Sounds to me like you've answered your own question...the best way to buy a home is through a Realtor. And if you're going to buy a home listed by a Realtor, you should definitely have a good buyer's agent at your side. Realtors are no smarter than non-Realtors, but they DO have a LOT more experience in the market, because they deal in it every day for years, so they can't help but know more than someone dabbling in the market. FSBO's are tough because the usual reason they don't have a Realtor is because they think their house is worth more than the market suggests, and they are smarter than those dumb Realtors who told them it wasn't worth what they think it is worth. Not a healthy starting place for pricing a home and negotiating a successful closing! Best of luck to you in your search...... more
Unfortunately, there are not always clearcut demarcations as to Towns or Villages, and thus this confusion occurs I have found that the best way to search, therefore, should be by zipcode instead.... more
Anne - when buying in a particular area - it is best to track the houses that have sold and get your own idea of what values are. You should be able to walk into a house and have an idea of what a good price is. Takes a lot of work - but in such a large purchase - it is well worth doing. There is also the variable of what a house is worth to you. Some things have little value to many people but a lot of value to you.
This is my humble opinion anyway.... more