Do FSBO sales lower real estate values?

Questions surface over low appraisal

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DEAR BENNY: In August 2009, we sold an investment property (without a Realtor) located next door to our primary residence. We did this because the three real estate agents we talked to felt the property would sell quickly at or near $235,000. Previous sales of comparables were in the mid-$220,000s to mid-$250,000s. By selling it ourselves for $226,000 we saved more than $5,000 in commissions and sold the property in three weeks. We recently received a contract on our primary residence next door for $237,000, but the appraisal came back at $228,000 (down from $242,000 just nine months ago). We think if we had listed the property and sold it through a Realtor at the higher price our appraisal would be higher. This doesn't seem right to me. Did selling the investment property next door without a Realtor contribute to this? --David DEAR DAVID: A couple of years ago, I might have thought that selling your house on your own -- without a real estate agent -- might have been the c...