There are situations in which honest mistakes are made, and I believe most miss-statements fall in to this category. My recommendation when you are considering a home in which there is any question in your mind on bedroom count is to contact the town and ask them on what basis is the home assessed.
Let me share an "honest mistake" example of my own - a home that was purchased by its current owner, and sold many times before that, as a 3 bedroom came into question during the appraisal this go around. The wrinkle was that the 3rd bedroom was a lower level room in ranch home with a finished basement - it had a closet, egress, and was heated - so surely seemed by all measures to be a bedroom - but in fact, the challenge caused a review of township records and it was not so clear.
My suggestion is this - as listing agents it is important that we take extra steps to ensure we understand what we are marketing and correctly describe it. To Buyers, I say, regardless of your representation, be sure to do your own due diligence.
Having an agent, one agent, to assist you makes a huge amount of sense. Buyers that bounce around from listing agent to listing agent end up with a diluted search effort and end up doing far more work - in searching and analyzing options than those that entrust their search to an agent they trust.
Do work with an agent that is FULL TIME - this is no market for dablers - and one that has knowledge of the local market and inventory and is skilled at analyzing and sharing available data, particularly pricing information.
Do not limit yourself to agents that ONLY service buyers, you will hear that from those that do. Just as I would caution sellers not to work with agents that ONLY list. Agents that do both, not necessary in the same transaction but in their business bring a fuller perspective to the transaction to the benefit of their clients. Put another way, I believe that the value of a listing agent is higher if she understands the buyers' perspectives, and likewise, the agent is of greater value to buyers because she appreciates the sellers' point of view.
Find yourself a great agent and reward her with your loyalty. She'll earn her money and be central to your success.
Practices and rules vary from state to state - what I am sharing is my perspective and opinions based on my business in New Jersey.
Good luck to you,
Unwavering Commitment to Service
Here are a few questions when deciding whether a realtor is right for you that I pulled from our CAMoves website:
Since most people spend a fair amount of time with their Realtor, it's important to choose a Realtor you feel comfortable with, and one who is responsive to your needs. The following questions will help you decide if a particular Realtor is right for you:
â€¢Do they return your phone calls?
â€¢Do they ask you questions to determine what you want/need in a house?
â€¢Do they perform a financial analysis to help you determine how much you can afford?
â€¢Do they explain things clearly?
â€¢Do they suggest financing methods?
â€¢Do they seem knowledgeable about the community?
â€¢Do you feel comfortable spending time with them?
Good Luck! Cynthia :)