Hope this helps.
Coldwell Banker HP&W
It may not be a realistic offer, since what the seller paid is not a determining factor in setting a price.
Tax value is not a good guide, since it is done en masse and often is highly inaccurate.
The value is mostly related to what similar, "comparable," homes have been selling for.
Good comps will consider the lot size and condition of other homes, and the value trends and recent sales prices in the neighborhood.
You should be building a value from comparables, rather than the seller's purchase price or tax value.
If the home is listed by a firm that's a member of the MLS, then the seller typically is paying the commission to the buyer's agent...so that means you generally get the services of a buyer's agent for free (there may be instances where that doesn't apply; however, more often than not, it's true). You have several choices as a consumer about how you'd like to be represented in a real estate transaction and having a buyer's agent who represents only your interests would be a great idea. Assessed/tax value isn't typically the best gauge for a home's market value (which could be more or less than tax value depending on market conditions).
Even in this market, if a home is priced correctly initially, homes still sell for an average of 97% of list price across the board, so a serious offer wouldn't be but a few % from list price if recent market data that a Realtor has access to supports it. In Wake Co., property values in most areas have appreciated in value and the average sales price has increased even in light of economic conditions. Sellers are adjusting prices more often these days and you never know what their motivation is for selling (maybe they can wait it out, perhaps there was a job transfer or family changes, they are anxious to sell ASAP, etc.). Sellers are having to be more competitive these days with pricing since there's such an inventory of homes for buyers to choose from; however, most folks anticipate making money on the sale of their investment and possibly wouldn't entertain an offer for at/less than they paid for the home unless there are undue circumstances. On the same token, any offer is better than no offer, especially if the home has been sitting for a while.
I can pull appreciation rate data for the past 13 mos, showings data, area/subarea Trendgraphix, data, price per sq ft average, a detailed comparative market analysis, etc. for the home if you decide you're ready to work with a buyer's agent. Just let me know if I can assist you in any way.
Please call or email me using the contact info from my website. Thanks and have a great afternoon!
Another factor - throughout last year, homes on the market were up double digits over last year, and sales were down. In December, we saw some significant sales increases, and January looks to be trending the same way. Inventory decreased in December, and was up just 2% to last year. Price points under $300K showed the most significant sales increases, and inventory decreases.
Of course, there are other factors to consider with an individual home, such as other recent sales, the neighborhood, the condition of the home, the amount of upgrades, the motivation of the seller, etc. The suggestions of obtaining a recent market analysis and negotiating are good.
Your agent should do a comparative market analysis on the past sales and arrive at a more accurate price per sq. foot. Tax value is really not a determining factor when it comes to a homes value.
The value of the home today has no basis on what the seller paid.
You can make an offer on what you believe to be a fair price and the seller can counter until you both arrive at an amount that is agreeable to you both. In this market everything is negotiable.
Leigh, licensed NC Realtor
the best thing to do is to get a buyers agent to represent you, and they will run comp's and give you an ideaof what would be a fair price to offer. The cost the owners paid is really not relevant, market value of the home is the true measure, they may have gotten a great deal or they may have overpaid when they bought it. This is our job as a Real Estate Agent, to help you thru this process, and since you don't pay for your buyer's agent it's the wise choice.