Before Selling to OSU

Before you sell your property to OSU, you might want to go to the County Administration building at 6th and Duck and ask the County Assessor to print out information regarding the updated, 2006, assessed value of your property. You might also be wise to ask about the property around you.

Last summer an individual of the firm, hired by OSU to gather information, went to the County Assessor to get the appraisals for all properties in the proposed acquisition area. It is possible they are making offers according, not only according to the appraisals of Cinnabar, but also from the list provided them last summer giving 2002 valuations.

Properties are assessed in a 4 yr. cycle. This year is the year in the cycle for properties in the proposed acquisition area were scheduled to be revalued. Therefore, it makes sense that property values have increased in the last four years.

An official of OSU stated to me that the County Assessor was “playing games with the assessments” and assesssing the properties much higher than they should be.

However, in a letter to the editor, Stillwater Newspress published on 1/15/06, Cheri Hall, retired Payne County Assessor (12/31/04 and 26 years of serving in that office) said: “In order for the assessor to establish a market value, she must maintain a sales file and verify if the sales are arm’s length transactions between a WILLING seller and a WILLING buyer without duress. Only these sales can be used in establishing market value. To insure that every county in this state is in compliance with the law, the Ad Valorem Division performs several studies in each county every year, including their own sales study.

Cheri assured that valuations in the assessor’s office are based on market value. The assessor is required by law to appraise property at market value. using a recognized procedure for mass appraisal. That procedure is establised in the Rules and Regulations of the Ad Valorem Division of the Oklahoma Tax Commission according to the Oklahoma Statutes and based on the standards of the International Association of Assessing Officers.

Cheri also suggests that everyone in the affected area should ask for a copy of the complete OSU appraisal when OSU makes an offer, to look it over and talk to a local appraiser familiar with the Stillwater market.

A friend of mine who has been a real estate agent in the City of Stillwater for many years, told me that when a house is placed on the market, it is rarely listed at the assessed value. Instead, she said, it is nearly always listed at least 10% higher than the assessed value.

I’m only passing on information that may be of help to you, things I have learned since Nov. 5, 2005. I do not claim to be an expert!

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2 Responses to Before Selling to OSU

  1. Dr. Ted Douglas says:

    Was down at the assessor’s office today and yes the 06 valuations are up significantly, yet on several of the properties I looked, the assessor was still under true market value. I understand someone from OSU, not sure who, met with Jackie and accused her of just raising the evaluations because of OSU’s announcement. He provided her with comp sales he felt were appropriate. She gave him stacks of sales that the assessor used. One of OSU’s comps was the sale of a property from one man to his brother in law, not an arm’s length transaction at all. I did see one appraisal where the appraiser from Tulsa used a house on Ramsey as a comp sale. His opinion was that the house on Ramsey sold for $65000, he drove by and it’s a nice house. What he didn’t take into account was that since it was purchased for 65K, the owner has spent $15000 on exterior siding and paint, not to mention the complete remodel on the interior. Contact a local appraiser before you sell!

  2. Tamara Colbert Maschino says:

    I am disgusted that OSU would question the Assessor comps, they have struck a new low. My mom’s house is in immaculate condition, has around 2000 sq feet and has had tons of upgrades including $25000 spent in the past couple of years on a new roof, carpet, etc. Is it any wonder people are concerned about having an OSU appraisal after hearing about these war stories on what they have done?

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