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Buy a Home in Orlando for an "Unfair" Price!:

According to WESH Channel 2, "Orlando is becoming one of the most difficult cities in America to sell a home for fair-market value." Note to news editors at WESH: "fair market value" is the price at which buyers and sellers are willing to conclude a deal. If sellers can't sell their homes, by definition they are pricing them above "fair market value." Similar confusion besets homeowner James Phillips: "I'm not really desperate to sell," Phillips said. "I know the value of my house, so I just have to wait it out." The value of one's house is what someone is willing to pay for it! It's true that if one holds out long enough, sometimes an idiosyncratic buyer will come along and pay the price the seller thinks the house is worth. But in a declining market, more often the seller eventually has to eventually lower his price well below what he could have sold it for originally if he had priced it at the true "market price," rather then the price he thinks his house deserves.

Steve2:
"At arm's length". I'm pretty sure that's part of establishing "fair market value" - that neither party in the transaction has some advantage over the other. I'm pretty sure you can have a "market value" still with collusion, but it doesn't qualify as "fair market value".

Don't know that it has anything to do with this scenario, though.
7.19.2007 1:43pm
HBD:
DB,

You just don't understand what's happening here. You make the classic mistake of assuming that "fairness" is symmetric. Here's the distinction:

Market Value: What someone is willing to pay for my stuff
Fair Market Value: What I think someone should pay for my stuff
7.19.2007 1:44pm
cirby (mail):
Unfortunately, around here (in Orlando), the definition of "fair market value" is "10% or more above what I paid for it last year."

In some neighborhoods, it's "25% above what I paid for it."

There are a good number of houses sitting empty in some areas, because people bought them for speculation and are waiting for the "inevitable" big increase in price, so they can sell for a large profit.
7.19.2007 1:51pm
Jeek:
The dynamic worked the other way when the market was going up. Then, a lot of buyers thought "fair market value" was much less than the seller's asking price.
7.19.2007 1:54pm
Crust (mail):
If sellers can't sell their homes, by definition they are pricing them above "fair market value."

Not necessarily. For illiquid, non-fungible assets -- like a home and unlike, say, shares of IBM the concept of a single "fair market value" isn't usually perfectly well-defined. If no one is willing to sell and no one is willing to buy, that doesn't mean that would-be sellers are trying to sell above some magical "fair market value" any more than it means that would-be buyers are trying to buy below "the" fair market value.
7.19.2007 2:25pm
Nony Mouse:
Also note the portion of the article where they say homes are remaining on the market "weeks, then months" - the Orlando market was so nuts at one point in time that I've heard stories of people going around offering large sums of money to families thinking about moving and a couple of friends of mine know a couple who put their house on the market one morning, three offers by noon, and a contract that afternoon. Welcome to the real estate market of the rest of the country, Orlando, where you must actually work to sell your house.
7.19.2007 2:25pm
Ron Hardin (mail) (www):
You price everything you own above fair market value. That's why you still own it.

The economy depends on disagreement over value. You sell when the money is worth more than the thing, and the other guy buys when the thing has more value than the money. A disagreement that produces a profit for both sides!

The reason you want economic activity is not to keep people busy and off the streets, but that every voluntary trade increases the wealth of both sides, and so increases the standard of living of the nation. The more activity, the higher the standard of living.

It's magic, and it all comes from a disagreement over value.
7.19.2007 2:37pm
TruePath (mail) (www):
But in a declining market, more often the seller eventually has to eventually lower his price well below what he could have sold it for originally if he had priced it at the true "market price," rather then the price he thinks his house deserves.

I agree with most of what you said but this sounds like you are saying that the expectation value of selling your house a year in the future is lower than the current market value. Now maybe the housing market isn't very efficient because of the lack of an easy way to sell houses short but this shouldn't happen. Of course waiting may be a bad deal because of the time value of money but you shouldn't be in a situation where everyone knows the price is decreasing but it hasn't already decreased.
7.19.2007 2:39pm
BandarBush (mail):
Amen! FMV = final sell price (absent extraneous circumstances); not your subjective assessment or a realtor's objective assessment. This is NOT a difficult concept. Ron (above) makes an excelent point!
7.19.2007 2:45pm
Richard Riley (mail):
Treas. Reg. 1.170A-1(c)(2) [from IRS regulations on charitable contributions of noncash property, for which the allowed amount of the tax deduction is the "fair market value" of the donated property]:

