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The Confidnential or should I say Secret Sales Price is not so Secret!

Posted on Nov 17, 2014 by in Observations about various subjects | 0 comments

The other day, I received a question from a potential buyer who was very concerned about the fact that there is too much information available to everyone on the Internet. Not wanting to be a wisenheimer, I tried explaining that there are many pros and cons about this subject and we do not have that much time to debate this subject.

I asked and was wondering what brought this up? The buyer wanted to keep his sales price private once the transaction closed. He did not want everyone to see his purchase price.

Needless to say I had to explain that there are no secrets any more. In the “old days” you could pay $250 extra and the Sales Price would be held confidential in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) as well as in the County Assessor’s Office. Well those days are gone. Some people think that by cancelling the listing in the MLS prior to close that will prevent the information to get out.

I explained to the buyer, that yes there was a loophole before and that consisted of some buyers requesting to circumvent the Multiple Listing Requirement of publishing the sales price. They would asking the listing agent to cancel the listing and then it would not show up in the MLS what the sales price was. This loophole has been closed by the County Assessor’s Office or should I say by the California Attorney General.

Even if the Documentary Transfer Tax (DDT) was filed separately expecting it to be confidential it is not the case. This was achieve by Section 11932 of the Revenue and Taxation Code which allowed the taxpayers to request the Documentary Transfer Tax to be shown on a separate page. This seemed to work for a while, then the Office of the Attorney General was addressing the issue of whether the DTT amount paid is open to public inspection or not. They determined in Opinion 68-12 that “The separate tax statement is subject to public inspection”.

Therefore what happened was, that the Assessor now posts the sales prices derived from the DTT found in documents filed separately and stamped “Not for Public Record”. Simply said someone at the Assessor’s Office has the job to convert the tax amount which is nothing more than simple algebra and there you have the Sales Price Appears on the Assessor’s website.

So with that said do not pay extra in Escrow to keep your Sales Price confidential because it will be public information anyway.

If you are a consumer who is considering buying or selling a home, investment real estate, vacation homes, or beach properties in Southern California, Los Angeles, Century City, Westwood, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Culver City, Playa Vista, Marina Del Rey, Venice or Malibu. Feel Free to give me a call at 310.486.1002 or email me at or visit one of my websites at   Your Pet Friendly Realtor. I contribute a portion of my commission to Local Animal Rescue Organizations

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