Orange County realtyIn the good old days of open air markets, the practice of haggling was basically a necessity. The sharp, quick exchanges between vendor and buyer were the basis of the sale, and the determiner of the price. Today, the practice of haggling is still appreciated in some areas of the market, but there aren’t many places to participate in a good haggle; yet real estate remains one area of the market where it is acceptable to negotiate on the price.

Just as a quick haggling tutorial, here are a few tips: never accept a first offer, offer lower prices first to meet the vendor in the middle, and know the price you want to pay for the specific item. This last item on the list is what we are going to talk about today, because you’re going to have to know the fair market value of the item you want to buy.

What is Fair Market Value?

The fair market value (FMV) of a home is the researched correct price of the home at the moment of sale. Since the market is constantly in flux, the fair market value of a home is evaluated at least once a year by the Assessor of the county. The Orange County Office of the Assessor is Webster J .Guillory.

Determining FMV

There are a few ways to determine the fair market value of a home yourself, but it is a delicate equation.

Below are the considerations to make:

– The comparable sales, or in layman’s terms, similar houses that have been sold in the area. The comparable sale will include things like the neighborhood, floor plan, size, number of bedrooms, condition, location, garage, pool, and other real estate perks.
– The time the comparable sales went into escrow. Timing is everything, and the prices factor into that.
– The amount the comparable sales sold for.
– The amount the property in question is being listed as.

A couple of good resources for figuring out the fair market value of a prospective home purchase are and These websites have a plethora of knowledge about almost every housing market in the United States, and are a great place to start when researching the housing market in your area.

Your Personal Realty Utility Belt

However great these websites are, they should not take the place of a realtor. A living, breathing human is irreplaceable when it comes to real estate because a realtor can be there to answer all your questions and to give you personalized advice. Websites like Zillow and HomeGain cannot offer professional advice because the website itself is not a realtor; these websites even acknowledge this by providing the users with a directory of local realtors.

A real estate agent is like a home buyer’s personal utility belt. They have the information about the process of buying a home, they have the insider scoop on the local housing market, and they have the skills and tools to make the purchase happen to their client’s advantage. The realtor’s hand is on the local housing market’s pulse, which is something a national website just cannot offer.