The R Report: Who Determines Market Value?

A happy median in price exists for buyers and sellers, even in uncertain times.

Although the real estate market in Westport has stabilized and the number of transactions has risen, gone are the days when buyers would pay whatever they had to in order to get the house that they wanted in a competitive, heated seller's market. 

Today, buyers are very careful about how much they spend and the fear of "overpaying" drives their decision more than how much they can afford or where they want to raise their children.  But how do you determine market value for a property?

Buyers have been told that this is a buyers' market and market value is what a buyer is willing to pay for a home, but what about the other side of the equation?  Isn't market value also dependant on what a seller is willing to take for his home? 

A buyer can decide that a home is worth so much but if the seller doesn't agree to sell for that price, there is no deal.  Buyers and sellers both look at comps - prices that comparable homes have sold for within the past 6 months to a year - but often they draw different conclusions from the data.  What it really comes down to then is motive.  Why does the seller want to sell and how anxious is the buyer to buy? 

This is revealed through the negotiating process. When both parties are equally motivated, a fair market price results.  The sign of a fair deal is when the buyer pays a little more than they wanted to and the seller takes a little less than he expected.


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