First offer is often the best offer

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Dear Michael: My home is in escrow and my agent is telling me that I have to have a carbon monoxide detector present in my home before the close of escrow. Is this a new law and do I need a carbon monoxide detector in my home?

Answer: In May 2010, the state of California enacted a law requiring home owners to install carbon monoxide detectors in their homes. Although the bill was signed into law in 2010, California residents must have carbon monoxide detectors in their homes as of July 1, 2011.

This timeline applies only to single-family homes that have appliances that burn fossil fuels or homes that have attached garages or fireplaces. For all other types of housing, such as apartments and hotels, detectors should be in place as of Jan. 1, 2013.

Types of fossil fuels include wood, gas and oil. The detector must sound an audible warning once carbon monoxide is detected. It also must be powered by a battery, or if it is plugged in, have a battery for a backup. Carbon monoxide detectors typically can be purchased for about $20 and up.

California law states that anyone who does not comply with the law may face a $200 fine. However, residents will receive a notice of 30 days to correct any violations before they will are fined

Dear Michael: I just listed my home for sale and we got an offer within 2 days. It is a very good offer over asking. Should I accept it or wait and see if anymore offers will be coming my way?

Answer: Consider yourself lucky you have received an offer in such a short period of time. We are now in a seller’s market. Waiting for additional offers to come in could be a good strategy if you don’t mind risking losing your current buyer.

This could also backfire as this may be your best offer. The last thing you want to do is loose this buyer and end up with lower priced offers. Sometimes holding off is just not worth it and sometimes it is.

If you have a “good offer” above asking and are satisfied with all the terms of this offer then I recommend accepting it. When you close escrow you’ll be glad you accepted it and moved on.

Dear Michael: If I become the owner of a home property by a quick deed, am I responsible for any delinquent taxes?

Answer: That would most likely depend on where the property is located but the most common answer to that question is YES. Property Taxes, Mortgages, Liens and some other encumbrances are tied directly to the property, not the person that owns it.

For instance, the IRS has the right to place a tax lien on your property if you are delinquent on your taxes.  That lien is then attached to the property.  If you quit claim (quit is the actual term, not quick) your home to your neighbor, then the lien follows the property and your neighbor will have to pay that tax lien off if they try to sell the property.

Some good advice is to never obtain a property without first doing some research on it.  At the very least, check the Taxing Authority, Water, Sewer and any other entity that may have the right to lien the property.

This will give you a general idea if there of the properties status. HOWEVER, there may also be judgments and other liens attached to the property that you can’t find on your own and they will become a problem for you.

They may not be your judgments but they will become your problem when you attempt to sell the property or get a mortgage on it. It is highly advisable that you have a title company do a complete title search on the property before you have it deeded to you; it is well worth the expense.

Michael Kayem is a Realtor with Re/max /Execs serving Culver City and the Westside since 2001. You can contact Michael with your questions at 310-390-3337 or email them to him at: homes@agentmichael.com

First offer is often the best offer