This article was written by Steve Burton?
ARE REALTORS OBSLETE?
These are two things that happened this year:
Client A. (Lets call her slick girl) wants to buy a house she has picked out searching zillow. She cant figure out why the house hasn't sold as it is beautiful and very reasonably priced.
The guy that is selling the house is doing it as a For Sale By Owner. This guy even wrote a book on how to do this.
She calls me first bragging about how she bought her current home on craigslist but this time she is a bit more cautious because of sellers book writing history. She meets with owner and determines that he is a “nice guy”.
I be smart and zavy, you are obsolete to me because I has internetzs
I drive out to the house and poke around. It is indeed nice and priced well below what I thought it was worth. Thinking something isn't right I want to research the house but she wants a contract “just to see what it looks like” while I am gathering information.
You can probably guess what happened. Slicky Girl just wanted a contract she could copy to continue the deal with out me.
Contract in hand (minus me being on it) she contacts the “nice guy” and does the sale all on her own. Proud that she bypassed my commission she ignores my phone calls until after the sale, only then does she answer to crow to me about how she did it all herself.
What slicky girl didn't know and what I would have told her had she not stopped answering the phone when I called was:
The septic system was years past its useful life
Besides being past its useful life the septic system was also installed at a time when regulations where a lot different and as the new home owner she was not grandfathered in. The county made her purchase a new septic system.
The original number of bedrooms was different then what Mr nice guy listed it as. The septic system even if it wasn't old an outdated didn't have the capacity for the house.
The house was big and beautiful because the original owner had additions built on. The additions where built prior to most of the regulations and codes we have now and the ground beneath the house is shifting causing separation.
The ground is shifting, the house is sinking. Not noticeably yet unless you know what to look for and are aware that this is a problem in this neighborhood. The foundation needs to be stabilized.
A lot of the electric in the house was knob and tube. Not used since 1930 knob and tube can be a potential hazard. A lot of insurance companies wont touch a house with knob and tube.
Zillow, Trulia and other internet sites didn't tell her any of that. Her attorney didn't go out to the house and find those things out.
I could have but she decided I was obsolete.
The seller on the other hand went without a Realtor because he knew those things and didn't want to disclose them. His big beautiful house wasn't sold for a long time because other people interested in it had realtors that discovered these things.
He moved out of state right after the sale 230K richer probably laughing his ass off….. Oh and his book was self published, free to do through amazon.
Speaking of disclosures:
For sale By owner person sells house to unrepresented owner, craigslist again.
About a year later, new owners toddler became sick. 2 years later child suffers from neurological problems.
Turns out house is full of asbestos and lead based paint.
New owners are suing the seller for fraud, negligence and violating federal law.…… 4 years after the sale. Imagine selling your home and 4 years later being sued. Better yet imagine knowing you are the reason that child will never live a normal life
That is the civil side. It turns out the seller was aware of the lead based paint & asbestos he just didn't tell the buyer. Criminal charges have been filed.
The buyer referred to the seller as a “sweet older guy” before this happened.
A property Disclosure statement and Lead Based Paint Disclosure for properties built before 1978 are required by law. These are just two of the many documents in a real estate transaction. Failure to complete and have these and other documents with your listing or part of the contract with a buyer could expose you to liability in the future.
Selling A Property is not like selling a car. Sell a clunker car to someone you don't know and you will have someone a little peeved at you. Sell a home without the proper documentation and it could cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars and you could wind up in jail.
Are real estate agents becoming obsolete?