Ask Henry

R.E. Salesman VS. Assessor

Dear H2,

I have been a Realtor for 25 years. I am not a broker. I have recently taken a job with the County as a property tax assessor in training.

The assessor job offers benefits, steady employment etc. I thought I could give up Real Estate sales, but it is not that easy after 25 years. I could see where there would be situations where I would have to morally (if not legally) recuse myself, but for the life of me, I cannot see why I cannot help people to purchase a home after hours or on weekends -- just like a Realtor/Broker can appraise property, do CMAs, and then help someone to buy that same property. Disclosure would have to be made of course. I just started as an Appraiser Trainee, and will be going to CPE classes to get my license. I will have to make a decision soon as to my staying with the Assessor Position. The extra income from Real Estate sales is important to my family.

Is there any conflict of interest, if I wanted to do property assessing full time, and still sell real estate part time?


Dear Mike,

This problem has come up many times before. Many municipalities will not permit someone like you to "wear two hats". However, some do. It is all a matter of "appearances" -- and with assessors it is especially a problem. Many people do not like their tax assessments and think their neighbors got treated better because they had some kind of connection to the assessor. If you decided to do this work, you must get written permission from the municipality for which you will be assessing.. Even then it is not 100% safe. Your reputation may suffer.