Home Buying in Stanton Park>Question Details

James, Home Buyer in 33172

Is this there any sort of governing body that regulates against deliberately misleading listings?

Asked by James, 33172 Tue Apr 24, 2012

I recently was drawn in by an advertisement for a 4 bedroom, 3 bath townhome. Upon a walkthrough of the house, it became apparent that were only 2 bedrooms and two large “spaces” that were for a living and sitting room that were being advertised as bedrooms. The aforementioned “spaces” didn’t even have doors, or any other way to close them off to create any privacy whatsoever. There was a basement area that I guess could be counted as another bedroom, but even with a gimmie on the basement, they are still a bedroom short.

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Hi James,

Yes, the DC Real Estate Commission regulates against ethically/legally misleading information on listings. You or your agent can file a complaint against the listing agent. That's if it was advertised in the MRIS system. If it was just in a newspaper, on CraigsList or a flier and posted by the owner, then you may have no recourse.

You can check the legal definitions with the housing authority or the tax office in DC, but the basics are that the ceiling must be 7.5 feet tall, there must be a door (or doors) that closes it from the rest of the house, there must be a closet and there must be a window large enough to allow a fireman with all his equipment on to gain entry to the room. A legal basement apartment also must meet the above requirements, plus have a separate door to the outside a separate kitchen with sink, stove and fridge, and it's own full bath.

If you are not working with a Buyer's Agent, then I would welcome the opportunity to interview for the job. As always, my services are paid for by the seller at closing as the commission and free to buyer clients. I am licensed in DC, MD and VA, so I can help you no matter where you want to look.

Have a look at my profile and, if you like what you see, feel free to contact me for an appointment!
I'd be happy to set you up with a free search of properties with your criteria. I work with my clients from beginning to end and take care of everything in-between including inspections, lenders, attorneys and settlement.

Kelly Putz
Keller Williams McLean-Great Falls
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 24, 2012
Hi James:
This is an unfortunate incident that happens time and again. However in DC because there is so much renovation going on often the items listed in the advertising should say "could be" or "possible". As was stated by the other posters if this was an agent who is listing the property you have some recourse and the proper steps were listed, if not then its just another day in real estate. Either way lets move forward to your goal "Finding You Your Home of Choice"! If you would like to have the ability to search the web the way we do as Realtors' click the link below and search on my website for free and even set up your own search terms. If you see something you like give me a call I would be more than happy to assist!

All the Best!
Natalie Dean
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 27, 2012
Hello James,

We could probably add to that other "fun" stuff like "ocean view" (no view, even if stick your head out the window), zero for condo maintenance fee (when it is over a thousand dollars), 2 parking spaces when there is one, pets allowed when they are not, etc. etc.

We all wish that all fields in MLS were required fields (have to be filled out), as a minimum - making search much more productive for everyone. Recently, we had a "fact check" established in our MLS - but if you use it, explaining the error, nothing changes...the realtor who made a mistake (or put the wrong info in) is notified, yet, he does nothing on the wrong info...

This is a major issue - and thank you for bringing this up!

Irina Karan
Beachfront Realty, Inc.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 26, 2012
I can help you find a 4 bedroom 3 bath townhome in Stanton Park
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 24, 2012
Always look at a listing in person before making an offer. A room has to have a certain size window to be considered a room. Was there a closet in the so called rooms? Was the home listed by an agent, because it would be against our code of ethics to deliberately mislead.? Is it possible that the misleading was done by an owner unaware and maybe not done deliberately?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 24, 2012
You can have your realtor call the multiple listing service and register a complaint but note that if there is a window and a closet it can be considered a bedroom.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 24, 2012
Thanks, for the answer. There was no closet or door, but there was a window.
Flag Tue Apr 24, 2012
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