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, to prepare an appraisal of the property.

Private Appraisal

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 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.

The names of private real estate appraisers can be obtained from an attorney, accountant, real estate professional, or on the Internet. Any property owner seeking the services of a private real estate appraiser should be sure that the appraiser is licensed by the California Bureau of Real Estate Appraisers.

Contact Information

Should you have any questions please contact Napa County Assessor-Recorder-County Clerk John Tuteur at 707-253-4459 or by emailing John Tuteur. More articles can be found on the Assessor's page.