A question that is just as pointless as why sellers are moving often spills from the lips of prospective buyers like ketchup from a shaken bottle.
Buyers almost always want to know how much the current owners spent to purchase their home in the first place.
Let’s say the place is listed for $1 million. If the sellers paid $250,000 10 years ago, $500,000 five years ago or $900,000 a year ago, does it matter?
Oh, I see, the buyers want to be sure that the sellers don’t make too much money.
Never mind how the market has changed, how much was expended on renovations, how much the place is objectively worth today.
To be sure, the number is useful in the sense that it is a comparable along with all other comps. By taking into account improvements and the percentage changes in the market for similar properties over the years, you could argue that the previous sale price is a helpful indicator of how much the place is worth today.
You could argue that, but I’ll bet that’s not why buyers ask the question: All the want to know is how little they can offer for the property, never mind its value. The buyers who ask the question simply begrudge the seller their “profit.”
The most charitable way I can characterize those buyers is unthinking, but I’m more drawn to descriptors such as resentful, jealous or envious.
That’s life, but it is no way to go about the business of purchasing real estate.
Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
Senior Vice President
Charles Rutenberg Realty
127 E. 56th Street
New York, NY 10022