ssbss53, Home Buyer in Silver Spring, MD

Agents, please post pictures, I won't even look at a house if they don't. Also be honest about sq. ft, public records are easy to get.

Asked by ssbss53, Silver Spring, MD Tue Jan 8, 2013

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I see you have already received lots of answers to your questions. I always take lots of photos, many times paying to have a professional take them, of my listings. I agree, no photos or only one of the outside is many times a red flag. Regarding square footage, sometimes there is confusion about "under air" and the whole area including garages and screened patios. Then again, sometimes an agent will be "confused" on purpose to state the larger number. As in life, honesty is always the best policy in any RE transaction. If you don't already have an agent to work with in South Florida, I will be very happy to help you. I am a Buyer Specialist and am familiar with the Hollywood area. I am also from MD - grew up in Towson, went to Towson State. I'd love to share my love of FL with another Marylander. Please let me know if I can be of any help with anything regarding your move.

Margie Loden, Realtor
The Keyes Company
954 560-0499
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 7, 2013
Well, in South Florida....particularly Broward County....the square footage in county records is often accurate UNLESS there have been non-permitted modifications. The latter is the challenge to determine.

Tchaka Owen
Keller Williams Realty Professionals
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 9, 2013
A lot of people say they won't look at houses without pictures, which makes me think that they're likely to be the best buys.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 9, 2013
I agree I am an agent and it is hard for me to get excited about a property lacking photos. Square feet is another issue, you can't rely just on public record which is often incorrect. When you see square feet information you need to find out if it includes below ground finished square feet or is it total square feet which could include unfinished.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 9, 2013
Thank you to all who answered my comment. A seller can be sued for misrepresenting the listing. When I sold my house in Silver Spring recently, I had to sign tons of documents attesting to the veracity of what we put down. If I want a house in the 1800-2000+ bracket then I don't want to waste my time with those that are 1400-1500 sq. ft. range. Many, many listings have a 400 sq. ft discrepancy between the public records and the listing- that makes me suspect and I don't trust the seller then. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to measure.

I'm coming down to Hollywood next week to buy a house, with cash, and the Internet has really given me a head start. If the listing says new kitchen and updated bathrooms then show them. You know, buyers are nervous that a 50 yr. old house hasn't been touched at all- that turquoise toilet says it all; so if your seller has kept the property up let's see it, or let the price relistically reflect that. Buyers aren't stupid. Thanks again...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 9, 2013
If you're looking to buy, you really should have an agent assisting you; that will make your job a lot easier.

Part of the reason you'll see a big discrepancy is because many homes have "Florida rooms" which may or may not end up being closed in. And they may or may not have been done so legally. Same with garages and carports. Some agents will separate 'livable' area from 'total' area (which is fair). I've seen close to 1000sf difference particularly since counties do give partial credit for some of the area that's not "under air".

Tchaka Owen
Keller Williams Realty Professionals
Flag Wed Jan 9, 2013
The problem with square footage is that agents can be technically "honest", but deceiving at the same time. In our MLS, there is an option to select "Estimated" square footage - so it essentially leaves it to the discretion of the agent to determine.

I've seen plenty of agents who include below grade space and sunrooms into the square footage of the home to make them seem much larger, and more of a value.

The bottom line is - don't depend on the selling agent to provide you with accurate information. Always do your own due dilligence/research - and enlist the help of an agent working for you who knows the area and the model sizes in different neighborhoods.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 9, 2013
You are probably reaching out to agents that won't see your question. Public records here are many times wrong so it is up to your agent who knows the neighborhoods and floor plans to advise you accordingly.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 9, 2013
ssbss53, you're from my area....well, the other side of the Potomac....things aren't the same here as they are there. Not even close.

eg., I spoke to someone today whose pending sale has been listed as canceled in the MLS for over a month now (he had no idea). Pictures can be a luxury and square footage apparently takes too long to look up in county records. Sadly, these aren't exceptions.

It's a different game down here.

Tchaka Owen
Keller Williams Realty Professionals
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 8, 2013
I agree, I always have plenty of pictures with my listings! Square footage is tough sometimes. I use the latest tools to uncover the real square footage. BCPA in Broward is the Broward County Property Appraisers web site. Also Realist provides pretty accurate details about the particular homes you are looking at. For additional information call me on my personal cell 305-785-6272.
Marc Plotkin
Hollywood Homes
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 8, 2013
I agree; as far as the SqFt, in Broward county I see, daily, properties (in the Tax Records) with Total SqFt equal to SqFt under air OR that the SqFt under air is LARGER than Total SqFt...:(

With enthusiasm,

Meir Aloni & Team

CRS (Certified Residential Specialist)

CDPE (Certified Distressed Property Expert)

RECS (Real Estate Cyberspace Society)

Successfully selling Broward County since 1986!

Direct phone# 954-338-5220

All Star Realty Inc.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 8, 2013
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