Should you mention everything in a listing? This agent conveniently 'forgot' to mention something...

Mortgage and Lending with Sunstreet Mortgage, Arizona

As a transplanted Scotsman, I was reading the BBC news this morning when I came across an article about a beautiful, rural fisherman's cottage which was recently put up for sale in Kent, on the English coast. Think rustic, think peaceful, think fresh air and the sound of gulls. If you are having a hard time imagining it, here is a picture from the listing. By the way, this little three bedroom gem, with half an acre of land, is going for a touch under US$400,000. 

Rustic cottage Fishing cottage


Great you think. Perfect for me and the family. Let's go take a look. I'm ready for some rustic, rural living. And then you arrive:



Yes. That is a gargantuan nuclear power station. I hope you like catching three-eyed fish.

So, I am curious what realtors on active rain think. Have you ever 'omitted' something from a listing to get people out there, at which point they will realize it's not such a big deal. ("It's okay, with prevailing winds you are upwind of the garbage dump.") Or do you think it is best to be upfront and honest and see what happens.

Or do you have any good stories about listings you have been to where there were some hidden surprises?


As always, if I can help you or your clients in any way with, just give me a call (unless you are trying to sell me the above cottage.) 

Simon Smart, your Tucson and Arizona loan officer







Comments (5)

Matt Grohe
RE/MAX Concepts - Des Moines, IA
Serving the metro since 2003

Simon; We're limited to 1000 characters on our MLS so naturally some things have to be omitted. Generally it's not in the seller's interest to mention any negative a buyer could readily ascertain with a reasonably diligent inspection.

Sep 30, 2009 05:52 AM
Li Read
Sea to Sky Premier Properties (Salt Spring) - Salt Spring Island, BC
Caring expertise...knowledge for you!

Today's customer base have no tolerance for "creative disclosure" -- they're all in time famine, and have no time to waste on properties without truthful representation.    To do so leads to going out of biz, quickly!

Thanks for the post, and the timely reminder.    And...where in Scotland????

Sep 30, 2009 05:55 AM
Larry Gray
Real Estate Consultant - Lakeland, FL

That is why, as a Realtor, if you are doing a search for a potential buyer it always pays to do a drive by before you take them out. Then you can tell them about the "nuke plant" and let them decide if they want to see it.  It will save you a lot of embarsment and a potential buyer.  It is never good to look unprepared.

Sep 30, 2009 05:57 AM
Amy Jones Group
South East Valley - - Chandler, AZ

Great post!  I usually ask my seller what they would prefer.  Obviously they bought the home backing to a busy road or a garbage dump or whatever so someone else will buy it someday too.  However, I do let them know that they will probably be showing it a lot to folks who are not going to like the radioactive building in their backyard so they'll be inconvenienced a lot for nothing.  Sometimes, they would rather state the obvious and save themselves the headaches. 

If the listing is drop dead gorgeous...I'm more likely to leave out the negative lot location since the property may be all the buyers need to see to negate the negative!

Sep 30, 2009 06:08 AM
Simon Smart
Sunstreet Mortgage, Arizona - Tucson, AZ

Matt - thanks for being first to comment. I pretty much agree with you that it should be all about what is in the client's interests, as long as you are not actively misleading potential buyers.

Li - You're right - especially in a small community (and from your profile, it looks like you probably have just about the smallest community of anyone - but what a beautiful place to live) you need to maintain your reputation for honesty. When I sold real estate in London, before I got into finance,I tried to be a straightshooter. If I know there was a major issue with a property, I would be upfront on the phone - "listen, this is a great apartment, but some people have been put off by it being on the 8th floor with no elevator, and I want to let you know upfront rather than waste your time if it is going to be an issue for you." I figure I am not harming my client because if it is a dealbreaker, it's a dealbreaker whether I tell them before hand or not. BTW I am originally from Aberdeen, way up in the north. Beautiful place if you ever have the chance to go.

Larry - there is a phrase in the British Army. "Preparation and planning prevents piss poor performance."


Sep 30, 2009 06:12 AM

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