Do Not Use Jefferson County Alabama Tax Appraisals to Find Your Homes True Value

Collier Swecker video blogs about how homeowners in the Birmingham AL area do not need to use Jefferson County property tax appraisals as an indication of their homes actual retail value. A Sunday, June 27, 2010 article in The Birmingham News seemed to imply that property values as appraised by the Jefferson County Tax Appraiser were arrived at via methods similar to those of a Realtor or Real Estate Appraiser. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. Jefferson County has no incentive to be accurate in this economic climate of declining real estate prices. As an example, just last night I was reviewing sales numbers for homes in Vestavia Hills that have sold in the past 3 years over $500,000. What I found is not consistent with the appraisals performed by Jefferson County. These homes on average, saw a decline in average sales price of nearly 8 percent year over year. I know this is not good news if this affects your home, but this is real sales data that must be considered if you want to arrive at what your home is worth to potential buyers at this given time. The Birmingham News needs to be sure not to imply, as they strongly did in their article, that the public should rely on Jefferson County tax appraisals for any purpose other than figuring out how much property tax they owe. While the Birmingham area has not been hit with double-digit declines to the degree of areas like Phoenix, Las Vegas and South Florida, our market is showing signs of rapidly decreasing sales prices across the board. Of course that means that it is a great time to buy a home! If you have any comments or questions about finding your homes true value, email me at or visit my website at


About Collier Swecker

Collier Swecker is a licensed real estate broker, attorney, blogger, speaker and entrepreneur. He is the founding partner of the Mega Agent Real Estate Team at RE/MAX Advantage which ranks as one of the top selling real estate teams in Alabama. Collier also acts as a business and marketing consultant for small business start-ups.

Collier graduated from Auburn University (B.A., 1998), Cumberland School of Law (Juris Doctor, 2002) and Washington University School of Law in St. Louis (Masters of Law in Taxation, 2003). Collier was the principal partner of the law firm Swecker and Sparks LLC for 3 years before leaving the law practice for real estate development and sales.

Collier is a native of Yorktown, Virginia and currently resides in Birmingham, Alabama with his wife, Amanda Capps Swecker. Collier & Amanda are the proud parents to a beautiful daughter, Julia Abigayle. They have one dog named Kramer.

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