Posted by Andrew Smith (Phila) on October 19, 1998 at 15:43:56:
I would imagine that your assumption is correct in most places. Our assessors office is free to establish their own opinion of fair market value. However, it is also common for new construction sales to be assessed at their selling price in which case this buyers desire to make the stated selling price as low as possible makes perfect sense. Although I am not aware of the buyers finances the price of the home they want to buy would seem to indicate they are moving up. If they have a fair amount of equity from their former home so that they are putting down a substantial amount of money then the mortgage amount they can qualify for will not be heavily impacted by the sales price and they can afford to pay the Realtors commission and other closing costs for the seller out of pocket. Unless their sales price is enourmously outside the norm (which their adjusted sales price in this case would not seem to be) their strategy makes sense as it will not set off any alarms in the assessors office.