What’s an arms length transaction in real estate?


New Hampshire Homes

An arm’s length transaction is important in determining the market value of real estate. Appraisers know this term as it’s what helps determine if a comparable sale is truly comparable. So what’s an arms-length transaction?

The key concepts: the property must be on the open market for a reasonable amount of time, neither the buyer nor seller can be acting under duress, they must have reasonable knowledge of the property, be acting on their own self-interests, and from equal bargaining positions.


Here are the top 3 NON arms-length transactions:

  1. Bank owned property
  2. Family sale
  3. Most short-sales

THE BIG QUESTION: Why is this important in selling your house or buying a new house? If a sale is not an arms-lengths transaction it will not be used to determine the value of that property because it would not be market value.

Market value is the highest price a buyer would pay and seller would accept for an item in an open and competitive market.

-Just my thoughts. -Jenn

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