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Lower your real estate taxes

ValueAppeal says about 25% of homes are over-assessed

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About a quarter of the nation's homeowners pay more than their fair share of property taxes every year, by the estimates of Seattle-based ValueAppeal, a company that charges a fee to assist customers in appealing their tax assessment. The fee is refundable if the appeal is unsuccessful. ValueAppeal analyzes whether a particular home is over-assessed compared to nearby, similar properties. The company's proprietary algorithm takes into account several factors, including a home's number of bedrooms and bathrooms, construction quality, age, condition, square footage, grade, and whether it has amenities like a golf course or an exceptional view. Property-tax assessments are created by running an automated valuation model over homes in the county, said Charlie Walsh, ValueAppeal's founder and CEO. "That model will spit out values for all those homes. Anytime you do a model like that ... on one end you will have 25 percent over-assessed, and on the other 25 percent under-assessed, a...