Listed asking price vs appraised value? How long will builder/bank leave empty before taking a lower offer?

Asked by Dawn, Fort Worth, TX Mon Dec 1, 2008

We are located in the Fort Worth area and were looking at homes this weekend. After picking up some flyers and walking through open houses, we went home and researched online. Most of the homes we looked at had appraised values 100k less than the asking price and some have been sitting empty for 6 mos to almost 3 years. How aggressive can we be taking those issues into account. We thought about offering the appraised value plus the estimated taxes for the last couple years hoping they would just like to get it off their hands/books. There are houses in that area going for less than that, up to 100K. Most of the houses we were looking at were listed between 350K to 500K, but there are houses in the area for 250K.

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Bruce Lynn, Agent, Coppell, TX
Tue Dec 2, 2008

Good question. If you mean the tax appraised value in my opinion this has nothing to do with the market value. Yes in theory it should, but there are so many other factors to take into account. It goes both ways. Sometimes homes aren't worth anything near the tax appraised value. Sometimes they're worth way more than the tax appraised value. There are a myrid of reasons for this. One thing to remember is that the tax appraisals are done usually by a method called mass appraisal. The appraiser has likely never seen the house, never been in the neighborhood, and most likely working off data only. I often wonder if they also don't back into the number. We can see next year....I often wonder if "our budget is X, there for we need Y tax revenue, and that is 10% below what we had last year, so let's raise all the values this year by 10% to meet budget. I've seen the tax appraisal swing from year to year as well. One year $20000 over on a $150,000 house and the next $20,000 under. All this just goes to show you that these are not reliable numbers to use for anything.
Get a realtor to help advise you. We can help you determine the appropriate values and offer to make. One idea is that we normally do not suggest you buy a $500,000 house in a $250,000 neighborhood. Financially it's normally better to be the other way around, buying a $250,000 house in a $500,000 neighborhood if there are such variances. Most builders or banks can't take off 30-40% a house listed at $250,000. There may be an occasional deal like that...but few and far between. I would also advise caution of buying a house that has been vacant for 3 years. You definately want a thorough home inspection on these with all utilities on. Seals dry out, varmits get in, things freeze up....
If you're looking in North Ft. Worth I can help you, if you are looking in other parts let me get a friend to help if you don't already have a realtor in mind.
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DiAnne Arnet…, Agent, Benbrook, TX
Tue Dec 2, 2008
There are many factors that cause homes to have a higher market value than tax value. One thing is that the tax value of a new home is an estimate that is often done before the final finish out of the homes in the subdivision just to get a value on the record that is above the value of the land only value. As far as how long a builder can be expected to wait before selling at "rock bottom"; that depends on the financial strength of the builder. If his money is long-term, he can afford to wait...and actually, his financial strenght has a lot to do with what kind of home he may have built. I would think a strong builder most likely has not cut corners in building the home. The builder who may not have as much financial strength may be willing to drastically cut his price, but it may also be that his home had a few "corners cut" to save money there too.

It is best to involve a REALTOR who has experience in this area and is familiar with builders. If you are only looking for a bargain, you may not actually get what you are looking for. In the area of buying at rock bottom,
only the accurate stats combined with the other neighborhood information will tell you the direction to move toward.

I am happy to look at your area of interest and offer suggestions for sound strategy.

DiAnne Arnette, REALTOR
Keller Williams Realty
817 887-6885
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Terry Smith, Agent, Fort Worth, TX
Mon Dec 1, 2008
Tax valuations do not always follow market values. If the house is older the increases that the taxing department has done do not always keep up with market value. The best way to value a property is to have the realtor you are working with pull the sales in the neighborhood and help you analyse them in comparison to the house you are viewing. If it is a foreclosure they will already have an appraisal value and are usually trying to sell it within about 10% of the market value.

I hope that answers your question. If not please feel free to contact me.

Terry Smith
RE/MAX Achievers
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Dallas Texas, Agent, Dallas, TN
Mon Dec 1, 2008
I am a Dallas realtor and Dallas home loan mortgage officer.

Happy to assist you in your search assisting you with all answers to questions you have.

Texas has a homestead exemption therefore the tax value WILL be less than appraised value. Each home "stands alone" when a realtor has to comp values, areas are all different. Detail history of property is also taken in account with research involved.

In order for a realtor to assit you must have lender approval, all offers are supported with mortgage broker authored statement what you can qualify for a loan.

There are many properties below market value with equity, some may require home improvements while others are move in quality. Presenting an offer matter of a realtor who works on your behalf, never purchase direct from builder, seller, listing agent, have your own agent.

Real estate is confusing for the consumer seasoned veterans can work with your personal specifications for short and long term goals for home ownership

Contact my office
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T.E. & Naima…, Agent, Dallas, TX
Mon Dec 1, 2008
Don't give too much credibility to the tax assessed value when it comes to making an offer on a home. The right thing to do is to have YOUR REALTOR do a market analysis on the home that you like, visit it, and together decide how much the home is worth to you, then decide on an offer amount.

Your Realtor can also find out how much is owed on a house etc...

If you don't have a Realtor, I will be happy to assist you. Feel free to contact me at 214-289-8555 or
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