"The fair market value is the price at which the property would change hands between a willing buyer and a willing seller, neither being under any compulsion to buy or sell and both having reasonable knowledge of relevant facts. If the contribution is made in property of a type which the taxpayer sells in the course of his business, the fair market value is the price which the taxpayer would have received if he had sold the contributed property in the usual market in which he customarily sells, at the time and place of the contribution and, in the case of a contribution of goods in quantity, in the quantity contributed. The usual market of a manufacturer or other producer consists of the wholesalers or other distributors to or through whom he customarily sells, but if he sells only at retail the usual market consists of his retail customers."
7.19.2007 2:49pm
SAN (mail):
Unfortunately, the housing market is known for being sticky in nominal terms. Inflation will gradually erode the "real" price of a home, but won't touch the nominal. Part of the problem is you are dealing with individuals who may well decide and be in a position to stay rather than take a paper loss. Not economically rational, but it happens. So your sales slow to include only those people who must sell (REOs, foreclosures, people moving to another location for work).

If no one is willing to buy at the price you want (assuming a normal, non-forced sale situation), your house is overvalued by definition. Buyers can always rent if they perceive the sales prices to be overinflated - in many markets, renting can be cheaper than the monthly cost for buying, so buyers do have an alternative course of action.
7.19.2007 2:52pm
ATRGeek:
My understanding is that "fair market value" is a term of art in real estate appraisals, and among other things requires the appraiser to assume that the property would be exposed to the open market for a reasonable time. I gather part of the idea behind this requirement is what Crust suggested (that for this kind of asset, there really isn't a constantly available "market price", as there might be for certain financial assets like exchange-traded stocks, bonds, currencies, and so on).

So, James Phillips may be talking in a perfectly sensible way, at least if you translate "I know the value of my house, so I just have to wait it out," as "I know the fair market value of my house, so I just have to be willing to put my house on the open market for a reasonable amount of time."
7.19.2007 2:54pm
scote (mail):

If no one is willing to sell and no one is willing to buy, that doesn't mean that would-be sellers are trying to sell above some magical "fair market value" any more than it means that would-be buyers are trying to buy below "the" fair market value.

It looks like people are arguing about the words "fair" and "market value."

If a merchant has a wedding ring for sale at $1,000 dollars and hasn't sold it for 1 day, we don't say that he has priced the ring above "fair market value." Even if he hasn't sold the ring in six months it might be priced fairly but the market for that particular kind of ring might be low but rings of that kind may still be selling for $1,000 to some people--just not very often. Whether he should sell it for less may depend on regression analysis, that is whether the increase in unit sales and associated costs will make up for the decrease in profit per unit.

A thing is only worth what people are willing to pay for it, but just because no one has paid the asking price doesn't mean that there isn't someone who would if the seller could find that perfect buyer. But, generally what "fair market value" should mean is what a house would sell for given average marketing to average buyers for an average period of time--not what a buyer could theoretically sell it for to the perfect buyer at the perfect time with the perfect mortgage.
7.19.2007 2:56pm
ATRGeek:
And for a citation, see 12 CFR 34.42(g), where the OCC for the purpose of real estate appraisals defines "market value":

"g) Market value means the most probable price which a property should bring in a competitive and open market under all conditions requisite to a fair sale, the buyer and seller each acting prudently and knowledgeably, and assuming the price is not affected by undue stimulus. Implicit in this definition is the consummation of a sale as of a specified date and the passing of title from seller to buyer under conditions whereby:

(1) Buyer and seller are typically motivated;

(2) Both parties are well informed or well advised, and acting in what they consider their own best interests;

(3) A reasonable time is allowed for exposure in the open market;

(4) Payment is made in terms of cash in U.S. dollars or in terms of financial arrangements comparable thereto; and

(5) The price represents the normal consideration for the property sold unaffected by special or creative financing or sales concessions granted by anyone associated with the sale."
7.19.2007 3:01pm
John Horowitz (mail) (www):
Scote identifies the chink in the standard definition of market value. (And I'm an economist - I think DB's original post is right on.)

