Home Appraisal vs. Assessment – Let Us Compare

Home appraisal vs. assessment – The significant question here are these different? If so, which one do you need?

The sale and purchase of a home in Maryland is a complicated and confusing process. There is so much to take care of for both parties, and everything can turn into a huge mess if not done properly. One of the most confusing parts of this process is the home appraisals and home assessments. Many people think both appraisers and assessors perform the same job, as both are third parties, are supposed to be neutral, and perform the same kinds of ‘inspections’ of a house. But both processes, home appraisals vs assessment, are completely different in their objectives.

Home Appraisal vs. Assessment, What’s the Difference?


There is a lot of confusion regarding appraisals and assessments. They both sound similar, and both contain similar aspects, but they are completely different. First off, appraisals are a requirement in most home sales, usually by lenders. Assessments, on the other hand, are done to estimate and calculate future property taxes.

The only thing home appraisers are concerned with is the true market value of your house. Assessments are based on past fiscal years and determine the ‘tax value’ of your home. This is the key difference when comparing a home appraisal vs. a home assessment. Let’s take a deeper look into what these jobs entail.

Home Appraisal

Appraisers in West Virginia perform walk-throughs of your house. They visually analyze and inspect every aspect of the home, the exterior, interior, amenities, size, and the number of rooms. They take all their findings back to their office, analyze market trends, and compare your property to similar properties with similar features and amenities in similar locations to determine the fair market value of your home. Appraisals usually cost an average of between $300 to $400 but depend on the type, size, and location of your home.

Home Assessment

Home assessments are required and done by cities, towns, districts, municipalities, and other taxing jurisdictions periodically to put a value on your property or home for taxation purposes. Assessments are done to ensure all property owners pay their fair share in property taxes. The above-mentioned authorities send out assessors who go around assigned locations and assign realistic and fair values to existing properties. Assessments and their processes vary from state to state and district to district, but mainly use the same factors as appraisers to determine and assign values. A key difference between appraisers and assessors is that assessors usually don’t enter and inspect a home’s interior. Assessors also use previous sales data and cost methods when assigning value to your home. Also, assessments are redone and updated every few years, depending on jurisdiction and regulations.


There you have it! The key differences between appraisals and assessments. Home appraisals will ensure the seller receives true market value for their property or a buyer isn’t overpaying on an undervalued property. A home assessment is done by municipalities to determine how much a homeowner pays in property taxes.

Are you looking to sell or buy a home? Want to make sure you get what your home is actually worth? Want to ensure you aren’t overpaying for an undervalued house? Contact us today for a home appraisal!

Share this post:

Schedule Your Appraisal