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Appraiser or Real Estate Broker: Who Will Decide the Dispute?

In the event that you’re trying to sell your house, the last thing you want to deal with is a property dispute. Often, these disputes concern boundary lines or ownership details, but whatever the dispute, you’ll need the right people on your team. This can also determine the amount of property taxes that you will owe your county in the end! Property disputes have existed probably as long as property has, but that doesn’t make them any less than stressful, time-consuming ordeals. When you need to resolve a property dispute quickly, having great people on your side will be absolutely necessary. So whom do you contact if there’s any trouble?

Who will help?

While you may be tempted to call your real estate agent, it is important to remember that his or her role is simply to help you buy and sell property – not necessarily to solve disputes concerning the property. A real estate agent will give you pointers on renovating and upgrading your home to sell more quickly or at a higher price, but legally, he or she cannot give you advice regarding property disputes.

An appraiser from the Harris County Appraisal District, on the other hand, is the perfect person to help you settle the matter. Simply put, an appraiser is one who can tell you what something is worth. A real estate appraiser, though, can go further than that, helping you to determine past and present property lines and ownership details that will get you through a property dispute quickly.

There are laws in Houston, Texas regarding property disputes, and thankfully an appraiser can help you navigate through them easily. To get started, give a local appraiser a call, and simply inform them of the problem.

How can an appraiser help?

Before the appraiser ever steps foot in your house, he or she will conduct research. Most of this can be done at the courthouse, where detailed records regarding property often go back hundreds of years. These records are often free, and a matter of public record, so they are relatively easy to attain. They will help to determine correct ownership of a property, as well as the property lines going back centuries.

The appraiser cannot make a legal ruling regarding your specific case. They can, however, act as a witness should you need to take your case to court. An appraiser can also be an objective, professional voice regarding the facts of the property in question and your property taxes. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you will always win your case, but if the facts are on your side, the law should follow.

What if the dispute still isn’t solved?

Once the appraiser has determined a solution to the dispute, the problem should be solved. If not, you may opt to use a mediator to find a resolution. A mediator is a safe, objective individual who can help two parties come to an agreement in a legal setting. Mediators are often a way to avoid trial and court costs, and will assist you in writing a legal settlement. An attorney can represent you through the mediation, and if you do need to go to court, can also help you to solve the matter legally in court.

Need Help? Let the Professional Handle It

Property disputes can be time-consuming, stressful ordeals, but with the proper professionals on your side, they can be solved with some ease and timeliness. If you find yourself in the midst of a property dispute, be sure to let your real estate agent know, but contact an appraiser as soon as possible as well. An appraiser is a professional with the tools and knowledge to help you through any dispute you may have regarding your property. A property dispute can be determining when it comes to paying your property taxes, so make sure it is resolved by a professional!

If you have any question regarding how a property dispute could affect your property taxes, contact O’Connor & Associates today!

Blog Author

Patrick O’Connor, MAI, Owner and President
Patrick O’Connor has been active in reducing property taxes, providing expert witness testimony and appraising commercial real estate property since 1983. Pat is active in publishing analyses and data with respect to the real estate market, while being a highly regarded media spokesperson for the real estate community. He holds a MAI, the highest achievable designation from the Appraisal Institute, and is a licensed senior property tax consultant. Pat earned a Master of Business Administration from Harvard University. In 2001, he authored the first definitive consumer guide to Texas property taxes, Cut Your Texas Property Taxes.

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