The true determination of a property's market value is determined by what a willing buyer and a willing seller negotiate as a sales price. This removes sellers that are under duress of any kind (short sale, facing foreclosure, severe financial difficulties, etc.) from the equation.
A good real estate professional can provide you with a range of values for homes in a specific area. However, remember, each home is unique, as is each sales transaction. Buying a home from a seller with equity often garners a higher sales price, as you are dealing with someone who will give you full disclosure about their home and respond to a request for repairs. Buying a short sale often leads to a lower price (even if the homes are identical) because you will have to do your own termite, pay for your own Home Warranty, and perform all needed repairs yourself.
The final word on the property's market value will be given by the appraiser. If the property is worth less than what you offered, you can go back to the seller and possibly negotiate the price down to the appraised value (we do this often with Bank Owned and Short Sale properties). If the property is worth more than you offered, then the appraisal will come back at the purchase price offered. This will confirm that you are getting your home for market value or below.
Hope this clears up, and or reinforces, some of the points made in the prior posts. Good luck in your home search and Dare to Dream.
Shel-lee Davis, CDPE
Your Real Estate Consultant for Life
RE/MAX Palos Verdes Realty
I assume you are referring to the homes in Diamond Bar, specifically those in the Walnut School District. I know this area well and have sold a few homes there. In your area homes in the Walnut S.D. go for a premium and are really selling fast right now, usually with multiple offers. The $$ you pay for a home will ultimately be determined by an appraisal followed by any final negotiations between you and the seller should the appraisal come in lower than the contract price.
I'd love to offer you further assistance should you need it.
Prudential CA Realty
Same SqFt living area, plus or minus 10%
Within a 1-mile radius of the subject property
Currently for Sale,
Sold within the last 60 days (or maybe 90, 120 depending on what it takes to get enough sales to be meaningful, at least 8, prefer 12 or more)
That will give you a high, low, median and average price on comparable homes for sale and sold. Sold is the most important. Ours also gives a a sold price per SqFt. My starting point is that price per SqFt times the floor space of the subject property.
Then I like to take the client to see 3-4 of the comparable homes that are for sale, and look at the MLS pictures of the sold homes, all to get a feel for whether the subject home is better or worse than those. That will help make a judgement about whether the price should be above or below that calculation I just made.
That's the bare bones of how it works for me. Hope it's helpful.
Also check my blog post at
This is one of the free services real estate professionals provide for their customers. By reviewing the sale prices of recently sold similar properties they can calculate an approximate value called a CMP(comparative market analysis).
Another option is to have an appraisal done by a professional appraiser....which may cost several hundred dollars.