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Old 12-15-2006, 06:03 PM
Location: Monument/ Colorado Springs
137 posts, read 717,886 times
Reputation: 52


BenWolfe, I agree. We should be able to work in our client's best interest without having to walk on eggshells. I make sure they get the information they need- I just need to make sure it's not from me. It needs to come from a home inspector or engineer.
It's not just my attorney though. Realtor.org has several articles on the issue. According to the National Association of Realtors, we are not suppose to advise our clients on the condition of a home, and our errors and omissions insurance policies will not cover us in regards to the matter. Really we're just suppose to advise our clients that we're not an expert, and advise them to hire a professional. I guess that's pretty much the attorney's job- to scare us. I have a lot of issues that I personally feel competant to advise clients- tax matters, legal matters and home condition. I've done my homework, and I think I know more about these subjects (as they pertain to real estate) than a lot of professionals. But that doesn't make it OK for me to advise my clients on those matters.
Sorry- I know this is not a real estate forum. But I think it's good for the general public to know what an agent can and cannot do for them.
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Old 12-15-2006, 06:45 PM
Location: Larkspur, Colorado
226 posts, read 1,265,576 times
Reputation: 77
Correct this is not a real estate forum, but ...

I would prefer that my client not have to spend $400 for a home inspection and an additional $500 for a structural engineer rather than risk telling them about a suspected defect out of fear of calling attention to a suspected problem and being wrong.

Section 4a of the Buyer's Agency Agreement says "Broker shall exercise reasonable skill and care for Buyer, including but not limited to the following: ... Disclosing to Buyer adverse material facts actually known by Broker."

If you know of a problem and you don't disclose it you are doing a disservice to your client and you are opening yourself up to much more liability. The bottom line is that if a case goes to court I would much rather be on the side of the Broker who disclosed a defect in an effort to protect his/her client than the broker who did not disclose because he/she was trying to limit his/her liability.

Your job as a liscensed Broker and as a Realtor is to protect the general public. In every situation I will take the high road regardless of what a lawer tells me to do.
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Old 12-16-2006, 08:52 AM
Location: Monument/ Colorado Springs
137 posts, read 717,886 times
Reputation: 52
Of course we need to disclose material facts that we know of- we just can't interpret them. We can't be the one to tell them if it is good, bad, or indifferent. We need to say, "This might be a concern." "You should have this checked out." I've never let someone waste their money on an inspection on a home that I knew would have issues that would terminate the sale- and I wouldn't. But I want people to understand that we're not home inspectors, and just because they hire a buyers agent doesn't assure them that the agent will know about all of these issues. Some agents out there know less about conditions of homes than the average home-owner; it's not something that most agents are trained on. My husband is a contractor, and I've worked with investors flipping properties for 10 years- so I have a little edge. Not everyone has that advantage. So if it's not something that is obvious to the buyer, and if it wasn't disclosed by the seller- a buyers agent might not know either. Since this isn't something that agents are trained on and not something we're insured on, it's a part of a lot of real estate company's policies that their agents don't advise their clients as to the condition of a home. So in a lot of cases it's not a matter of opinion- it's also a matter of their company policy. We absolutely need to use everything we know to protect our clients-we just have to be careful how we go about it. And consumers need to know that their agent might not know- and probably hasn't had any formal training on these things.
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