Home Buying in Westborough>Question Details

Fales, Other/Just Looking in Westborough, MA

MIS-REPRESENTED PROPERTIES IN WESTBOROUGH

Asked by Fales, Westborough, MA Sat Mar 26, 2011

There is an epidemic lately of houses being blatantly falsely advertised in Westborough. 3BR being marketed as 4BR, 4BR as a 5 BR, unheated space in a basement or "3 season" room being counted toward Sq footage.

Hey agents you cant throw a bed in a room without a closet and call it a BR. Also if the city's tax assessor doesnt count the wet basement as sq footage than neither should the advertisement. Stop wasting the time of buyers who actually want the amenities you falsely advertise.

Should be a fine for this, shame on you.

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Points to the desperation of sellers trying to add value to their home which is sinking in value and complacent agents

In some of these ads if you check closely, there will be a disclosure (i.e phrase such as 4th BR does not contain a closet, or finished basement included in sq ft), but I agree still very misleading.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 26, 2011
it is pretty transparent these days when real estate agents play games. Buyers have access to way to much information now days and are therefore very educated so it is a complete disservice to their business to attempt to pull a fast one. That said, I agree with you with regards to it being an unethical waste of time and think you are doing the right thing by making a proclamation of your frustration on this platform.
Web Reference: http://www.territory.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 11, 2011
Unfortunately sellers and real estate agents who play games with square footage and do not represent what the house truly provides, ultimately hurt themselves. When a home is misrepresented than you are not showing the home to the true pool of buyers for that home.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 8, 2011
Hi Fales,
It happens all over, and it's very frustrating.
I had buyers for a 4 bedroom property that was listed as such. When I went to preview this place it was a duplex with the garage made into "two additional bedrooms" and Unpermitted shoddy work to boot! A real waste of time!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 18, 2011
Hi Fales -
I know what your saying and had similar problems in buying a home in the Metrowest area last fall (2010). Here is my advise:

If you end up bidding on a property with dis-honest advertising, know that you can't believe ANYTHING in the disclosures or ANYTHING the selling agent tells you. Anyone who will lie in the listing info cant be trusted.

The home I bought in the ad stated "recent new 30-year shingles". To me this strongly implies a new roof that I can expect to last decades and to probably have a warranty. At inspection it was pointed out that the "30-year" shingles were actually a 2nd layer over a shot first layer, which of course no roofer will issue any sort of a warranty for. While we re-negotiated over findings in the inspection, I looked closer at the improvements that the seller claimed they had made to the home. Pulled the permits and the dates of the work pre-dated the sellers tenure in the house. The work was all done 2 owners ago. My agent confronted the other agent who claimed no knowledge of the inconsistencies, but after speaking with the seller did evenually fess up. I personally dont believe the selling agent.

Luckily these discoveries occurred prior to P&S agreement and we negotiated an additional 15K off of the price. SO THE BOTTOM LINE IS BE CAREFUL WITH MOVING ON A PROPERTY THAT CONTAINS INACCURATE INFORMATION IN THE LISTING. Seller and selling agent are probably hiding a lot of additional problems.

Good luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 28, 2011
A way to bypass all of those shenanigans is to ask your agent to pre-qualify the listings before showing them to you: 1) eliminate the properties where the number of beds/baths in the listing description don't match the number in the public records, 2) eliminate the properties lacking sufficient pics of all of the rooms, and 3) visit (or send an assistant to visit) each property to verify that the prior 2 requirements actually reflect the reality.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 26, 2011
Fales,

I understand your frustration as well. I am careful to make sure that what the seller says and public records says match or there is an explanation for the difference. Sometimes public records are not up to date on additions and such and alternatively I have found listings that are misleading as well. MLS allows square footage to be added from finished basement but only if disclosed as such. Obviously we are talking about finished space, not wet basement space. As another agent mentioned below, hopefully you will not let your frustration form an opinion that all Realtors are misleading. There are a lot of great agents out there.

Best to you,

Debbie Jean
Exit Realty Partners
Shrewsbury, MA
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 26, 2011
Hi Fales- I am in total agreement with you, and I'm a realtor. We definitely need to make sure the listing information is correct for the buyers to make a properly informed decision. We should also check to make sure that what the public record has for the house is also correct and updated.

Thank you for letting us know your concern on this matter, but I hope you don't hold it against us in general since there are a lot of great realtors out there too.

I wish you well on your search and I'd be happy to offer my services to you if needed.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 26, 2011
You are correct. That said on the mls they can advertise space in the basement in the square footage if they identify it as such. A bedroom does need a closet and proper window size as well.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 26, 2011
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