- When is the deadline for filing a
property tax protest?
May 31, or no later than 30 days after the Appraisal
District mails your preliminary value notice, whichever
is later. (If May 31 falls on a weekend, you have till
the next business day.)
- Should I file a protest?
If you feel that the Appraisal District has appraised
your property value too high, we believe you should file
a protest. However, if you have the over 65 exemption,
the surviving spouse over 65 exemption, or the disable
person exemption, we really can't help you. Your taxes
are frozen and it wouldn't be in your best interest to
pay someone for work that almost certainly isn't going
to save you money.
- My appraised value didn't change
from last year. Is it worth filing a protest this year?
Yes. Just because your appraisal hasn't changed doesn't
mean the value of your property hasn't changed. If you
are experiencing problems with your property, that gives
us an opportunity to lower your appraisal. And while the
real estate market has generally been up in recent years,
sometimes the price buyers are paying do go down. We do
the research for our clients to identify those areas where
this may be taking place. And finally, you may have been
appraised too high last year!
- We never received anything from the
Appraisal District this year. Don't they have to send
us a notice every year?
No. The Appraisal District will generally only send out
preliminary value notices for those properties whose value
changed from last year, have new owners, or some other
change to the property occurred. It's very important to
understand that even if the Appraisal District does not
send you a value notice to remind you of your right to
protest, your deadline to file a protest is still May
- Do I have to hire an agent to protest
the value of my property?
No. You can handle the protest yourself. We offer you
years of experience, knowledge of what the Appraisal District
is looking for, access to information you probably can't
get to, freeing up your time, and relieving you of the
stress of having to confront the appraisers.
- What is the difference between the
appraised value and the market value of my property?
While the two values are generally close to each other,
they are not the same. The appraised value is that value
placed on your property by the Appraisal District for
tax purposes in any given year. And keep in mind it may
have been two or even three years since the District looked
at your property. The market value is a much more current
figure, and is much more customized to the specific condition
of your property. Market value is defined as (watch out,
this is a mouthful!) the highest price a ready, willing
and able buyer would pay and the lowest price a ready,
willing and able seller would accept, when neither the
buyer or seller is under any pressure to act. In other
words, how much can you get for the property if you're
not in a big hurry to sell it?
- If you lower my appraised value,
will that lower my market value?
Nope! See FAQ #6
- How much will it cost to hire Property
Tax Reduction Services?
That depends entirely on how much we reduce your appraised
value. There are no sign-up fees or yearly fees, and if
we don't lower your appraisal, there will be no fee at
all. For a detailed look at our fee structure, go to our
- How do you determine what the appraised
value of my property should be?
We'll look at several factors. First, if you've purchased
your property in the last couple of years, your purchase
price will be the most dominate factor. Next we'll consider
the condition of your property. (The information you provide
us about your property will be vital!) Then we'll look
for properties in your neighborhood that are approximately
the same size and age that have sold recently to see what
they are selling for and what they are appraised at.
- Will I have to accompany you to the
No. Once you sign up for our services, we can handle
all protest matters for you.
- I've already filed my protest.
Can I still sign up for your services?
Yes. There are two important points to remember in this
situation. First, we'll need your signature on the Appointment
of Agent form before your hearing date arrives, so time
may be short. Second, since you filed the protest, the
Appraisal District will send you the Hearing Notice; so
when you get the notice, you've got to tell us when the
hearing is or we'll never know!
- If I sign up for your services,
will you automatically protest my value every year?
We automatically analyze the value of every property
every year. We file a protest on those properties our
analysis suggests may be overvalued. If you want us to
protest any or every year regardless of what our analysis
shows, just tell us and we'll do that for you. If for
any reason you DON'T want us to file a protest in any
given year, just let us and we won't file a protest.
- How will you keep current on
the condition of my property from year to year?
You'll tell us! Every spring we mail to every client
and ask them to give us a call if there has been any change
to their property's condition since last year.
- Will filing a protest make the
Appraisal District look at me harder next year?
No. When the Appraisal District appraises a property,
it does not consider past protests.
- Step 5 of your Appointment of
Agent Form says "upon written notice". Why
and can I put a date in there instead?
We believe that signing up on a continuing basis provides
our clients with the best value for their investment.
Our clients know we are analyzing their appraised value
every year to ensure their taxes stay as low as possible.
Of course, we never charge a fee except in those years
we actually reduce the appraisal. If, however, you'd like
to cross out "upon written notice", and put
in a specific date, you may certainly do so.
- What documentation can I provide
that will help with my protest?
Documentation on the condition of your property is a
big plus! If you've recently purchased your property,
a copy of your HUD-1 Settlement Statement will be very
important. Pictures showing the condition of the property
are very useful. Other documentation includes repair estimates,
engineers reports, or a current appraisal of your property.
