On December 31, BC property assessment notices will be mailed to all property owners in British Columbia stating the market value of their property as of July 1, 2015.

With this important piece of mail coming soon it is a very good time to review how the BC home assessment process works and what you can do if you don’t agree with the assessed value of your home.

BC Assessment Value

BC Assessment is a private and self-supporting Crown Corporation that evaluates and attaches a dollar value to over two million properties throughout British Columbia.

Over the past 38 years this organization has established a province-wide assessment standard that is used by local municipal taxing authorities to collect property tax that helps support your municipal services. On their website, they claim to have assessed 1,974,120 properties across British Columbia last year and generate over $6 billion in revenue for local communities.

BC Assessment relies on its large database full of information gathered from BC municipalities, the provincial government plus local real estate boards. By analyzing bulk home sales within an area BC Assessment sets a market value for properties with similar features in similar areas.

Your BC assessment value of property is based on a number of factors, including:

  • Finished area and size of lot
  • Number of bedrooms and bathrooms
  • Age and condition of home
  • Features including patios, sheds and garages
  • Layout and views
  • Surrounding traffic, noise levels, schools and amenities

This approach for assessment is designed to imitate actual buyers’ behaviour when selecting a home. It can calculate the trade-offs between various factors such as house close to a busy road but with a large square footage or a home with a finished basement but small backyard.

BC Assessment Value vs. Market Value

Your assessment may fluctuate from year to year as houses in your neighborhood sell for more or less, or as you make major changes to your home.

Keep in mind that your actual assessment value recorded on paper is much different than the true market value of your home. Your market value is the estimated price your home could actually sell for; the market value is what someone else is willing to pay.

While BC Assessment updates your home’s value once a year (on July 1 of the previous year) a professional Realtor can determine the value of your home at any given time depending on current real estate market conditions, seasonal factors, and external causes.

A BC real estate agent will use statistics such as average list price and sale price of similar homes in the neighborhood and average time on market. Along with their knowledge and expertise, Realtors will help you determine the true value of your home as well as an appropriate list price to help you earn as much as possible when the house sells.

Do you need a professional appraisal of the market value of your BC home? I would love to speak with you … either fill out my online Contact Form or call or text me at 778-316-4290.

(Note: This article originally published on July 3, 2012 has been updated in preparation for BC Property Assessment 2015 mailouts.)