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We are working with a relocation company, which we have never done before when it comes to selling a house. As a result, we have had to go on what we've been told to expect- and apparently, we weren't told enough.

We were to have two CMAs from two different agents referred by the relocation company. If their assessments were close, then a recommended price is given by the relocation company and we choose an agent from the two. If the assessments are too far apart, then a third would be ordered. That much we were told.

We were also told that the agents had to get their reports in within 48 hours of coming to our home. So of course, we expected we'd get the report within a few days.

Two weeks later.... we were still waiting on some communication from the relocation company. This was getting a bit unnerving, since we were planning on having the house on the market next week. Finally, after several phone calls, we heard back from the relocation company.

It appears the two assessments WERE vastly different. $30K different! And along with a third assessment, now the relocation company wants us to dig out all kinds of documentation and answer all kinds of questions- some of which we have no idea what they are asking. And they want us to get it all gathered and submitted within the next two days.

Um.... so why did it take them two weeks to tell us this? And just how much of a delay are we looking at?

I'm so frustrated!

What are "special assessments"?

And what kind of documentation would we even look for as far as "easement agreements" are concerned?

The basement was finished when we moved in, but we don't have any information on permits- but I suspect that there were none because the finished basement doesn't show up on Zillow- which gets its information from public records. So could this be why the CMAs were so different? Could one of the agents have just looked at public records?

Title insurance... that is part of the buying process, right? So would I find this in the original purchase paperwork? Why would they be asking for this 10 years later?

If anyone can clarify any of this information, I'd really appreciate it. I'm baffled, and I don't want to find even more delays ahead because I didn't understand what they were asking.

Posts: 6101 | Registered: Jul 20, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Tomatoqueen, Sorry you have run into this snag and I can understand why it is so frustrating to be asked to supply information when you aren't sure what is being asked ~ much less how to go about obtaining it!

As a prelude, I know ABSOLUTELY nothing about relocation companies nor their requirements but I am somewhat familiar with real estate transactions in general so I will try to help. The two key phrases that stood out to me were "special assessments" and "easement agreements."

"Special assessments" can be anything from an irrigation system, urban renewal, school district or fire district to an unlimited numbers of other entities. Basically, it is a fee (or tax) to which the property is subject. My best suggestion is for you to pull out your most recent tax assessment valuation and tax bill to see what "they" might be talking about.

As for "easement agreements?" It seems that some easements are showing up based on the legal description of your property ~ they might be very minor such as power or highway ones that many properties are subject to BUT they might be major as well such an ingress/egress agreement that goes right through your house! Try to find your original paperwork (particularly the title insurance policy) from the time when you bought your house and you might be able to discern what exactly the individuals who submitted the CMA were concerned about.

Bottom line, I realize you don't have a real estate agent who can help you figure this out so, I suggest that you do the next best thing: Contact a local title insurance company, explain the situation and hire them to do a preliminary title insurance report for you at your own expense ~ yes, you will have to pay for it.

In a normal situation, you would condition that on using them to close the transaction and would get a credit back at closing. But, as I said, I am not familiar with using "relocation services" so I am not sure that you are in a position to make that offer.

Before taking any action, you should contact whoever has sent you the notice, explain that you aren't sure exactly what information they are seeking, ask what title insurance company they prefer to use and do all of this quickly - the 48 hours are counting down...

Good luck, Tomatoqueen, you can do this; just pick up the phone and start calling.... Cool
Posts: 6487 | Registered: Jan 01, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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As IR said, special assessments are marked as such on your tax bill. Often garbage fees, sewer installation,etc.

The rest of the information (easements) should be on the title insurance. Find your documents from the purchase of the house.

Do not believe Zillow. Check with your local gov't about permits. I believe the recorders office but I am not sure.

I am so sorry this is happening. You just don't need it, do you? Don't be afraid to call back whoever called you, to get further explanation of what you need, why you need it and where you can find it.
Posts: 6756 | Location: North MN & Northern AR | Registered: Oct 01, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Although these issues could negatively affect value, based on your previous/various posts, I doubt they apply to your situation.

Special assessments usually refer to homeowners' associations. Many new developments, even if they only contain single family homes, have HOA's. IIRC, your home's a little older so this is probably n/a or none.

In general, miscellaneous gov't fees or other local tax information is public record and readily available to anyone on your county (or other municipality) website. If the question refers to those taxes/fees, it's typically safer (and easier, too) to refer third parties to the website for the latest, updated information.

All properties typically have standard (e.g. utility lines, etc.) easements. I have a feeling they'd be concerned if you granted a new easement during your period of ownership or if another major easement existed, e.g. shared driveway with a neighbor, access for landlocked adjacent parcel, etc.

