House Purchase Tips
When you buy a house, you are usually represented by a real estate agent and the buyer is represented by another real estate agent. It is rare that the buyer and seller talk face to face about the most important asset in their lives.
Instead, realtors insulate the home buyer and home seller from any direct contact. Is that so bad? What difference does it make?
Well, for one, when a home buyer has a chance to actually talk to the home seller, they usually have a lot of questions to ask. And when they don?t, every question has to be filtered through the realtors. So take, for instance this exchange that actually happened in Houston in the late 1990s:
Home Buyer: (To Buyer?s Agent) What is this mark ?1 foot in garage? handwriting by the 100 year flood plain mean?
Buyer?s Agent: I don?t know. I?ll call X, the sellers? agent.
Buyer?s Agent: (Reaches Sellers? agent on her cell phone while driving) What does this ?1 foot in Garage? mean?
Seller?s Agent: It means there was a foot of water in the garage.
Buyer?s Agent: Okay
Buyer?s Agent: (To Home Buyer) They got a foot of water in the garage.
Home Buyer: Well I guess that?s okay. The garage is a lot lower than the house. Okay, move forward.
The only problem was that that wasn?t even close to the truth. On the seller?s disclosure notice given to the home buyer, the seller had marked in the margin next to the 100 year flood condition ?1 foot water garage?.
If you want to see the actual photos from that case, you will understand infinitely better how much the realtor misrepresentation and miscommunication to the
Had the home buyers been able to talk directly to the home sellers, these vitally important facts might have been communicated. What the home seller meant by the inscription in the margin was that a 1 foot section of the garage actually sat in the FEMA Flood Zone.
At trial, the jury found the home sellers committed Fraud in a Real Estate Transaction and held them responsible for around $200,000 in damages. The realtors settled prior to trial.
Obviously, it was a terrible situation for the sellers and actual communication would have made the miscommunication far less likely.