As always, your offer should be based on current market value, not the asking prices of homes that have not sold, not the assessments, just the current market value. The agent handling your offer should be guiding you on this, so that you have a clear understanding of offers relative to market, not assessed value.
Good Luck with your purchase!
Glad you used the advise given here to make a sound decision on fair offer amounts.
One caveat....do not use online "valuations" such as Zillow's zestimate, they are not always correct nor do they take into account upgrades to a home and location (to a point....even in a specific zip code there are subsections which are valued higher or lower depending on their location).
As you have learned, the best and most accurate comparatives come directly from the MLS, which reflects TRUE recent sales prices.
Good luck !!!
Since you are actively involved with placing a bid, I must defer advice to the agent who represents you. I would not attempt to venture into making any suggestions on your pricing or strategy.
I can provide this link...which provides the equalization rates for Monmouth County. Perhaps you can contact the County offices for assistance in understanding the relationship of assessed values to market values and discuss the comps with your agent. Please note that this chart is nearly one year old. Also, if you intend to evaluate properties from this perspective, keep the margin or error rate in mind.
Where we see equalization rates most commonly used is in tax appeals, not purchases. The data used by REALTORS for providing marketing analysis and pricing opinions is recent comparable sales. Appraisers also use recent comparable sales as the most frequent method for providing an appraisal.
Still, I attach the link below for data on tax rates and equalization ratios.
Best of luck in your search.
Deborah "Deb" Madey - Broker
Peninsula Realty Group - Red Bank, NJ