Over the last few days my role as a Realtor® has been to talk my clients OUT of buying a property instead of talking them IN to buying it. Now many folks would say "but that's crazy" however my role as a Realtor® isn't about doing what might put a few bucks in my pocket but about doing what is right.
The client had their eyes on a piece of property in a very nice area in Fairfax County. A few years ago I had helped the couple sell their smaller townhouse and buy a new bigger one. I knew then they had their heart set on eventually building their own home. When a lot in their desired area came on the market we started doing our research. Both they and I knew the area had some issues with building due to the type of soil in the area. The listing agent assured us the lot was buildable but I had some doubts. As we negotiated on the price we went into gear on finding out anything we could about the lot history. After a few days we had a letter issued by the county health department stating the property did not perk nor would it be suitable for an alternative septic systems as well.
At first this didn't deter them from considering moving forward. We had a counter-offer on price but suggested we do one more round with the county health department to make sure the information we had was correct. After sleeping on it and meeting with one of the county engineers in person they decided the lot was too big of a gamble.
I breathed a sigh of relief as I notified the listing agent of our decision. My clients thanked me for continuing to dig and keeping them from making a very expensive mistake. We will keep looking to find the right property for their to build their dream home and I'll sleep well tonight knowing there money is still safely in their bank account.