Questions I hear, "What did they pay for it?"

100 Denver Real Estate Tips in 100 Days (Day 53)

The question almost always comes  up, usually after finding a home the buyer likes.  They need to know what the seller paid for the home.  Curiosity is part of human nature, I don't have a problem with it, in fact I get curious myself.  But I always want to say, "what difference does it make?"

The value of a home, today's value really has nothing to do with what a seller paid for a home.  Sometimes we find the seller purchase the home 20 years ago for a mere fraction of today's value.  Does that mean the buyer can get a better deal?  Probably not.  The seller will expect to get or at least hold out for whatever a reasonable value is in today's market. He should, he earned it.

Then there are the sellers who are "upside down" in the market.  By that I mean they purchased at a higher price than today's value is.  Ouch that hurts. 

Sometimes buyers look at the difference and think, "Wow! I'm getting a sweet deal here." I buying it for less than the seller did.

Actually that is probably not the case.  The buyer is getting it for the market value, it may look like a deal, but in reality this buyer won't regain the seller's lost equity any sooner than if the seller kept the house until it appreciated again.

A market is a market. There is no set value that stays the same.

So it's ok to ask "what did the seller pay." But when it gets down to value the price will be determined by the sales that have happened in the last 6 months or less.

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