ways to do this. You might have heard them referred to before as “comps,” which are simply a comparison between your homes worth and what other similar properties in your neighborhood sold for. Assessors will note how much similar home sellers got during the sale in an effort to value your house. On the other hand, replacement or rebuilding value relates to how, based on the cost they think it would take to rebuild your property, a bank appraises your home’s actual value.

You must first build yourself a case for a lower property assessment if you believe your house was valued too high. If you talk with an assessor and inform him or her of your think that you were assessed too high, you’re part of the way there already. Your next step will be to file an appeal. Most locations have a time restriction for such an appeal, as well. 60 days tends to be about average, but it varies, so make sure to check what the real time limit is where you reside so you don’t miss out. The process of the appeal requires you to meet in front of an appeal board and present your case for eight to ten minutes. Photos and floor plans of comparables, as well as any other evidence you can locate to support your case needs to be taken to the appeal.

Additional options do exist, but if you do your homework and file an appeal, that is usually the easiest way to fight your property tax assessment. You should dress to impress, act professionally and make sure your presentation is straight forward and concise. Your chances are pretty good if you make sure to do some research. All the effort and time you have put into fighting your assessment should pay off by a lowering in your annual property taxes.