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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Todays Nashua Market Trend Update


Market Trend update for February 2015

Current Nashua NH Real Estate Market Report February 2015

The Nashua NH real estate marketed report February 2015 indicates a 12 month trend from January 2014 of average sales prices increasing and declining inventory. Declining inventory is typical over the winter months.

Nashua NH Average Sales Prices

The current trend is upward and indicates the average sales price of $232,000 with days on market of 87 for January. In February of 2014 the average sales price was $207,000 with 97 days on market.  Can you imagine if we did not have all this snow on the ground?

Nashua NH New Property Listings

The trend for properties on the market is slightly higher than last February with 75 listings, January this year has 87 listings.  The spring market listings have been delayed due to the severe winter snow storms. March and April we typically see the largest influx of new listings.

Nashua NH Real Estate Market Report

Nashua NH Real Estate Market Report

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Market Update for Pelham, NH



Pelham, NH 106th Old Home Day Parade

Pelham, NH 106th Old Home Day Parade

It’s about time I did some graphs for Pelham.  After all, I’ve been living here for over 2 years now (time flies).  Since moving here the Pelham market has only just come out of it’s slump at the beginning of this year.

It’s looking solid in the Pelham NH real estate market! Below are 2 graphs I ran on properties for existing single-family homes in the previous 6 years.  Higher end properties have finally started to sell, huge increase in activity, the days on market to sell has gone down, and you won’t catch me saying prices are going up…but, multiple offer situations in entry-level homes have been happening.

That’s a significant upswing in pending home contracts in the last few months.

Look at that obvious seasonal real estate CYCLE!

The next graph shows the decrease in the days on market- the time it takes to sell a property in Pelham.  Seeing the large decrease this year indicates an increase in demand.

The days on market in Pelham have gone way down this year!

  Just my thoughts.  –Jenn  

Contact Me At: 603-821-8285 or Jenn@TopNHhomes.com



RE/MAX Properties – 169 Daniel Webster Hwy Nashua, NH 589-8800

J.A.Cote Appraisals, LLC – 142 Lowell Rd Hudson, NH

Real Estate in Pelham, Nashua, Salem, Merrimack, Amherst, and Windham.

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Market Update in NH – Real Estate

Time for another market update.  What’s going on?  I decided to expand my data to include all of Hillsborough county, NH.  Some of the towns in Hillsborough are: Amherst, Bedford, Hollis, Hudson, Litchfield, Manchester, Merrimack, Milford, Nashua, and Pelham.

Hillsborough County 2 year Real Estate Trends

Hillsborough County 2 year Real Estate Trends

May and June are the busiest months in New Hampshire.  This chart shows 3 years of June activity.  What’s real interesting is this year and 2010** are similar in sales, but pending listings have jumped up this year!  That means in the next 2 months you are going to see a large increase in closed sales over the last 2 years.

This is great news for the real estate market!  The market has stabilized, many towns in this area are experiencing multiple offer situations, marketing times have decreased, and interest rates are crazy low!

Percentage Change in Real Estate

Percentage Change in Real Estate – click to enlarge

**Let’s not forget, 2010 was the year of the tax credit for new buyers which artificially inflated the activity that year.

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Real Estate Prices to Fall in 2011?

Just read this Inman News article by Steve Bergsman http://www.inman.com/buyers-sellers/columnists/stevebergsman/real-estate-prices-fall-least-5-in-2011. It had a great analysis of the housing market. We all want a recovery of the housing market, it is a key indicator to a healthy economy. But are we being too optimistic?

Reliable trend analysis can only be established with a large data set over a longer period of time: 1-3 years. I leave the “forecasting” to the economic experts…it is basically an educated guess. I am in the trenches and can come up with my own hypothesis on continued trends, but it is more specific to my areas of expertise…southern NH. Things have been fairly stable, entry level properties in good condition sell quick, investors are busy buying and flipping, the mortgage market is loosening up, and consumer optimism is increasing.

There are so many excellent points in this article, but every area is different. We are in the slowest time of year for southern New Hampshire real estate: winter. In areas with severe winter conditions the fluctuations between seasons can be large. Therefore short trend analysis is unreliable and possibly misleading and may or may not reliably indicate the future market trends. The coming spring market is just around the corner and without the artificial boost from last years tax credit we will get a more accurate picture of the real estate health.

So I am waiting until spring to give-up on my real estate recovery. Call me an educated optimist…

-Just my thoughts.


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Top Towns In A Declining Market

Something I noticed in the recent real estate debacle was that more “desirable” areas fared better overall. They were the last to start declining and they were the first market areas to stabilize. This may not be news to everybody but I thought it was rather interesting to point out.

-Just my thoughts.

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