This is a great question, and you may be surprised that I suggest either option will work well.
Well prepared home owners can do an excellent job of presenting their case and getting a favorable reduction.
There are two issues to consider:
1) will you protest and show up for the hearing each and every year and
2) do you want to spend the time to prepare for and attend the protest?
Most of our clients hire us because of the convenience factor.
In any given year, either the tax consultant or the property owner can appeal. There is voluminous do-it-yourself information for handling your property tax appeal at www.poconnor.com
The primary benefit of a tax consultant is we appeal every year (or many tax consultants do). O’Connor does appeal every property every year. The annual appeals generate on average a 13% reduction, based on an analysis of 43,000 Harris County Appraisal District’s residential accounts who had appealed for 5 or more years.
I would encourage to try appealing if you are inclined. You should accept that the process is arbitrary and don’t get upset when you have a bad hearing; it happens often. There are unreasonable hearing results both at informal and formal hearings. Don’t give up!
Several years ago, I met an acquaintance who had not been appealing his property taxes because he felt it would be futile. He had tried protesting himself in previous years and lost. I encouraged him to consider appealing anyway. We met 4 years later after he decided to hire a consultant and he was happy to report to me saving $1,500/year in property taxes. There was one year he didn’t get a reduction, but because he had signed up for the Property Tax Protection Program, O’Connor & Associates continued to file an appeal each year. If you don’t file an appeal, there is no chance for a reduction in property taxes!
However, when you get tired of battling the appraisal district annually, contact a tax consultant and let them appeal for you. Annual appeals are necessary to maintain a fair level of taxation. While you may not get a reduction every year, you can be sure we are trying to reduce your taxes and we do not get paid unless we are successful.
There are some tax consultants that charge for market value reductions, even if it does not reduce your property taxes. If O’Connor & Associates does not lower your taxes, you owe us NOTHING!
We fight for Texas property owners, even if it means we don’t get paid.
If you would like to find out if your property is over-assessed, visit the Free Fairness Checker to find out . You only need to enter your property address and you will see if you are being taxed fairly or not. If you aren’t happy with the results, go ahead and file an appeal yourself or sign-up online so we can protest your property taxes for you.