With real estate assessments scheduled to mail this month, St. Charles County Assessor Scott Shipman advises homeowners to think twice before using valuation service companies. For a fee, these companies offer to help homeowners determine if their property is overvalued, as well as offer materials to help appeal property values.
“The services they provide are inferior to the services our office provides, or what a homeowner can research on their own or discuss with our office at no cost,” said Shipman. “These companies do not perform due diligence, which bogs down the appeals process with inaccurate information and wastes time and taxpayer dollars.”
Shipman says that in many cases, the information presented by these companies is usually of little relevancy to the market value and generated without considering important aspects such as the location and size of the property, architectural type and condition. Additionally, Shipman notes that representatives or tax agents performing appraisal or valuation analysis information must be certified or licensed in the state of Missouri, and offers to provide market value to contest assessments based on contingent fees are in violation of Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice.
Many valuation service companies buy public data and use information that homeowners can access for free via the Assessor’s website at http://assessor.sccmo.org or by coming into the Assessor’s office at the St. Charles County Administration Building, located at 201 North Second Street in St. Charles.
Concerned homeowners can contact the Assessor’s office at 636-949-7425 to make an appointment to discuss their real estate assessment, check to ensure property characteristic information is correct, and discuss sale(s) information.