Property Q&A in Sacramento>Question Details

Interested, Both Buyer and Seller in Sacramento County, CA

I was wondering could you share some tips on how you sold your home for $178,000? Thanks in advance!

Asked by Interested, Sacramento County, CA Tue Apr 7, 2009

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This question is about this property: http://www.trulia.com/homes/California/Sacramento/sold/29040…

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Actually a common mistake. Properties inside the city of Sacramento are subject to both city transfer tax and county transfer tax. Non-local escrow companies don't know that the city and county are different entities.

The out of area escrow company then collects the transfer tax for both the city tax and the county tax. They then send the entire amount to the county with transfer tax yped in a lump sum on the deed.

The clerk at the assessors office calculates the incorrect sale price by multiplying the lump sum of the transfer tax by a number that would give the correct sale price if it were used on the county portion of the tranfer tax alone.

This commonly results in a recorded price that is appoximately 350% of the actual price.

Not only does the owner have the problem that the recorded price is wrong. They also have the problem of an over assesment that Elizabeth mentioned. The county will demand a full payment of the incorrect tax amount, promising the owner a refund, if and when the problem is eventually corrected. failure to pay the full amount by Friday April 10th will result in penalties and interest. 3rd the city did not get their fee because the county did not split it out for them. The city will then bill the poor owner for "unpaid" transfer tax plus penalties and interest. (Based on 350% of the actual sale price)

If the escrow company does not fix this for the new owner, they should be reported to the insurance commissioner. The insurance commissioner is the California state agency that regulates title companies.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 7, 2009
Jim Walker, Real Estate Pro in Carmichael, CA
MVP'08
Contact
I can tell you how it happened. Somebody at the assessor's office typed in the wrong number for the sales price. I looked it up. MLS records show it sold for $50,000 in an all-cash transaction as it was listed at $49,000. But the tax rolls from Realist are wrong.

Poor Jenaro Sanchez may be assessed on this mistake. I sent an email to this guy's agent, asking his agent to notify the buyer that there is a mistake in the records.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 7, 2009
I agree with Elizabeth, it is not just a case of the county being behind, it is also a case of the county making a mistake. Not only that, it is a case of the county choosing to make the mistake... A management decision, not merely low level clerical errors.

There are so many out of area escrow companies that are making these original errors, you can be assured the exact same foul up is occurring repeatedly. The county could institute a policy to flag deeds and transfer tax payments that come in that are for properties within the city boundaries but containing only one transfer tax. Thus they could catch the problem early, saving citizens and county personell many hours of research and communication loops.

However, county goverment management has chosen to allow the errors to compound for the following reasons:
1. As they are not the ones making the original error, they have deniability. As in " Hey, this wasn't our mistake, it was your escrow company that provided us with this information."
2. The error gives them inflated numbers to work with (at the city's temporary and the taxpaying homeowners long term expense) at least until the situation is sorted out. If it takes a while to sort they can also earn undeserved penalties and interest if the blindsided homeowner doesn't happen to have 350% of the expected property taxes set aside.
3. Inertia. As I said, the error is not original with them, so their deniability is genuine. The fault really does lie originally with incompetent out of area escrow companies.

I encourage that anyone who does not recieve prompt resolution of this problem from their escrow company send a complaint form off to the California Insurance Commissioner. I have put the web site link below.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 7, 2009
Jim Walker, Real Estate Pro in Carmichael, CA
MVP'08
Contact
Well, actually the email bounced because the agent changed his email to something else. It was a yahoo account. So, I called him.

He said he called the county and was told that the county is behind and swamped. Well, this isn't a case of being behind, this is a case of the county making a mistake. The agent then said he would ask his client to call the county to get it fixed.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 7, 2009
Good job Elizabeth! That was nice of you to do that.
Web Reference: http://www.suearcher.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 7, 2009
That's a question for Trulia. As a realtor, I can place my listings on Trulia. However, I don't know how else they source the information. I would ask Trulia admin.
Web Reference: http://www.suearcher.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 7, 2009
to Sue Archer: it says the description was provided by Trulia. Is Trulia somehow pulling incorrect data from somewhere?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 7, 2009
Just curious....why did you think the seller would be on Trulia?
Web Reference: http://www.suearcher.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 7, 2009
The most recent sale of this property was on March 5, 2009, but it wasn't for $178,000. MLS says it sold for 50,500.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 7, 2009
I'd be wondering that, too, LOL. It's a mistake. That home sold at $50,000.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 7, 2009
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