I was checking the public record on a house and notice that the market value listed in the records was two times less than the asking price

Asked by Gail, Jackson Heights, Queens, NY Sat Feb 13, 2010

Help the community by answering this question:

+ web reference
Web reference:


Gail Gladsto…, Agent, 11743, NY
Sat Feb 13, 2010
There are 3 values you might see on a house; one for assessment purposes, one for mortgage appraisal purposes and the market value, which is based on recent sales.

For the purpose of buying a property, your concern should be RECENT sales of similar properties within the neighborhood.
Web Reference:  http://GailGladstone.com
1 vote
Brian Gailbr…, Agent, Rumson, NJ
Tue Oct 8, 2013
The Comparable Market Value of a property should be based upon recently closed sales that are comparable and not public records such as tax records. Certain tax records may show the "assessed" value for the land and the "assessed" value for improvements (home) for a total assessed value. These values vary by town and also depend on when the township last re-assessed the town. They are usually a percentage of "Market Value" when the township re-assessed and do not usually indicate current "Market Value".
0 votes
Barbara Ferg…, Agent, Belle Harbor, NY
Tue Oct 8, 2013
Public records simply cannot keep up with market conditions. The information you see on public record is not a reflection of the current market value. These records are not updated often enough to keep abreast of the changing market. The best way for a buyer to determine fair market value of any property, is to spend time seeing what is available in the area, taking note of condition, size and any adverse or particularly desirable points with respect to the location of the property. If time is an issue, find an experienced local Realtor and ask them to provide you with a list of Sold comparables and a list of Active comparables. Ask a lot of questions. Any good Realtor will be happy to help educate you about the value of properties in their specific area.
0 votes
rosado.sandr…, Home Owner, Rockaway Park, NY
Thu Feb 14, 2013
Home owners need help rebuilding homes and we desperately in need of commercial properties. The lack of grocery stores, supermarkets, small restaurants and coffee shops make it impossible for this community to move forward and become financially stable. This beautiful beach front community has so much to offer if the proper steps are taken.
0 votes
Zmbrennan, , San Jose, CA
Sat Nov 20, 2010
When you say "public records" did you mean you were you perhaps checking Assessors Records at the Public Courthouse. If so Gail is right, the Assessor's records do not reflect current fair market value, they are assessments for tax purposes only.
Current appraised values vary wildly,(both up and down) from assessors value.
This is not unusual.
0 votes
Bill Eckler, Agent, Venice, FL
Sun Feb 14, 2010

The market value in the public records may not be an accurate reflection of the current value.

At the very least however, you should be seeing "red flags" regarding this asking price. Today's buyers going to contract should be very aware of whether or not the subject property will appraise for the sale/contract price. Banks will not finance a property that does not appraise for the sale price.

A local real estate professional will be able to help you understand the homes value relative to the local market and asking price.

Good luck,

The Eckler team
0 votes
Anna M Brocco, Agent, Williston Park, NY
Sat Feb 13, 2010
Just in case there is confusion on Market Value v. Market Price-- Market value can and should be defined as the price at which both buyers and sellers are willing to enter into a contractual relationship, whereas the market price is the actual sale/purchase price of a property. If the market value is less than the market price, the seller is the winner in the real estate game—if the opposite—the buyer benefits more from the transaction. Both definitions incorporate a property’s condition and primarily it’s location as determined in a narrow window of 30-90 days time. In order to come up with a fair offer is to look at recently sold similar properties in the immediate area, then consider repairs--extensive or cosmetic--after reviewing all the data a determination can be made as to a fair offer. Looking at old records is always very interesting, however don't rely on historical data when trying to purchase.
0 votes
., , 11694
Sat Feb 13, 2010
Hi Gail,

There are two sides to the answer. Let's start with the public records. There are several public records that offer opinion of value and they all have different ways of determining that value. Some are computed on price per square foot of similar properties which in fact may not be that similar. Others are computed on estimated values of property taxes and so on. After almost 30 years in the business I have learned to ignore all estimates of this type. On the other side is the asking price. Some sellers have no idea of market value at all. Some use the sales price of a newly renovated home and think theirs is better simply because it is theirs. Some are listening to friends and fortune tellers.

All of this is irrelevant. The only way to estimate market value is to compare the property being offered to ones that actually closed. Buyers determine market value by BUYING. A professional broker can use his knowledge of actual sales and then adjust the figure to the property being offered. He would know the interior of similar properties in the neighborhood. This is why a professional broker can be of extreme value to a buyer as well as a seller.

If you as a buyer would like to try to estimate true value, the best way is to see as many homes as possible in the area you are interested in. Ask the brokers about properties that have sold recently and how they compare. Then try to imagine how much it would cost to add improvements or how much improvements would have cost and then adjust.

Best advice--leave market value estimates to those who deal with it as a means of supporting their families-the real estate broker.

Good luck

Ed Weigert
Elite Home Sales
0 votes
Richard Leci…, , Tucson, AZ
Sat Feb 13, 2010
The market value used by most countys is usually much less. You cannot compare the two
0 votes
Search Advice
Ask our community a question

Email me when…

Learn more