My condo is listed on the market and I have lots of activity. What is the best way that you can advise me to go about accepting an offer?
Answer: This is a seller’s market. This means that you are in the “driver’s seat.” It is very important to have your condo properly marketed. You will want to allow enough time to have all buyers who are in the market for your type of condo criteria to get a chance to view it. I suggest having at least one Sunday open house and having your condo on the market for a period of at least one week. With single family home prices at record highs, many buyers are priced out. These same buyers are now looking at condo’s as a more affordable alternative. If you price your condo at a fair market value, you should get multiple offers. Multiple offers on condo’s is common in our current market. Your listing agent’s goal will be to create multiple offers in order to achieve the highest possible price with the better terms. When your agent presents you all offers, this is when you can decide if you want to counter all, few or just accept the highest and best offer. Accepting the best offer is no easy task. You will have to strategies. Your real estate agent is your best source of advice.
Dear Michael: I am interested in buying a home. I have been in contact with the listing agent for the past week. Should I allow the listing real estate agent to represent me as the buyer as well?
Answer: What you are referring to is called Dual Agency. There are three types of Agency relationships: Buyer Agency, Seller Agency and Dual Agency. The Buyers Agency discusses how the agent is to be compensated for the work he/she is doing for the buyer. The Sellers Agency agreement is covered within the listing agreement as to how the agent represent the seller. Obviously, through the listing agreement the seller and his/her agent will have discussed the terms of the agreement including what the seller is willing to accept for the property. Compensation trough commission to the listing firm and how it is divided is also covered in the listing agreement. Dual Agency which is what you are referring too can come in two forms. The first is when the Brokerage firm has the listing and has a different agent then the listing agent representing a buyer within the same Brokerage. The second type of dual agency is when the listing agent himself brings a contract to the seller and represents the buyer as well. Dual Agency at the Brokerage level as far as having agents within a company bring their buyers to see a listing represented by the same company should not cause any problems or raise any eyebrows. But, when a listing agent offers to represent both sides of the transaction, caution is advised as no party should go unrepresented. That is how real estate transactions can remain fair and impartial as well as giving all parties to the transaction an equal chance of getting the highest and best value for their dollar. It takes great skills for an agent to represent both parties and remain fair in a real estate transaction. You can have a great experience with dual agency representation as long as the Agent representing both the buyer and seller is ethical and also looks out for your best interest.
Dear Michael: I have not paid my property taxes in over 3 years. If I decide to sell my home how will my property taxes be paid?
Answer: If you have not paid your taxes in over 3 years, chances are, the City Assessor’s has already placed a tax lien on your home. You will need to find out how much you owe in back taxes including penalties and late fees. Escrow can draw an estimated closing statement so you can have a better idea of how much you stand to net after the sale. If you have equity on your home, then escrow will pay off your taxes owed through your sales proceeds. If you have no equity on your home, you may want to consider a “short sale”. A short sale, if approved is a very good option to settle your debt, but will need to be overlooked by an experienced Realtor.
Michael Kayem is a Realtor with Re/max estate properties serving Culver City and the Westside since 2001. You can contact Michael with your questions at 310-390-3337 or e-mail them to him at: firstname.lastname@example.org