What does "Principles Only" mean when selling your house?

I am selling my house on my own in Monmouth County N.J.. I read somewhere about taking the papers to a title co. or escrow co.. What does this mean & do I need a lawyer as well? What does tax assessed value of home mean..I tried the site "Zillow.com" to try to get the fair market value but it only gave me the tax assessed value....Thank you for your time
Answer:    You've had part of your questions answered already and those responses are dead-on. "Principals Only" means I only want to talk to the buyer, not their rep.

Tax assessed values are assigned by the county/city assessor for the purposes of figuring taxation. Many municipalities assign values that are, say, 20% of what they believe the fair market value to be. They then multiply by their property tax rate to determine the taxes due. Those values mean little unless you are buying a property that is going to tax sale.

For your other questions:
If you are handling a sale of a property by yourself, with no agents involved, then you may want to involve a lawyer for the purposes of understanding your contract offer from the buyer(s), especially if there are negotations and amendments, to make sure the proper language is in there. You should DEFINITELY take the signed contract(s), amendments, and disclosures (if any;sometimes lead paint disclosures are required by law, or others depending on the area), to a title or escrow company for the purposes of handling the settlement. The title company should receive those documents and the buyer's deposit and will be doing a title search and may issue a title policy for the buyer. They will schedule the closing, handle the funds, pay any prepaids (prorated water, taxes, etc.), and disburse the final proceeds to you. They will also create the new deed and record it, along with any other necessary paperwork. There may be a lot if a lender is involved, although most of that will be signed by the buyer while you watch at closing.

Good luck!
It means "No agents" Principal is the one with the money.
Tax assesed in many cases is less than the market value. For example, in Michigan the assesed value (or SEV.. State Equalized Value) is 50% of the markey value, most of the time. Some states use 50% of the SEV, other are assesed value are 100%
The assesed value is what the assesors office deems the homes value for purposes of taxation. This number may not be accurate. It is dependant on when the property was assesed, was it accurately comapred to other properties, have all of the updates been declared... assesed value is a weak indicator of value. Get to know an agent or appraisor who can give you good comps.
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