The Bedroom Count Doesn't Equal Septic Perc

Real Estate Agent with Montague Miller and Company

I list a lot of homes. They are my bread and butter. I am meticulous, and take very seriously my duty, to my Sellers, to sell their home in the quickest time, at the highest price possible, with no legal entanglements. I am a certified relocation specialist. I meet the criteria for all relocation companies nationally. I do not take my reputation lightly.

My sellers hear from me regularly, and know what is going on in the market in the area. I even contact other Realtors conducting open houses in the neighborhood to track traffic overall. I coordinate with other listing agents to nest our open houses together, whether for the public or Brokers Open Houses, in order to increase the traffic received overall. In my market homes do sell at open houses, and I routinely get listings from neighbors who stop by, and get to talking with me.

Communication with sellers is vital to a successful sale. I pride myself on it, and this is what happened. I took a listing, that had been on the market (many months) with another Realtor, at a much higher price. A number that could be construed as testing the market, not at the sweet balance price, of getting it under contract anytime soon, in today's buyer market.

A beautiful Home, that had recently had an appraisal done. Which came in very close to my recommended list price, and likely sale price range. I had no idea there had been an appraisal done at the time I was doing my CMA. I patted myself on the back quietly, for doing a "good job Carol".

After I secure the listing, I begin my marketing plan, and get all the paperwork I need to ensure a smooth transaction. Once we get that ready, willing and able buyer, I want to have our ducks in a row. No surprises, we could/should have known about. I went to the Health Department where the well and septic information is kept.

What??? How many bedrooms is the perc? The bedroom count does not equal the septic perc.The paperwork is clearly for 3 bedrooms, 3 baths. The house definitely has 4 bedrooms, all on the second floor, and 3.5 baths. I call the Seller- there must be a mistake I am told, I have gotten the wrong lot information.

Back I go, and I pull the original application for the building permit, and perc test. No mistake, clearly 3 bedrooms on all the paperwork. This will be a HUGE REDUCTION in the market value of the house. I tell the seller the news. Not good! The house can't be marketed as 4 bedrooms unless we make application to the County for another perc test and follow their requirements.

Possibly, we may have to have a larger septic tank installed, we may have to have lines added to the field. If the ground will not support the 4 bedrooms, we may have to put in an alternative system. Seller is not happy about any of this. We can market it as a 4 bedroom home, if we get a variance from the County to limit the house to 6 occupants. The variance does not transfer though when sold, and we must disclose the variance.

New Realtors and/or lazy Realtors, who would have sold this home when it was on the market previously as a Buyers Representative, would have had a possible lawsuit. A lawsuit hiding in the wings, waiting for a meticulous Realtor to discover the problem in paperwork. This problem I have discovered more than once, in more than one area. We have a responsibility to Protect the Public, sometimes it is from themselves!

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Carol Costanzo, GRI, SFR, Realtor - - 434-962-1419          

You will benefit by putting my mastery of real estate fundamentals, legal issues and long history of supporting the highest professional standards, to work for you. I will exceed your expectations.

 Montague Miller and Company 500 Westfield Rd Charlottesville, VA 22901

Licensed to Sell Real Estate in the Commonwealth of Virginia



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Barb & Jennifer White
Re/Max Xecutex

Great post, another reminder that we are hired as professionals who must do their homework and guide sellers according to law requirement.  We must do the right thing under law even if it’s at the expense of listing.



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Additional Information

You want a Realtor who listens to you. You want a successful and trouble free purchase or sale. I work together with you, openly giving you all the facts from the first step to last. This approach works: I have been recognized as the top-selling realtor in the Charlottesville area. I would be honored to help your family in this exciting chapter of your life. Whether you are buying or selling, I want you to enjoy the process and you will never be pressured into a transaction that is not in your best interests.