Private Real Estate Appraisers



John Tuteur Assessor

Private Real Estate Appraisers

The Assessor’s office receives many calls from property owners asking about the value of their property. What was this property worth at a point in the past when my spouse or parent bought or inherited the property or when they died? What is this property worth today for estate planning purposes? What are the improvements on the property worth in terms of fire or earthquake insurance coverage? How much should I ask if I were going to lease a portion of the property for vineyard development?

To carry out his/her duty to value property for property tax purposes, the Assessor in each of California’s 58 counties employs a staff of real and personal property appraisers certified by the California State Board of Equalization. The role of these appraisers is limited to valuing property under the provisions of the California Constitution and state law for property tax purposes. Therefore, for the types of questions listed above, we suggest that the property owner contact a licensed, private real estate appraiser, also known as a fee appraiser because they work for a fee, to prepare an appraisal of the property.

In California, private real estate appraisers are licensed by the Office of Real Estate Appraisers (OREA), a state agency created by the Legislature. In addition, private real estate appraisers usually belong to one or more professional associations that have their own educational and designation procedures. Any property owner seeking the services of a private real estate appraiser should insure that the appraiser is licensed. The names of private real estate appraisers can be obtained from an attorney, accountant, real estate professional, located under Real Estate Appraisers in the telephone directory or on the Internet at

If a property owner has a concern about a property tax value that the Assessor has enrolled, the owner may send us a private real estate appraisal that may have been done for other purposes. We review the information provided by the private real estate appraiser to see if it is relevant to our property tax valuation. Private appraisals submitted can cover general issues such as the value of the property on a specific date or can be directed towards specific questions such as limited access, site contamination and/or legal or governmental restrictions.

Should you have any questions please contact Napa County Assessor John Tuteur at (707) 253-4459 or by e-mail