Property Assessment vs Appraisal: Understanding the Difference

In the real estate world, these two terms "property assessment" and "appraisal" are frequently interchanged, causing confusion among buyers, sellers, and even experienced professionals. While both jobs involve checking out a property, they've got different goals and ways of doing things.

Property Assessment:

Properties are analyzed by BC Assessment to understand the market value of your property as of July 1st of the previous year. When determining the assessed value, the following property characteristics are considered:
The location of the home
The view from the home
The size of the home
The age of the home
Garages, carports, decks, pool, etc.
Our appraisers also consider recent sales of properties with similar characteristics to your property. Keep in mind, no one physically goes into your house for an assessment.

The rate of change in market value is influenced by the supply of properties for sale and the demand from buyers. Market values may increase when there is low supply and high demand (seller's market) and may decrease when there is high supply and low demand (buyer's market). When supply and demand are balanced, market values remain stable.


An appraisal is a document estimating a property's current fair market value, typically conducted by a licensed appraiser at the request of a lender. The appraiser, an unbiased third party, evaluates various factors including the property, home, location, amenities, and physical condition. These professionals use a combination of data analysis, market research, and on-site inspections to arrive at an accurate valuation of the property. While there's often no direct connection between BC Assessment and appraised value, lenders rely on appraisals to ensure the property's value aligns with the loan amount, mitigating risks associated with mortgage loans. Appraisals are impartially conducted based on established standards, and the borrower usually covers the cost.

In summary, a BC Assessment appraisal provides an educated estimate of a home's value, as of July 1st of the previous year. An appraisal can occur at any time and involves a thorough and knowledgeable calculation of a home’s current value.