The "hard" evidence that sellers can use like weapons to defend their asking
price sometimes overwhelms and intimidates buyers. Be prepared to let seller's defenses
roll off your back without compromising your position. Willingly, sellers will bring out
appraisals, market-value estimates by real estate agents, computer printouts of homes sold
in the neighborhood, and cost receipts of improvements that have been made.
Be prepared to attack as follows:
An Appraisal: No matter how expert the appraiser, he or she can't put a price on your
home. No one can ever understand all the factors that are important to you. An appraiser
judges what's important to him or her.
Market-Value Estimate by a Real Estate Agent: Giving free market evaluations is the way
real estate agents get business. It's a device to butter up sellers and entice the sellers
to "come list with me." As such, agents wanting the listing so badly sometimes
give maximum, often outrageously high, market-value prices.
Computer Printouts of Homes Sold in the Neighborhood: Interesting. Worth looking over.
Usually these lists are limited to homes sold by real estate companies, not by owners.
Sometimes homes on the list are carefully selected to justify a higher price. Check
with a buyer's broker for the true story.
Cost Receipts of Improvements Made: Again, interesting. But not necessarily suited to
your needs. I know buyers who paid more for a home without the extra finished room. They
didn't want to have to keep up the extra space.
This Homebuyers Tip was excerpted from:
Buying More House for Less Money,By Cecil Lohmar, Probus Publishing Company, 1990