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When buying or selling a home, the realtor might mention the “assessed value” of the property. While often used interchangeably with a real estate appraisal, an assessment is not the same thing. One important distinction is that an appraisal estimates the price that a home could sell for. An assessment helps to calculate the property tax amount. Another difference is that an appraisal is performed by a contractor hired by a mortgage lender, while an assessment is done by a government employee from the county or city assessor’s office. In our region, that is either the St. Louis county assessor or the City of St. Louis assessor.