How do forclosure / short sales affect the value of my home?
Many people have heard that foreclosure/bank sales are not generally included in the sale studies that Assessors use and would like to know why they are excluded.
The reason is that Assessors are required by law to only consider "Arms Length" transactions when determining the "Usual Selling Price" of a property. What that means is that we only consider sales where: the property is available on the open market; both the buyer and seller have complete knowledge of the property and the general market conditions; the buyer and seller are unrelated; there are no unusual influences affecting the buyer's or seller's decision.
With Foreclosures, Bank Sales and Short Sales, there is almost always an undue influence on the Seller in the form of a desperate need to sell the property, either to avoid foreclosure, or get the property off their books. (in the case of a Bank) Therefore, these sales are, by definition, NOT Arms-length transactions, and Assessors are NOT allowed to include them.
**HOWEVER!! Please understand that the impact that the current volume of these sorts of sales have on property values IS factored into home values. This happens because whatever impact these sales have on the overall market will be reflected in the sale prices of the homes that DID sell in an "Arms-Length" transaction.
**While the short sale across the street isn't added to our study, if the over-all market prices were being reduced by say, 5%, due to bank sales, then all of the "Arms-Length" sales in the area will be roughly 5% lower than normal as a result. And THOSE sales will be added to the sales study.

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1. I am a first time property owner. What important information do I need to know.
2. What is the difference between Assessed and Taxable and Capped Value?
3. How is the inflationary (CPI) increase calculated?
4. I keep hearing the phrase "Arms-Length Transaction". What does that mean?
5. I just bought a new house, will the Assessed Value be half of what I paid for it?
6. What is a Principal Residence Exemption?
7. How do forclosure / short sales affect the value of my home?
8. Do I have to let the Assessor in my home or on my property?