Buyers may not realize it, but Sellers do not have a duty to disclose material facts about their property…however, REALTORS do. At least they have a duty to disclose material facts that they know about or might be expected to know about.
That means research. There is probably a huge segment of the population who believe that REALTORS write up Listing Agreements all willy-nilly, take a few lousy photographs, put a sign in the yard and wait for the phone to ring. Sure, we all know there are some REALTORS who do business that way, but not at MoonDancer Realty. For one, the Office Manager would never stand for it and for the other…we just aren’t built that way.
Again, I say…that means research. We’re getting ready to list a couple of properties that the Sellers honestly don’t know much about and that happens a lot. The North Carolina Real Estate Commission however, is of the opinion that the public has a reasonable expectation that licensed agents should make an attempt to research things having to do with zoning, water sources, sewage sources, rough idea of property lines and general condition issues among other things.
So, today we are in research mode. Since our fiduciary responsibilities are to our sellers and possibly our buyers that means that in order to do the best job possible for them, we’d better learn as much about the property as possible. I’ll be visiting Jackson County’s Department of Environmental Health to learn as much about the septic system and shared well as I can, the Jackson County Planning Department to see if the property can be divided and sold as two parcels and the Jackson County Clerk of Court and Register of Deeds to fill in as many blank spaces in the history as possible.
No willy-nilly here. Real estate should be a very intentional business and much as I’d enjoy attending today’s AR webinar about social media…or walking about the Town of Dillsboro with camera in hand…or reading blogs …or enjoying a three martini lunch (okay, maybe not so much that one), we’ll be doing our utmost to have the best information possible about a listing we’ll be taking the responsibility for marketing and selling…and that means research and lots of it.
We learned early on…do your research upfront, disclose EVERYTHING you can and you eliminate a lot of hassle, headaches and heartaches later.
REALTORS are held to a higher standard than their Sellers and should be. They have a duty to disclose all material facts that they know or can be reasonably expected to know…it’s a public service we take seriously.