Aside from better understanding the market value there's the question of the seller's motivation--as well as yours. Just because someone puts their prperty on the market doesn't mean that they're motivated to sell. A motivated seller wants to sell their w/in a reasonable period of time and at a fair current market price. An unmotivated seller doesn't.
Q: Are you working w/a buyer's agent? Your questions suggest that you're not. Why not? A buyer's agent can help you w/real help in regards to valuation, pricing strategy and negotation.
How exactly would one *accurately* determine current market value? Our agent sent me some comps, but honestly, reading the comps confused me more than anything else because none were truly comparable. It's very hard to get a relevant comp for this unique property which contains a house that is fairly small for the asking price (less than 1500sqft), but has a large, private, wooded lot that overlooks a lake and a nature preserve across the street, and also includes a separate lakefront parcel of about 1/10 of an acre.
I guess I'm trying to determine how much the desirable property adds to the value of the whole package. The house, itself, on a "normal" lot would probably sell for no more than $340-350K. As a matter of fact, the town's assessment in 2007 was $358,800. How relevant is a town's assessment to the actual current market value and/or potential sales price?
Any further insight would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!