Home Buying in 10709>Question Details

Needinfo, Other/Just Looking in Westchester County, NY

Can a real estate agent list a house on an MLS and advertise it as having LOW TAXES!!! in that same print?

Asked by Needinfo, Westchester County, NY Sun May 3, 2009

And, some months after the sale, tax assessors show up and soon after - the taxes are nearly doubled. Is there a case against the real estate company for advertising this way and now the new homeowner has got an additional $1,000 per month to deal with. I'm sure the real estate people knew of any renovation that would call for a reassessment of the taxes. This could be very damaging financially to this homeowner and I believe that this was a clear case of misrepresentation to secure a sale. I would appreciate some advice on this issue - thanks.

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The buyer’s agent or the buyer needs to do some due diligence that I agree. However, the listing agent is just as responsible in providing accurate information. The listing agent has a responsibility to locate the correct information prior to listing the property. It will show some carelessness if the listing said to verify everything.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 21, 2012
This is an unfortunate scenario. When I work with buyers I'm careful to identify any improvements that have been made and then I compare it with the C.O.s in place with the building department as well as verifying with the tax assessor that there aren't any un-assessed improvements. This type of approach would have avoided this situation. NY is a buyer beware state. It is the responsibility of the buyer to do due diligence. I'm not excusing the listing agent if they indeed misrepresented the property however, when you see low taxes you need to ask yourself why so?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 7, 2011
Try to grieve the taxes, there was no way of knowing that a tax assessment was going to occur. I have suggested this many times and have been successful most of the time.
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 7, 2011
If the owner properly permits the work he does-the taxes are correctly aligned with the property value. It is not the agent's responsibility to follow town codes, it is the owners. If the owner decides NOT to permit work done to a property, and not to have work inspected according to town codes, then why would that be the agents responsibility? Houses (owners) are taxed according to all property amenities combined. If the property is unfairly assessed there is recourse for the property owner, and channels by which to challenge the unfair assessment. Taxes are an unfortunate reality in Westchester County, one of the highest taxed counties in the nation. Certainly we are out of alignment with the rest of the state, and we absolutely should have a county wide adjustment to level the playing field, but its doubtful any politician will get on that soapbox.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 6, 2009
Why not? Look at the taxes on new construction. They'll be like $1 or $100 or something that is nonsense. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is. Also, any renovation done that required permits from the town will trigger a reassessment. Plus towns all have their own reassessment schedules, some towns reassess almost every year, others pretty much never. This information is all public. If the new homeowner did know any of this, they probably shouldn't have been making the largest purchase of their lives.

The only type of renovation I could see causing a 12k increase was a teardown and rebuild of a bigger and nicer house. If that's the case, the buyer knew they were buying new construction on an existing lot and should know an assessor would be arriving.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 3, 2009
I agree with prior poster. And, if the assessors office showed up after the sale - that means that the taxes in place at the time of sale were in fact what was represented, right? The real estate agent only pulled the info that was in place, there is never a guarrantee of future assessments or tax rates.

I am sorry, I can see that this creates a hardship on you. I'd be upset!

$12k a year is really high - perhaps something is really wrong here? I mean, they DID know you had a house before they reassessed, right?

I would contact the county and try to challenge the re-assessment and/or explain to them that $1K a month creates a hardship on you; they may be willing to do some kind of phase in -especially if it suddenly means you can no longer afford your payment.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 3, 2009
Regardless of whether or not anyone is at fault. . . a buyer needs to do some due diligence of their own. Please check the taxes on ANY house for yourself, or have the buyer's agent check the taxes. All you have to do is call the assessor. Any new renovation should have had a c.o., which would have made the taxes go up already. It's very strange that the taxes would go up 12,000 in ONE year. What kind of renovation was done.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 3, 2009
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