Home Selling in 19082>Question Details

Helaurin, Both Buyer and Seller in Havertown, PA

Why do realtors obscure/hide facts when it just wastes everyone's time and effort? We just finished our house-hunting adventure.

Asked by Helaurin, Havertown, PA Wed Oct 26, 2011

We saw properties that supposedly were in "move-in condition" - that I would be ashamed to have claimed to be in move-in condition. One had a roof leak. Another had a water actively dripping from the 2nd floor bathroom into the kitchen, through the ceiling light fixture. A third had about an inch of water on the basement floor from the visibly-dripping sewer pipe. If the property has obvious and known material defects - particularly if they won't be addressed by the seller - please don't waste my time, my agent's time and your time setting up for me to view the property without being upfront about it. My agent made it perfectly clear that my lender would forgive cosmetic defects but that any property with structural or mechanical defects would not qualify for a loan and she shared that with the listing agents. If I found a listing agent wasn't upfront, I moved anything else on my list that they were the agents for to the bottom of my interest list.

Help the community by answering this question:


Phil Rotondo’s answer
If you feel that you were misled with the details of a listing, report the facts to the broker and/or to the local Real Estate Board.
Oh, and btw, how's H-Town? I grew up on Mill Road.
Web Reference: http://www.321property.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 26, 2011
1. these sorts of things are opinion-based. your opinion can be different from the realtor's opinion and neither of you may be correct
2. disclosure - realtors are not required to disclose everything about a home. only things that cannot possibly be inferred by a buyer, or things that have been disclosed to him/her by the seller, must be disclosed to you.
3. real estate involves marketing - no realtor is going to to be bluntly honest and tell you that a home is totally undesirable - it doesnt help the seller or the realtor.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 6, 2011
Dear Helaurin,
At the risk of raising the ire of my fellow agents, I always preview the homes I take my clients to (as their buyer agent) before I take them to see the properties that are potential homes for them. This saves everyone's time, prevents frustration, and in my opinion, provides better service to my clients.

I can't answer for the deceptive advertising on listings, it should not happen.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 6, 2011
Thanks for the answers! In most cases, I had not requested the disclosure statement prior to seeing the homes but I was going off the listing info. I do understand that some agents (or their clients) think that if they can "just get the people in" that someone will fall in love with a property and be willing to accept defects. But if the buyer (or buyer's agent) discloses upfront that they only want to see the property if there is no structural/mechanical defect because the loan the buyer is getting won't allow for that, I really think the agent ought to inform the buyer's agent that the house wouldn't be suitable for whatever the reason (leaking roof, pipe, missing furnace, missing stove, etc.). And yes - we saw a house I would have LOVED to put an offer in on - but the heating system (furnace) was missing and the seller didn't want to put one in. Which was a shame, because I watched the price of that house go from $99K to $90K to $75k to $54k and it's still on the market. I even priced a heating system with a contractor I've used before, they said between $5k-$6k tops. I would have gladly paid at least $70k for the house if the heating system was in. But there was no way my lender was going to accept a house with that defect. Not that there weren't other defects - but they were cosmetic (scratched hardwood floors, walls needing a good coat of paint).
I do understand the concept of puffery and a certain amount of that is understandable :) It was just frustrating to waste time in such cases. I'm really happy with my buyer's agent though - she's been great. One house we went into, the people had left adult sexually-oriented costumes out in full view - pretty much laid out on display. My five-year-old granddaughter was with us and boy did her eyes get big "What's that, mom-mom?" Thankfully,my agent redirected her elsewhere and told her it was a Halloween costume that the grownups hadn't yet finished making!"
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 26, 2011
Hello Helaurin,

Unfortunately there are good and bad in every business. Yes even MORTGAGE BROKERS..........can you believe it! :-)

Unfortunately some people can't help themselves and think it would make an easier sale if they hide the truth. Personally I agree with the saying "The truth will set you free!" Once you aspire to that goal in dealing with your clients you become a better sales person because you stop trying to sell and start trying to actually help your clients. Also its much easirer to remember the truth. There are lots of great Realtors out there that really go out of their way to help their clients and really enjoy doing so. It may not win them EVERY sale, but they get referrals from clients that really appreciate the good hard honest work they provide on your behalf.
I guess you did not have that experience but I have had the pleasure of dealing with many professionals in the Real estate industry and its always BIG smiles hen we all meet the settlement table..

Best Regards,
Alan Openshaw
Cornerstone Lending
Southampton Pa
267 992 7276
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 26, 2011
I agree with Phil. Report them. Those items you mention are serious and clearly render the property not in "move-in condition."

There's a term in real estate called "puffery"--a slight acceptable exaggeration--such as saying that an apartment has a great view of the mountains . . . which it might if you ignore the parking lots and junk yards between your window and the mountains. But your examples aren't acceptable; there's no excuse for them.

Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 26, 2011
Don Tepper, Real Estate Pro in Fairfax, VA
Hi Helaurin, on behalf of the Greater Philadelphia REALTOR community, I am sorry that you had to go through that. You are 100% correct. If a listing has mechanical or material defects, they should NOT be coding them as "Average+", but instead they should be coding them as "FixUp/TLC".

I'm glad you shared your experience/frustrations as it will help to keep all who read this on their toes.

Eric Axelson
Kurfiss Sotheby's International Realty
Web Reference: http://kurfiss.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 26, 2011

You point is well taken. In our business if a known problem exists it should be either disclosed or resolved by repair. Unfortunately, things change and the conditions may change as time passes....still, the issue should be resolved or disclosed.

It would be interesting to know if these issues were noted on the "seller's property disclosure." Perhaps requesting this information will help avoid some of the problems.

The fact remains, that you and others may be being misled is unfair and should be brought to the attention of the listing agent and their broker.

Good luck,

0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 26, 2011
We have become so fed-up with Realtors who base their services on Concealment, Non-Disclosure, Misrepresentation, etc. There NEEDS to be Statewide Laws to protect the Consumers against unscrupulous and deceptive Realtors.

Many of us detest the Real Estate Industry whereas they are equated with Wall Street's "insider Trading". Many Realtors are not in the business to help Buyers, but rather to "help themselves". Many thrive on what's called, "Pocket Listings" whereas they share "inside info" so the Homeowners cannot participate in homeownership.

I have been looking for 3+ years and NO Realtor bothers to keep an eye open nor to call me whenever a property I can afford becomes available. I do ALL of my searching. Unless a home will bring $150k or more, those who cannot afford those payments are considered "undesirables". It's all about worshiping Profit as their God!

Only ONCE have I EVER found a Realtor who had Ethics and kept his promise; over 20 yrs ago. He retired a millionaire.
Flag Tue Dec 10, 2013
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