How long does an item have to sit on the market before we say that the seller has priced it above market value? If the seller waits long enough and eventually finds some "iodiosyncratic buyer" to buy at his price, does that mean that his asking price is indeed market value?
7.19.2007 3:10pm
John Horowitz (mail) (www):
Please ignore my iodiosyncratic spelling of idiosyncratic.
7.19.2007 3:10pm
Maureen001 (mail):
What is happening in Orlando (and most of California, and Las Vegas, and Phoenix, and I'm sure many other parts of the country, given the inordinately high foreclosure rates we're currently experiencing) is part of a repeating, cyclic movement of the real estate market. We've embarked on a downward trend. I've seen three major such trends and numerous smaller ones in the course of my real estate career (since 1985). It is so very common for Sellers to bemoan the change in value of their properties, and for them to hold out a while at their now-too-high prices until reality sets in. There aren't many Buyers out there at present, but real estate inventories are at all-time highs. What will bring Buyers back into the market will be price reductions. Knowledgeable Sellers, and Sellers who are willing to listen to knowledgeable real estate Brokers, will either remove their properties from the market until the cycle changes or catch the downswing now and price accordingly in order to sell; foolish Sellers, ones who stubbornly hold onto yesterday's prices or who are misled by real estate Brokers interested more in amassing listings to advertise than in properly advising their clients, will wait a long time while their listings become "stale", alienating the interests of those real estate agents who are still working with those few Buyers still out there and who will search out the best deals available for their clients, resulting in an extended listing period and the eventual necessity to drop list price to match future lower values once the hard lesson has sunk in.

News sources in southern California have run similar pieces as this one from Orlando, with Sellers insiting yesterday's prices are real values while complaining that not one Buyer is even looking at their property. The correction will come.

Accurate pricing is a matter of statistics, combined with an ability to read and project price trends. Ron, your analysis is spot-on. Nice explanation!
7.19.2007 3:13pm
Maureen001 (mail):
John Horowitz: Most appraisals assume a market time of 90 days. In rural areas, that time may be extended to 180 days.

In California, many Sellers have been on the market now in excess of a year. No matter how you slice it, that is a prolonged marketing time. If they had lowered their price to less than comparable properties a year ago, most likely they would have sold and would not be looking at comparable sales data that is even lower now than it was a year ago.
7.19.2007 3:19pm
Hattio (mail):
I generally agree with the professor here, but here's an interesting thought. If FMV is defined as what a willing buy would pay for a thing, and what a willing seller would sell at neither being under a compulsion to buy or sell, is it possible that in today's economy in certain places there is no FMV. Let's face it, most people selling in Orlando are selling because they are being forced to sell; whether because of ARM's, moving, new jobs, whatever. Few people who have the money to hang onto a house for the next 15 years would sell it.
Don't get me wrong, I don't have a lot of sympathy for these people, because, most of them, bought as speculators and are getting hit with ARM's. But, it does bring up a thought about whether a FMV is really possible in that market right now.
7.19.2007 3:20pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):
Obviously, the government needs to step in and do something about this disgraceful situation--perhaps requiring buyers to pay 10% more than they were planning to pay. (We're still waiting for the mind reader technology to get straightened out.)

More seriously: there are times when the imbalance between sellers and buyers get so out of whack that the only way to sell the house is to offer it at absurdly low value. There was a period after 9/11 where I lived in Sonoma County where no one was looking to buy. You just have to wait patiently for the market to recover.
7.19.2007 3:25pm
Maureen001 (mail):
Also remember that value arrived at by way of comparable sales data is not based on one sale; rather, it is based on comparison to the sale of several like properties (at least 3 - more is better) in the same area during the estimated time of the current sales cycle (not more than 6 months, in most cases, and often a much shorter time period). So the sale of one higher priced property to that one-in-a-million Buyer does not drive the entire market, but is still a part of value calculation.
7.19.2007 3:26pm
Dick King:
There is something of a short market in real estate, although it's commercial and rather coarse grained. This idea meay spread.

In Nony Mouse's anecdote, the house was obviously underpriced.

-dk
7.19.2007 3:27pm
Anderson (mail) (www):
The day after the Crash of 1929, was the FMV of a share of Big Co. really five cents, as opposed to the five dollars it was the previous day? Just because that's what people were willing to pay on that day?
7.19.2007 3:28pm
NickM (mail) (www):
How long does an item have to sit on the market before we say that the seller has priced it above market value? If the seller waits long enough and eventually finds some "iodiosyncratic buyer" to buy at his price, does that mean that his asking price is indeed market value?

