Want to sit with a house that won't move? Be the first-time seller who insists you can get the appraised value, the tax assessor's estimate or whatever you paid a few years ago.
"It seems like there's no relationship between your assessed value, taxable value and the actual market value of our house," says Pat Vredevoogd Combs, past president of the National Association of Realtors and vice president of Coldwell Banker AJS Schmidt in Grand Rapids, Mich. "There doesn't seem to be any correlation."
The truth is that your house is worth what buyers are willing to pay. No more. "This is a true market that Adam Smith would have loved -- totally based on supply and demand," Combs says. That means many buyers should be prepared to lose some money or hang onto the home until the price rises.
"We did end up taking a loss," says Foltz, who wrote a check for $3,000 at the closing table. The good news is that the couple sold their home in less than two months.
Beware the agent who promises big profits, Combs says. That person may just be after your business. "Don't go with anyone who doesn't use comps," she says. And study sales prices, not asking prices, for real estate.