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Questions and Answers

How much is my house worth…what is a CMA?

  • The CMA is a side by side comparison of homes currently listed for sale, those that are pending escrow or recently sold and closed. This information is further sorted by data fields such as single family homes or condominiums, number of bedrooms, number of baths, land characteristics, views, waterfront and many other factors. Its purpose is to determine fair market value and a predicted sales price for the Seller based on the price of what other comparable properties have sold for.

  • CMAs are generated in multi-faceted ways. First, are the in person inspections and observations made by The Lou and Lori Team. We have listed, sold and toured 100’s of Mercer Island homes over the last several decades. This gives us a hands on knowledge of both the positive and negative aspects of any given home and allows us to determine which attributes of those homes most closely compare to your property.

    Next, we utilize the data provided to us by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service. The NWMLS supplies us with vital information such as square footage, lot size, tax records, photographs, previous sales information, improvements, mortgage history, etc. This allows us to analyze your home in the same way an appraiser would. We compare previous sales, how long those homes were on the market and what concessions in price, if any, were taken. These are all important factors to consider when choosing the correct market price.

    Mercer Island real estate is unique with no “apples to apples” comparisons, so we often need to take bits and pieces of several properties to come up with a “whole” to ascertain what the predicted sales price will be.

  • The CMA is a here and now snapshot of the market, based on the most recent data available, but it can instantly be rendered obsolete by a new listing or a change of status in a home with similar criteria. Why?…the market is constantly changing, new listings, pending sales, closed sales, price reductions and expired listings. Our 60+ years combined experience has allowed us to provide our sellers with very accurate opinions of value. Over the past 24 months our Mercer Island listings have sold for 99.38 percent of the listed price.

    The market continues to improve with double digit increases in values over the past 12 months. If you are curious as to the new value of your home, give us a call. You may be (pleasantly) surprised!

  • Tile Insurance is an opinion of the condition of the title to real property, backed by an insurance policy.

  • When you buy real property, you expect to enjoy certain benefits from ownership. For example, you expect to be able to occupy and use the property as you wish, to be free from debts or obligations not created or agreed to by you, and to be able to freely sell or pledge your property as security for a loan. Title Insurance is designed to cover these rights.

  • The cost varies, depending on the value of your property. The important thing to remember is that you only pay once. The seller generally incurs the expense. The coverage continues in effect for as long as you have an interest in the covered property. If you should die, the coverage automatically continues for the benefit of your heirs.

  • No. At the mere hint of an adverse claim to your title, you should contact your title insurer who issued your policy. Title Insurance includes coverage for legal expenses which may be necessary to investigate, litigate or settle an adverse claim.

  • The lender’s Policy covers only the amount of the loan and the lien priority of the lender, which is usually not the full property value. In the event of an adverse claim, the lender ordinarily wouldn’t be concerned unless it’s loan became non-performing and the claim threatened the lender’s ability to foreclose and recover it’s principal and interest. Also, in the event of a claim there are no provisions of coverage for the owner.