Best ways to learn real estate’s market value

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The Internet is a boon to home buyers. Instead of personally visiting listing after listing, you can shortcut the home search process by previewing listings online in the comfort of your own home. The Internet is not as useful, however, when it comes time to decide how much you should pay for a home you'd like to buy. There are Internet sites that provide information about home sales in an area. This information is often sketchy and occasionally misleading. One home buyer relied on comparable sales information that she obtained online to help her decide what price to offer on a new listing. She asked her real estate agent to include the information with her offer. The seller was miffed when he reviewed the buyer's offer, which was for considerably less than his asking price. The price seemed reasonable to the buyer in light of her Internet sales data. The problem with the data was that it included sales from an adjacent neighborhood where homes sold for much less. The Internet search ...