Q: I currently have a house on the market for sale. My husband and I no longer want to use the Realtor we have, but her contract doesn’t end for another couple months. We have a deadline with my husband’s company to move, and time is running out. We are thinking of putting the house on the market for lease, but do not want our realtor representing us any more. Are we allowed to hire a different Realtor if we decide to lease our house? –Anonymous, Katy, TX
If you’re thinking about selling your home, you are probably asking yourself, “How do I find out how much a house in my neighborhood sold for, and are the prices houses sold for in my neighborhood comparable to the price I could ask for my house?”
When deciding how much you should list your house for, you have a couple of options.
A CMA will Show what Prices Houses Sold for in Your Neighborhood
If you’re looking to sell your home, a real estate agent will be able to give you the prices houses sold for in your neighborhood. This will help you determine how much you should list your home for.
If you’re selling your home, you need to get the best and most accurate pricing data you can find. The best way to do that is by contacting a real estate agent. There is typically no charge for getting specific information on how much houses in your neighborhood sold for. A realtor will go through your home and provide a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA). This is typically free of charge, and there is no obligation for you to list with anyone who prepares the Comparative Market Analysis. The CMA will provide information on how much several comparable houses in your neighborhood sold for.
Just ask us to give you a Comparative Market Analysis or information on the prices of houses that sold within the past three months in your neighborhood. You’ll also want to know which of the houses sold in your neighborhood were short sales and bank owned.
The number of U.S. home short sales surpassed foreclosure deals for the first time as banks became more agreeable to selling houses for less than the amount owed on their mortgages, according to Lender Processing Services Inc. (LPS).
Nothing is easy in Oakland. And the recently enacted Oakland Sewer Ordinance is no exception. Actually, it is not Oakland’s doing. It stems from an EPA suit where each city is required to develop a plan for repairing and operating all sewer pipes in their city.
The Oakland Sewer Ordinance, which is administered by East Bay MUD, went into effect January 17, 2012. It requires that any person selling an Oakland property or conducting a remodeling project of over $100,000 enacted after January 17 must obtain a “Compliance Certificate” from EBMUD. (Presently, this is a cumbersome process best left to the plumber doing the work.)
Since most homes in Oakland have old clay sewer lines, that means the sewer line (also called the sewer lateral) must be replaced. Similar ordinances have already gone into effect in Berkeley, Alameda, Albany, El Cerrito and Piedmont. Unfortunately, in Oakland’s case, it requires the sewer be replaced to the middle of the street, which costs more than the other communities. Most sewer replacements in Oakland are running upwards of $5000.
In the case of selling your Oakland house, it usually means either replacing the sewer … or getting the Buyer to agree to do it within six months and ponying up a $4500 deposit. That’s a big chunk of change for most Oakland Buyers to handle on top of a downpayment. So it’s likely most Sellers will be doing their sewers when they put the house on the East Bay market.
Despite that, the silver lining in all of this is we will have cleaner ground water – due to less leaching of sewer water into the soil. So remember that when you’re plunking down your $5000.