If you can't rely on CMA that the seller's agent provides and you can't count on zillow either I just don't get how you can

Asked by Rob, Manhasset, NY Wed May 12, 2010

make an educated offer Houses in Manhasset maybe overpriced by 50/75K in their listing price. How do you know if you are offering to much or to low when you make an offer? as a buyer it is really hard to compare houses that are not identical and agents works for the seller...so how do I know? Of course when the bank send sthe appraisor you will know for sure but that maybe 25/50K of what you offered! Any comments out there?

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Allen Bauman, Agent, New York, NY
Fri May 14, 2010
Hi Rob

One answer would be to work with an agent who is also an appraiser, like me. There is absolutely no obligation to work with me but you need to understand the process from the appraisers side. I will walk you through the process so that you understand the nuances no matter who you work with. Please call or email me with your contact information.

Allen Bauman
Century21 Yve
Licensed R. E. Agent
NYS Certified Residential Appraiser
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Dan Chase, Home Buyer, Texas City, TX
Thu May 13, 2010
Good question, even when the appraisal comes in it could vary according to who made that appraisal. I have no real answer except offer low and stay low.
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Brian McMurr…, Agent, Tawas City, MI
Thu May 13, 2010
Rob - I would certainly suggest working with a Realtor who can help you understand value in the local Market. A strong buyer's agent will make your Buying Process less stressfull and more enjoyable. Good luck on finding a property that fits your needs at a fair market value.
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Anna M Brocco, Agent, Williston Park, NY
Wed May 12, 2010
I wonder why you say you can't rely on the seller's agent CMA--as you know that agent works for the seller, and if you are not comfortable with dual representation, consider the services of your own agent--your own agent can provide you with a CMA, answer any questions you may have, etc. Don't rely on any online CMA's as most are not accurate--you may wish to check http://www.mlsli.com under closed properties--but again if you are uncomfortable with dual representation, do have your own agent--choose your agent with care.
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Joan Braunsc…, , Morris County, NJ
Wed May 12, 2010
This is so odd, I tried adding an addendum to my answer and it showed up on somebody else's answer.
Anyway, all I wanted to say was that you need to find a buyer's agent because you are correct, a listing agent works for the seller. A buyer's agent has a fiduciary responsibility to you.
Take your time in hiring an agent because a good agent can make all the difference in your homebuying experience and should be more than capable of figuring out what the fair market price is for the house you are considering.
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Joan Braunsc…, , Morris County, NJ
Wed May 12, 2010
I am obviously not from your area but in general, if you look at recent sold comparables in the area of the house you are interested in, that gives a pretty good idea of market value. Its basically saying what buyers are willing to pay at a particular time.
Appraisers basically use the same criteria.
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