If you aren't aware of any easements, an acceptable response would be something along the lines of "None to our knowledge, besides standard (e.g. utility) easements. Please review title report, if necessary."

BTW, relo companies usually have standing relationships with title companies and can easily order an updated prelim, free of charge. I would not order one.

Did they specifically ask about permits or were you making an assumption b/c of the s.f. difference? WRT the s.f., many areas do not include basements so that s.f. figure may be appropriate.

If the question was about permits, I suspect they're asking about any improvements made during your time of ownership. What was the context?

JMHO, hope something's helpful. Sorry to blather on!

Best of luck to you -

This message has been edited. Last edited by: BearCat49,
Posts: 168 | Registered: Sep 21, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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thanks to all for your responses. Your explanations were helpful. I did find the title paperwork and we are digging through it to find any pertinent information. Kind of like finding a needle in a haystack.

I think that the questions were just a standard list of questions, and not necessarily applicable to us- but figuring out which are applicable and which are not is confusing.

They are also working back and forth with my husband, who then asks me to find documents, etc. so I don't have a direct working relationship with the folks at the other end- which also makes things frustrating. I get all the information second hand.

I'm hoping there is no more of this after he's already relocated and I'm still here. I don't know if I can handle the long distance paper chase!

Of course, this is also frustrating because he leaves in only a few days. I'll be flying out a bit later for a house hunting trip (tickets already purchased)- which could be a waste of time if our own house isn't even on the market yet. Frown
Posts: 6101 | Registered: Jul 20, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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If you have your closing papers they should tell you what company issued your existing Title Insurance (you should have received a policy 3-9 months after closing). Your title policy should reference any existing easements (they research them at the local court house). If you have questions about title contact the company that issued your policy they will happily answer them.

Special Assessments are collected along with your taxes and include things like trash pickup, special school projects, road paving, sewer/city water installations, etc. In my area HOA fees are a billed directly to the homeowners but sometimes a lien is put against property for unpaid fees.

Relocation should have assigned a "councilor" to walk you through the process. If they will be purchasing the home may require an appraisal if the agents can't get closer together.

A market analysis is a snapshot in time of the value. The agents may be interpreting the facts in very different ways based on their experience or lack of. Some relo companies are awesome to work. Good luck.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Lakelark,
Posts: 505 | Location: mi, usa | Registered: Apr 10, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I think your problem is the getting the requests second hand. As accurate as your husband tries to be it can be misunderstood. If you can talk to the relocation people yourself it would probably be easier. If it is a standard list of items you can question whether it apples to you, etc.

I hope all goes well. We are always here to listen.
Posts: 6756 | Location: North MN & Northern AR | Registered: Oct 01, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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It looks like we did get lost in the works for a bit. It was blamed on "technical problems". But now we are back on track.

The relocation company requested the agents go back and revisit their assessments. After which a report was forwarded to us with the information.

We chose an agent and I met with her today. After talking through things, she pointed out that there was no advantage to getting the house on the market before Memorial Day- and that could actually work against us.

So I've pushed back the list date until next week. That gives me additional time to take care of the minor details and organization, as well as having the carpets cleaned.

I have an appointment next week with a stager to help with the final presentation and a photographer will come in right after that.

So we are back on track. The delays were annoying at first, but now they are a relief. I have a little more time to get things done.
Posts: 6101 | Registered: Jul 20, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Just curious. Why would it work against you to list your home right before Memorial Day? I would think anyone looking to move during the summer would be taking advantage of a 3 day weekend to house hunt.
Posts: 89 | Registered: Aug 17, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I had thought so, too. But the agent said that this is not necessarily the case, and that rushing to get the house on the market and then being not quite ready could hurt us where waiting a week wouldn't make a big difference.

When we put our last house on the market, we had started a major project in the front of the house right before we decided to move/sell. So it looked like a tornado hit. The first buyers to come through were not impressed, and I don't blame them. So from my experience, it's better to be ready.

This way, too, she has time to schedule the stager to come in and get a photographer who can produce good photos.

Meanwhile, tomorrow we get the "coming soon" sign in the yard. I hadn't heard of this before (or at least I had never noticed it)- but with current market trends this is supposed to be a good way to get potential buyers interested even before the house is listed.
Posts: 6101 | Registered: Jul 20, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by Tomatoqueen:
So we are back on track. The delays were annoying at first, but now they are a relief. I have a little more time to get things done.

Thanks for the update. Tomatoqueen. Sounds like you have a plan moving forward and it brought to mind the old expression "that you never get a second chance to make a first impression" so maybe the delays were for the best! Keep us posted. Cool
Posts: 6487 | Registered: Jan 01, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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