How closely do property tax valuations track a home’s historical sales activity? Is there value in looking back, for sales activity and discerned trends? Here’s a custom chart showing the last decade of sales efforts for an undisclosed Flathead Valley home (see chart). The left (vertical) axis shows price in thousands of dollars. The bottom (horizontal) axis shows the calendar (small hashes are months), starting in 2008 and progressing to the present date (darker vertical gray line at far right).
Red polygons show listing periods where the house was on the market, failed to sell and the listings expired. The green polygon is the only listing during which this home was successfully sold (diagonal decrease at its top shows price drop amount). The black vertical line shows the date at which it went under contract. The horizontal lines represent historic tax valuations, green being land, blue being building(s), and black being combined total valuations.
Such data is important whether buying or selling, to put values in context. This is the kind of data a Realtor can access and present to you – you won’t find it on Zillow.
Richard Dews is CEO of Glacier Flathead Real Estate, a Flathead-based real estate software and services company.