The full post is on the link below.
Jay's right - don't waste a trip to the assessor's office. That's not going to get you very far here in Maricopa County to be perfectly honest. Using the comps that come up when you press "comps" from the assessor site for any property will give you a remarkable range of utterly useless data.
What the owner paid for it has nothing to do with what it is worth today. You don't know for sure that when she bought it, she paid the fair market value price for it then, so automatically adding a percentage increase would be incaccurate (and maybe not to your benefit!).
A better idea is to have a Realtor who knows the area well do a comparative market analysis for you using the property of interest as a basis. And be sure that only RECENT sold comparables are used (I mean, within the last 3 months, even, given the undergoing correction of the market) to help you arrive at the fair price.
and experience. Market conditions are very important..currently, much of Phoenix is experiencing an oversupply of properties, reduced demand and your property may be competing against bank owned and foreclosed upon homes...You may want to hire a Real Estate Appraiser - Real Estate Appraisers do this for a living. Appraisers ask to be paid for their opinion but have no interest in how much you sell for or who sells your home. A professional appraisal is unbiased and informed. Your method of valuing the property will not be used by the person that you want to sell to in the future.
This is a really interesting question considering the amount of changes that the Phoenix real estate market has gone through in the last 5 years. In 04 and 05 people were realizing up to 80K equity on a home within a years time. This is extremely unhealthy, as a good average would be a 7% equity gain in a years time on a property. The last two years have shown a marked decrease in property values due to a glut of homes on the market, and competitive pricing. As was stated earlier in this post, your best bet is to have a real estate professional run current comps on the property for you, and take a good hard look at what has sold recently. I hope this information helps.
The value of a home is never a function of what somebody paid for it years ago. Just ask those whose homes were bought for ten's of thousand's of dollars higher than what they are currently worth in today's market. It's about what it's worth today. Compare it to other competing sales and current competition, but really put the emphasis on closed sales and market trends. Don't get hung up on averages and generalizations, and really focus on the specifics of the home you're interested in.
Even if you calculate based upon a formula that factors original price paid and added for appreciation rates, the seller won't look at pricing that way, and neither will the agents or appraisers.
Agents and appraisers will not use data from 4+ years ago for pricing opinions. There are too many variables and possibilities for home improvements or deferred maintenance over the time period. More relevant to the pricing opinion will be recent comps, condition, current pendings, and competition.
While these factors are valid in real estate markets across the country, only a local Realtor can advise you on pricing opinion. He/she will choose relevant comps and advise you accordingly.
Here is a link to an article that mentions the Phoenix area and the appreciation its seen in the last 10 years, also it contains the amount of depreciation.
Get a real idea of property values by visiting the assessors office in the area of Phoenix where you are considering, and this will help you see actual numbers to determine whether or not a property is really overpriced.
Base your offer on comparables now, and then quantify why you think the house is worth less...maybe it needs some updating, maybe an awkward layout for your needs...whatever it is, and that way when it comes time to negotiate you are doing it from a rationale versus just that it appears to be overpriced.