One of my biggest gripes with showing bank owned homes is this: The seller (bank, asset manager, Wizard of Oz...) does not have to provide full disclosure on the home.
Heck, they don't even have to provide partial disclosure on anything that has to do with the home.
Yes, I get it that they have never lived in the home.
Yes, of course they cannot attest to the every day workings of the mechanical systems.
But...(you knew this was coming didn't you?)
Obvious problems that are noted by a listing agent and forwarded over to the asset manager should be disclosed to potential buyers and their agents before an appointment is set.
Case in point: I showed 6 homes yesterday to a buyer client. 3 of them had obvious mold/mildew infiltration. (I didn't need a test kit to figure that one out for myself. The signs were obvious, the smell was horrendous as you approached the basement and the staining on surfaces made it impossible to avoid.) HUD owned homes will have a statement right in the listing remarks if they suspect that a home has mold, or if they have test results that a home has this defect.
If HUD can do it, why aren't the rest of the owners following suit?
I've talked with several listing agents who handle foreclosures in Macomb County. Each and every one of them go through the homes prior to listing them, take photos, and forward them to the asset managers of the homes. In this manner they are able to list the homes at the price they feel will need to be set to sell them. Since the asset manager of the bank owned properties have photos and detailed descriptions of the homes, why the heck are they allowed to get away with not giving a disclosure? Why aren't the listing agents making simple disclosure in the remarks section of the listing information sheet available to buyers agents and their clients?
Is it the fiduciary responsibility of the agent to the sellers to paint a rosy picture of these homes regardless of the possible health effects upon someone viewing the home?
I vote: Hogwash.
If we walked into a private sellers home to market it for sale and it was obvious that there was an issue with mold or mildew we would tell the seller "You have to disclose this, and it should be put into the remarks". Put everyone on notice that the mold/mildew is there before they come to view the home.
I had a young couple with me yesterday, along with 2 children. (One an inquisitive 2 year old) I was angry that the children were breathing that air, and worried about the littlest ones breathing after we left. Yesterday was the first time that I wanted to go back to my car, draw up a sign and tape it to the front door. I didn't, as I don't have the right to do that. But oh my I was tempted.
© Kris Wales - A Macomb County MI real estate agent