Well, since the average time on the market is a statistical figure (not the "pulled out of the air number" real estate agents/brokers like to use, I'd say that any house that has been on the market for a length of time that is more than 2 standard deviations above the mean (I could use 3, but it seems unreasonable to wait until that low a percentage qualify) has sat on the market long enough that we can safely say the house is priced above FMV.

Nick
7.19.2007 3:34pm
Maureen001 (mail):

Clayton E. Cramer :...
More seriously: there are times when the imbalance between sellers and buyers get so out of whack that the only way to sell the house is to offer it at absurdly low value. There was a period after 9/11 where I lived in Sonoma County where no one was looking to buy. You just have to wait patiently for the market to recover.


That's why it's called "speculation". Buyers who bought in ignorance of normal real estate trends will lose their investments, although if they used the 100% or 125% financing that the subprime lenders have been promoting in California, it won't be their money but their credit scores they will lose.

And, like most investments, timing is everything. If they hang on now, let those with longer periods of ownership and lower mortgages do the price setting and selling, and wait for the next up market, they won't lose at all.
7.19.2007 3:37pm
Crust (mail):
Anderson:
The day after the Crash of 1929, was the FMV of a share of Big Co. really five cents, as opposed to the five dollars it was the previous day? Just because that's what people were willing to pay on that day?

Yes. Note the middle letter in your acronym, "M", stands for "Market". "Fair Market Value" is a synonym for market price. It shouldn't be misunderstood as meaning intrinsic value in any other sense than what people are currently willing to buy or sell the item in question at.

Probably more what you have in mind is a critique of the Efficient Market Hypothesis.
7.19.2007 3:48pm
SAN (mail):
Marueen, you are forgetting about holding costs. Houses cost money to own even if you paid 100% cash, unlike stocks and bonds (if you do it yourself. Costs $75 for a safety deposit box). So waiting costs hard cash that you could otherwise spend. If you are using the house as a main home, things change. But a main home is not a pure investment (or shouldn't be), and you need to run the rent vs buy costs, intangible issues (retiring and not wanting to live with -30 weather and snow) , etc... in the selling or buying decision.
7.19.2007 3:53pm
K:
There are nearlly always willing sellers in any area. Estates have to be settled, cash has to be raised for other problems, etc.

Declining sales counts or prices can also indicate a belief than an area is in decline. Or a general belief that prices will fall.

All of these factors influence buyers and sellers. But they are a problem only to sellers.

I would say there is no 'fair market value' or even 'market value' to those in the market. The terms are definitions useful in legal matters.

In the market there are only estimates and probabilities (which are themselves a form of estimates.)
7.19.2007 3:57pm
arthur (mail):
[DELETED for invective]
7.19.2007 4:51pm
DeezRightWingNutz:
DB said:


The value of one's house is what someone is willing to pay for it!


but defines FMV thusly:


the price at which buyers and sellers are willing to conclude a deal.


If the seller isn't willing to sell, then how is the FMV established? I understand that this kind of gets back to the first principles of appraising FMV, but if the seller supply and demand curves never meet, FMV is just a nullity. You could just as easily say that the buyers aren't willing to pay FMV, by definition, since the seller won't sell.
7.19.2007 6:02pm
DeezRightWingNutz:
I see that many people already made the same point I did, but more eloquently.

More generally, I'd add that the myopic view of the buyer's side seems to infect most appraisals of value, especially business valuations. There are always large discounts taken of the FMV for closely held companies, and minority interests. Granted, most are willing to pay less than "full price" if these factors are present. But most business owners aren't willing to give a large discount just because they're a closely held company, or because they're disposing of a 10% interest in a company.

I've only had limited exposure to business valuation, but it sure seems like the professionals in this field, like DB above, neglect the sellers side, and what it would take for him to be a "willing seller." Of course, most valuations I've seen are done for tax purposes, where lower is better, so the "independent professionals" know which side their bread is buttered on.

Coincidentally, the appraiser I wanted to hire to try to get an appraisal high enough to get out of PMI came in right at 80% loan-to-value. The bank's appraiser said it was 90%.