- If I want to sign up for your
services, do I need to come to your office or will you
come to my property?
Probably neither! To sign up for our services, we just
need your signature on a couple of forms. Click on our
Sign Up tab
and it will take you through the process.
- I recently purchased my property.
How will that effect my appraised value?
For properties purchased within the last two to three
years, your purchase price is by far the most dominate
factor in determining value. Unless you're experiencing
problems with the property, it will be very difficult
to get your appraisal below your purchase price.
- Could the Appraisal District RAISE
my appraisal if I protest?
Theoretically, yes. When you protest a value, you receive
two hearing dates. The first is informal, with just us
and an appraiser from the District. Your value will not
be raised at the informal hearing. We complete most of
our protests at this informal hearing. The second hearing
is formal, with us, an appraiser from the District, and
an independent panel of three citizens. This panel has
the authority to raise values, but rarely does. When we
take a protest to the formal hearing, we generally know
ahead of time from our first meeting with the appraiser
if they will recommend an increase in value at the formal
hearing, so the risk is minimized. If we feel there is
even a remote possibility that the panel may raise your
value, we will contact you and explain the risk involved
before going to the formal hearing. If you don't want
us to proceed, we will withdraw the protest.
- Why do you have two different
Our basic fee structure is 50% of the taxes saved for
that year. But because of the way taxes are calculated
for properties with a capped value, an Over 65 exemption, or the Disabled person exemption, some reductions will
be too small to provide a tax savings in the current tax
year. Please understand that the
1.4% fee structure is in place to protect us by ensuring
we are paid for our services. In doing so, however, it
puts the property owner at greater risk, because, as stated
above, we don't know how much money, if any, they are
saving. For more information about our fee structure,
go to our Pricing
- If I have the over 65 exemption,
the surviving spouse exemption, or the disabled persons
exemption, is it worth my while to protest?
Probably not. Your taxes are frozen for most taxing entities.
However, whether or not to file a protest is a personal
decision only you can make. We do not represent homeowners
with any of these exemptions; with their taxes frozen,
we simply cannot save them any money.
- I'm turning 65 this year.
What implications does that have for my property taxes?
The implications are huge! Your school, county, community
college, and city taxes (depending on what city you live
in) will be frozen at whatever you pay this year, so you'll
want to get your appraisal as low as possible. If there's
any year you want to protest, this is it. Your savings
will continue as long as you live at that property (unless
you make significant upgrades to it)!
- I don't have any school age
children. Do I still have to pay school taxes?
- If we sign up for your services,
where will the Appraisal District and Tax Assessors Office
mail their notices and bills to?
The only mail we should get is your preliminary value
notice and your hearing notice. When we receive your preliminary
value notice, we will immediately advise you of the value and
invite you to give us an update on the condition of your
property. This usually occurs in April or May. The Tax
Assessors Office should continue to send all correspondence
to you or your mortgage company.
- What properties qualify for
a homestead exemption?
If you own your home and it was your principal residence
on January 1, your property qualifies for a homestead
exemption. Only one of your properties can have this exemption.
- How can I find out what exemptions
I qualify for and how do I file for an exemption?
By calling the Appraisal District at (210) 224-8511 and
asking for customer service. If you qualify they will
mail you the appropriate forms or you can download the
forms from their website. By visiting their website
you can also see what exemptions you already have.
- Do you handle commercial
No. We only do residential properties. We do not handle
commercial, agricultural, or personal property or vacant lots.
- Do you do protests in any
counties other than Bexar County?
No. Nor are we aware of any other companies handling
other counties at this time.
- Are you guys lawyers?
No. We are real estate agents who specialize in protesting
- How successful are you in obtaining
Historically we have obtained a reduction on about 65
percent of our protests.
- What is your average reduction?
We don't calculate that information. Because of the wide
range of property values we represent, we feel the number
would be virtually meaningless.
- Who notifies the mortgage
company of any reduction you get in my appraised value?
We have no contact with mortgage companies. If you would
like your mortgage company to have notification of the
new appraisal before the Appraisal District contacts them,
you will need to call your mortgage company directly.
- If you get a reduction, will
that affect my mortgage payment?
Not necessarily. Mortgage companies have specific guidelines
they must follow to ensure your escrow account has enough
funds to pay your taxes and insurance. If the amount of
your reduction is small, your mortgage company probably
won't reduce your payment. You'll need to contact your
mortgage company to ask about your specific situation.
- Where else can I go to find
some useful information?
Try some of these links. We've found them useful in the
of San Antonio
on State Government
- My property is in Bexar County,
but I pay school taxes in a different county. Will you
represent this property?