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The offering price for a property is determined by the seller or the seller’s agent. That price is most often what is determined to be the fair market value of the the property and it is not based solely on an assessment/appraisal. Sellers, needless to say, wish to get as much for their property as they can. If an agent is involved in the process they, too, will also want to get as much as possible in order to get the best commission possible for their efforts.

Realtors most often conduct a comparative market analysis, or CMA, of a property. They have no need to be licensed or certified to perform a CMA. Just as the name infers, a CMA is done by comparing the recent selling price and value of properties of comparative size, age, condition and price, within the area that the property in question is located. The CMA is based upon the realtors experience, opinion and impressions rather that any other specific criteria. Due to the fact that a CMA is only an opinion, neither the seller nor the agent is bound by the result. If after advising the seller of what they consider to be a good asking price, the seller wishes to list their property for more they can, and the agent most always complies with the sellers requested price rather than lose the listing.

When a buyer makes an offer to purchase they will usually offer less than the listed price. They will be trying to determine how much, if any, the selling price has been inflated above the fair market value or the CMA. Further, agents are disallowed from telling a prospective buyer that the asking price has been inflated.

If the market value has been increased by fifteen or twenty percent and the buyer offers only five or ten percent less than the asking price, they are not getting as good a deal as they may think. Therefore anyone looking to purchase a property needs to fully understand the local market values relative to the type of property they are negotiating for.

Quite often sellers try to avoid paying, the sometimes high price of an appraisal, by erroneously thinking the buyer must get the appraisal done when going for loan approval. However, if the buyer's appraisal comes in at a figure considerably lower than the asking price the sale could be lost.

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