Strange.
7.19.2007 6:13pm
DavidBernstein (mail):
I agree with those who point out that a seller may have subjective value in his home, and be unwilling to sell below a reserve price. But let's say Mr. Phillips's neighbor has an identical house, which is listed at 375 and sells for 335. Phillips insists that his house is "worth" 400. It might be worth 400 to him, but the "fair market value is around 335.
7.19.2007 6:30pm
whit:
as somebody who has been trading futures actively in a two sided auction market for YEARS...

the MARKET determines what is (at the current time) "fair value".

people caught up in the liquidity bubble/real estate market do not understand that value is perception - it's opinion. at least in the short run.

houses have sold and may sell again BELOW "book value" (a stock term) which basically means for LESS than they cost to build.

people don't understand that.

we have a subprime market that has completely cavitated, WAY too many ARMS, negative amortization loans, all time high in home ownership per capita, overleveraging by purchasers, and greater %age of second homes and speculative home purchases than at any time in our nation's history.

all speculative manias show similar traits. go back to the dutch tulip bulb frenzy, the 1929 crash, the techbubble crash, etc.

when you have (and i saw this about a year ago) guys with sandwich board advertisements for no money down mortgages standing on street corners - well, that's a market top-sign if there ever was one.

when CNBC (about a year ago) was interviewing vegas strippers who were making a killing doing real estate speculation - READ THE WRITING ON THE WALL.

real estate is (has been) a great longterm investment. but buying any extremely overextended market - has its risks.

especially when that market is as illiquid as real estate

"fair value" from a buffet/graham type analysis CAN be done on pretty much any investment. but that's with an understanding that markets regress to the mean IN THE LONGTERM but in the short term - emotional speculative frenzy can be completely irrational. that's why efficient market theory is such (academic) hokum. markets are made up of people. people are not rational. they are emotional and herdlike.

the best longterm investors (to contrast with traders) buy when assets are undervalued and SELL them when they are overvalued.

regardless of what real estate prices DO, there is no reasonable metric that could possibly see the overall real estate index (look at ticker symbol IYR) as "undervalued".

another sign of the market topping was when futures markets started opening in local real estate futures. do the math.

i can dump a futures contract in under 1/12 of a second (from the time i press the button until the time the electronic exchange registers a fill).

how long can (does) it take to dump an overpriced home in a glutted market? well, if you are not willing to meet the bidders price- maybe FOREVER.

all markets move by supply and demand. supply and demand change because of underyling fundamentals, and more importantly - interpretation of the fundamentals.

i had (extremely nonsophisticated) real estate "investors" tell me how real estate was a no lose proposition

whenever anybody says that - run away

people who buy near a market top, especially when overleveraged/undercapitalized DESERVE to lose money.

these people looking for "fair value" in abandoning their home purchases (at absurdly inflated prices) are what traders refer to as "forced liquidity providers"

more glory to them.
7.19.2007 8:11pm
Harry Eagar (mail):
With houses and some kinds of jewelry and art, FMV can be twitchy if there aren't any comparables.

That happened to me about 10 years ago when I wanted an appraisal on my house. In the report, the "comparables" were one-story, 3-bedroom houses, while my house is two stories, 5 bedrooms. There are other two-story, 5-bedroom houses in my area, but they all have guest houses out back, and I don't.

And I got a call day before yesterday from an investor wanting my take on the value of a beach in Hawaii with authority to build 5 hotels. There's nothing even remotely like that to compare with.
7.19.2007 8:40pm
Steve:
The value of one's house is what someone is willing to pay for it!

I agree with the others who have pointed out that this is a completely one-sided definition. In time, maybe sellers will lower their prices to the level you're willing to pay, or maybe you'll raise the price that you're willing to pay.
7.19.2007 9:44pm
ReaderY:
To an outsider fair market value represents the totality of the market participants, but of course each market participant has their own idea of what fair market value is, which contributes to that total.

When sellers withold from the market because they believe the price too low, they drive down supply, which presumably helps raise prices. They have the right to do this (as long as they don't collude etc.).

This seems to be an example of the market at work, plus perhaps a bit of perfect ordinary puffery. Every seller claims their asking price is fair and it's often a successful negotiating tactic to point out one doesn't have to take a deal. The sellers may perhaps be mistaken here, time will tell, but their activities seem to be part of the ordinary workings of the market.
7.19.2007 11:28pm
neurodoc:
DB: I agree with those who point out that a seller may have subjective value in his home, and be unwilling to sell below a reserve price. But let's say Mr. Phillips's neighbor has an identical house, which is listed at 375 and sells for 335. Phillips insists that his house is "worth" 400. It might be worth 400 to him, but the "fair market value is around 335.
$335K is more likely the "fair market value" of Mr. Phillips's house than is the $400K he thinks he should get for it, but not necessarily so. The neighbor may have been ill-advised by a seller's agent who didn't want to miss out on a quick sale and commission. (At $335K, the agent may put $5K in his/her pocket after splitting his/her side of the deal with realtor, and would realize only $250 more if sale consummated at $350K.) Or maybe the neighbor just lost his/her job, advised he/she has not long to live, is looking at an ARM that is about to reset 3 points higher, etc., etc.

