Waterfront Listing Confusion

Real Estate Agent with Lake and Lodge Realty LLC

Would it not be nice to have one universal way of listing waterfront parcels. One would think that it would be pretty easy. Does it touch the water? Is the frontage Private or shared access? There is so much confusion over what constitutes waterfront that you can never tell until you pull up. Some agents really stretch the waterfront theory and it makes people crazy mad when they have driven for hours to see a house that can't even see the houses that see the water. Do they really think we are not going to look?

Sometimes to add to the confusion the house is across the street but they have a waterfront lot on the lake or river. Is this home waterfront or is it merely a house with adjoining waterfront lot? If the house is a back lot but has a shared waterfront lot with all owners of a certain subdivision are they waterfront or shared access? I think it varies from area to area and is one of those things if we all played by the same rules it would benefit us all. Then the worse confusion creator of all are these large MLS dumps that allow ten different Boards with ten different sets of rules to have one common MLS but 5 listings will deal with waterfront 5 different ways.

I always like to pull up the subdivision plat map and see the actual lot in reference to the water. Sometimes it is obvious the parcel is no where near the water. Shame on that agent, it's not like we are going to buy sight unseen and more often than not all it gets is harsh words for the list agent from all parties and an end to any chance of selling that parcel. I guess until we come up with a universal fix be extra careful listing to represent what's there and if buying check and recheck as it must be harder than it seems to just tell it like it is. If still unsure, demand a copy of the subdivision plat showing lot lines. Best of luck in all you do and thanks for reading.

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Randy Ostrander
Lake and Lodge Realty
107 N. Michigan Suite B
Big Rapids, MI 49307
(231) 796-5253


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Richard Glesser
North Country Appraisal Services - Gaylord, MI

I agree that uniformity in listing descriptions should be the goal.  One tendency, specific to your board, which adds difficulty is the classification of properties with ponds as waterfront.  A skill needed by every seasoned appraiser and Realtor is the ability to read between the lines on MLS data.

Jul 11, 2010 05:47 PM #1
Bill Travis
Captain Bill Realty, LLC - Gilbert, AZ

I think if I saw a lot of that in our area I would begin complaining to the real estate board, or somebody.

Waterfront means it sits along a body of water.

Jul 13, 2010 01:10 AM #2
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