About 250,000 residents will receive their 2011 home revaluation this week, and Mecklenburg County assessors expect about 15 percent to appeal.
Those residents will have 30 days from Feb. 7 to appeal to the Mecklenburg County Assessor's Office, said Chuck Hicks, real property appraiser manager for Mecklenburg County.
"It comes down to a difference of opinion. An appraisal is an estimate. It's not carved in stone," said Hicks.
"If they feel like the value is unreasonable, we encourage them to appeal it."
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Listings with inaccurate home square footage and incomplete information on home sales in neighborhoods are often the culprits of an inaccurate home revaluation.
Homes that stayed on the market for long periods of time and then were taken off can also skew home revaluations because the county doesn't see those records, said Hicks.
Every resident will receive an appeal form with their 2011 home revaluation, he added.
"The more detailed you are about why you believe the value is wrong, the better off you are," said County Commissioner Karen Bentley of District 1, which includes Lake Norman.
Bentley hosted two public meetings in the weeks leading up to the 2011 revaluation to educate residents on revaluation.
At the Jan. 31 public meeting at Mountain Island Lake, Hicks stressed to residents that - although foreclosures have not historically been considered during revaluations - they were considered this time because of their prevalence in the current economy.
"They begin to influence buyer expectations," he said. "In some neighborhoods, distress sales have become more prevalent than regular sales."
The county is required by state law to revalue properties every eight years to bring them to fair market values.
Should residents appeal their revaluation and be denied a change from the county appraiser's office, they have 15 days to appeal to the County Board of Equalization and Review in Charlotte.
Once they hear the board's decision, they will have 15 days to appeal to the property tax commission in Raleigh, although Hicks noted that at that formal level, a lawyer is usually needed.
During the last revaluation in 2003, about 19,000 residents appealed to the county assessor's office.
Hicks said 16,000 of those appeals did not go any further than the county office, and that 60 percent of those residents saw an adjustment in their home revaluation.
Hicks said adjustments usually consisted of a net value difference between 5 and 10 percent.
About 3,000 residents progressed to the Board of Equalization and Review during the 2003 revaluation with only a couple hundred continuing to the property tax commission in Raleigh, said Hicks.
"Most people end up with something that they find reasonable before that point," said Hicks.