ATRGeek: For purposes of 12 CFR 34.42(g), would my hypothetical neighbor be an "atypically motivated" one? What do you think 12 CFR 34.42(g) means to exclude by "assuming the price is not affected by undue stimulus"? No "bidding frenzy," "irrational exuberance," "mania," panic, etc.? Since it first specifies "the most probable price which a property should bring in a competitive and open market under all conditions requisite to a fair sale, the buyer and seller each acting prudently and knowledgeably," I don't know what no "undue stimulus" might add or subtract.
7.20.2007 12:00am
Elliot123 (mail):
A market exists to facilitate trade. If there is no trade here is no market. If there is no market, there is no market value. If there is no market value, there is no FMV.

Bids and offers exist and are real, but neither represents FMV.

Market value cannot exist without trading. There is no MV for an unsold house. When the house sells, there is a historical record of the sale, and it is a reference point for other market participants.

FMV is a fiction. In the referenced article, FMV is simply the sellers asking price.
7.20.2007 12:59am
Tony Tutins (mail):
I can remember when the newspaper quotations for over the counter stocks were listed as "Bid" and "Ask". The true selling price lay somewhere in the middle. Perhaps that's the way to pick FMV -- take the average of offers and bids.
7.20.2007 1:15am
neurodoc:
<b>Elliot123</b>, "<i>FMV is a fiction</i>."
Perhaps a quasi-fiction in this context. If the owner donated the house and sought to claim a deduction on his/her tax return, then the IRS would allow one in the amount of "FMV", though there was no sale to establish FMV. (<i>see</i> Richard Riley above) But a "quasi-fiction," if you will, like the "reasonable man" in whom the law puts so much stock, notwithstanding that none among us has ever met him or expects to do so?
7.20.2007 1:58am
SethB (mail):
The day after the crash, stock prices were not fair market value: sellers were hit by margin calls and forced to sell.

"Averaging" bid and offer makes little sense for unique items. I own the first signed copy of a Pratchett book; if I won't sell it for less than $1,000, is the FMV $550? But if I insist on getting $10,000, does that raise FMV to $5050? (Assume in both cases that nobody else will pay more than $100.) FMV, as defined, doesn't exist.
7.20.2007 2:49am
Public_Defender (mail):

But in a declining market, more often the seller eventually has to eventually lower his price well below what he could have sold it for originally if he had priced it at the true "market price," rather then the price he thinks his house deserves.


You are making the same error you accuse buyers in rising markets of making--assuming current trends will continue forever. Prices that willing buyers pay willing sellers can go down, they can stay the same, they can go up.

Further, a seller can rationally decide that the price that is offered is not enough to make the house worth selling. As Ron Hardin pointed out in this thread's seventh comment:

You price everything you own above fair market value. That's why you still own it.


Holding out can be a risky, but that's just part of the market. Sellers can rationally decide that the prices being offered are not enough to justify selling, that's just capitalism.


If sellers can't sell their homes, by definition they are pricing them above "fair market value."


That's as accurate as saying:


If a buyer can't buy a home, by definition the buyer is offering a price that's below "fair market value."
7.20.2007 7:00am
Elliot123 (mail):
neurodoc,

The IRS would indeed set a value. But that is simply the deduction it will allow. It does not involve a market.

Note that we only hear about FMV in cases where there is no market. The term is never used in real markets because we don't need it or even consider it. We have the bid, ask, and last trade. Nobody is looking for the FMV of today's September wheat contract in Chicago.
7.20.2007 8:29pm
neurodoc:
Elliott123, you maintain that "FMV" is a a fiction, though it, like the putative "reasonable man," is recognized by the law. I see it as a quasi-fiction (quasi-truth?) Are we really in disagreement conceptually? I see none between us about this, nor with Crust and others who have dismissed the notion of "FMV" as effectively meaningless in this context.

[BTW, any idea what "undue stimulus" is supposed to add or subtract to that notion, right or wrong? I am puzzled by it.]
7.21.2007 1:38am