FMV - Fair Market Value

I have spoken of FMV as a cornerstone in our discussions. The fair market value of the property is today’s price at which a knowledgeable buyer and seller can both agree. It is without interference or distress. The transaction is “arms length” and the parties are not related. It is from this neutral the starting point which any adjustments are made.


Looking at comparable sales, we can adjust up for things like a rising market, location, low supply, condition or features like a larger lot, solar panels or a pool. On the other hand, we would adjust down for things like poor location, bad neighbors, repairs, delinquent taxes or aging roof, fences and HVAC systems.


With today’s FMV, we can look forward a reasonable amount of time, say 4-6 months, and project possible values. This however goes both ways. Future elections, rising interest rates and trade uncertainty await us as headwinds in 2020. In times of such uncertainty, any FMV price would have a shorter life span beyond a given date.

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Curb Appeal is a major factor in value. A small investment in a mow, cut, edge and trim will pay big dividends. Side yards count too. Clean any oil stains in the driveway, get trash cans and old cars out of sight and tidy up that front porch. A fresh coat of paint on the front door, garage doors and trim will do wonders for that all important first impression. Inside, de-clutter and tidy it up. 


Decisions about renovations should include considerations like carpet cleaning, touch up paint and minor repairs. If cash is tight, bigger items can be given as closing credits like carpet replacement. Credits allow a seller to benefit sale price wise from new items without having to pay cash or float costs on a high interest credit card.