Question Details

Liza, Home Buyer in New York

Whose responsibility is it to verify the taxes, square feet, pet policy on a property I want to buy? the listing agent or my buyer agent?

Asked by Liza, New York Thu Nov 29, 2012

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The buyer's agent is responsable to have all prospective expectations verified before showing the property.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 30, 2012
Keep in mind that the listing agent acquires the information from the seller, then shares the data with other agents; therefore if any verifications are necessary, take the time and research on your own....
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 30, 2012
Yeow Enia....the buyer's agent varifying all information prior to showing a property. Is this really reasonable? Have to admit it sounds good.

This is a shared that calls on the listing agent to provide complete, accurate and up to date information and the buyer's agent to varify this and work with the buyer, helping them to become as informed as possible.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 30, 2012
The best way to answer a question like this is with a question. Who is buying the property and who do the answers mean something too? The answer is the buyer, you can ask your agent for some assistance but if the answers are that important to you, you should verify them yourself and not look for someone to blame later on.

Best wishes with your home purchase.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 30, 2012
Experienced buyer's agent will not rely on a seller agent's listing information and property disclosures and assume all information is complete and accurate. It is a buyer agent's duty to go beyond the general listing information and property disclosures offered by a listing agent.

A listing agent is hired by a seller to market and advertise a property on the open market to attract as many buyers as possible. A buyer's agent takes the information offered and confirms to a buyer it is correct to the best of their ability. It is perfectly fine to ask a buyer's agent where they got the information to confirm it is indeed accurate if they do not offer this to a buyer first.

I typically give the information to my buyer clients in writing via email. Doing this eliminates agent disclosure issues that may arise when working with buyer clients. Mistakes happen when there is a lack of disclosure and information that a buyer needs to make a good decision on a purchase.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 29, 2012
My recommendation is for YOU to verify all data points that are especially important to you. In particular something like a pet policy or schools. Sometimes the info is provided to the listing agent from the owner, and put on the MLS incorrectly - not through malice but simply because they didn't get it right. Your buyers agent can help you - but YOU do your due diligence as well. After all, if you were to buy and the let's say everybody misunderstood the pet policy - it would be a sad day for a pet lover. With schools, zoning changes over time. I've seen properties on the same block with different elementaries listed. If it matters to you, do your homework.

Good luck and best,
Jeanne Feenick
Unwavering Commitment, Unsurpassed Results
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 29, 2012
The buyer!
The buyer is provided the rules and regulation and HOA document for this exact purpose. You really, really should read them. Your agent may be unaware that a Prohibition of motorcycles would be an issue for you....for example or that our pocket puppy is in reality an aggressive breed...for protection of course. It is very likely you did or will notate that you received and reviewed those documents.
The data regarding the home represents the best effort to determine the square feet. It will be noted if the source of the data was from tax records or other sources.The appraiser that you will pay will make the actual measurements.
Taxes, in many cases involve independent taxing authorities which means taxes can only be approximated. There may be tax adjustments based on owner qualification and ownership structure. Only the buyer knows all these details. Again, the buyer needs to verify what taxes they may be required to pay, exempt from and credited.
For more information read the disclaimers on the documents you have. Of great importance is the statement at the bottom of each page that reads something like: "Elements deemed of material value should be verified by the buyer."

You are in New York. Why have you left the attorney out as a responsible party?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 29, 2012
Normally this information is provided by the listing agent. As a buyer you should verify all information is correct. This can be done through the taxing authority for tax information and square footage sometimes. An appraiser can also be used by the buyer for verification. Another source could be the seller. When you write your offer on a property you can add a stipulation that your offer is contingent upon verification of tax and square footage information. I would talk to your real estate attorney about your concerns prior to entering any contract we can't give legal information.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 29, 2012
There are 2 parts to the answer, first the listing agent will seek the information from the current owner and should pull a tax card and check with the hOA if there is one and places that info in the listing. Although believed correct, It is subject to errors or ommissions though, so that leaves the Buyer to verify ALL information on their own or if they have a buyer agent, to ask the buyer agent to confirm it. Ultimately it is the buyer who should verify all info becuase they are the one that could be hurt if it is incorrect.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 29, 2012
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