Where do we disclose the snakes?

By
Real Estate Agent with HER Realtors

The question "Where do we disclose the snakes?"  could just as well be where do we disclose the

bedbugs?

skunks?

bats in our belfry?

Where do we disclose the ...?

The question is where do you disclose the presence of a pest or the treatment / removal of the presence of a pest to prospective buyers of your Ohio home?  Answer below... I want to share this video with you first.  Scared of snakes?  I am.

I am sure the snake story that is hot now is the same snake house that was in the news back in 2006...  Here's a link about the Idaho snake house a discussion with other real estate agents mostly in the Mid-west, Great Lakes States back in 2006.

2011 hot video on the Internet along with the story that the house is on the market again 

It's got to be the same house.  There could NOT be more than one snake house could there?  The home is on the market, bank owned and the price has been slashed to $109,900 according to Internet scuttlebutt.  The appraised value without snakes is much higher... the last owners did NOT know about the snakes before they bought?

Where do we disclose the...?

Aren't you glad you live in Ohio?  Aren't you glad your home is not built on a "snake den or hibernaculum" 

As a seller of residential property in Ohio, the Residential Property Disclosure is typically where you disclose snakes, bedbugs, skunks to the buyer of your home.  You would be disclosing roof leaks, roof repairs, water in the basement....  The Residential Property Disclosure form is also where you would want to disclose the presence of pests.

Even if your home's been featured on Youtube... you'd need to disclose to buyers of your home...for your protection in the future.

Central Ohio

Central Ohio bed bugs... recommendations to REALTORS®

bed bug contingency....

Central Ohio WHO inspects for bed bugs

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This post provided by Maureen McCabe HER Realtors*

Contact Maureen McCabe of HER Realtors* - 614.388.8249

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Information is deemed to be accurate but should be verified to your satisfaction.  Information provided herein is supplied by several sources and is subject to change without notice.  Opinions expressed are solely those of Maureen McCabe.

 


 

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Rainmaker
538,959
Eve Alexander
Buyers Broker of Florida - Orlando, FL
Exclusively Representing ONLY Orlando Home Buyers

I live in Florida, I have had occasional snakes in my house...I learned to open the door and get the broom to shoo them out....

Yes, they were in our flower beds, got under the garage door, came through the patio...just like the lizards.

Eve in Orlando

Jan 29, 2011 11:57 PM #31
Rainmaker
1,478,261
Maureen McCabe
HER Realtors - Columbus, OH
Columbus Ohio Real Estate

Reuben... I keep thinking of mice.  Build a house in a cornfield and don't expect mice?  

Some of the discussions about the snake house say build a house on a snake den and you have snakes.  This house was built in 1920.

I believe they are calling them Garter snakes I think...  I think as a kid we said Gardner snakes and we collected them in coffee cans.  The coffee cans were sometimes kept in the milk chute.  You did not bring snakes in the house.  The milkman did not make home delivery anymore so this box was a great place for a coffee can with the latest catch of little snakes that hung out in the grass.

In 2006 I was thinking it was rattle snakes. Or maybe I realized they were not big scary snakes in 2006 but somehow they got scarier over time.  I do not remember a video in September 2006.   I was picturing a house in the desert and BIG scary snakes.  Little snakes scare me more than they used to.  The video makes my skin crawl.

Videos of scurrying field mice make my skin crawl.

Videos of bedbugs make my skin crawl.

I would prefer a seller with a house that they have to set mouse traps in the fall every year, put that on their disclosure for the buyer... do most?  I don't know that they do. Is a buyer going to sue?    

As far as disclosure the well water thing is another matter... the buyers ability to drink the well water ? Is it just smelly water or is it not usable water?  Buyer beware.  Run tests on water if a house is on a well.  Smell the water coming out of the faucet as part of looking at a home?

It is a banks sale this time.  Banks do not disclose much if anything to buyers.  Was the last sale a bank sale?  Sounds like this listing agent is going above and beyond to make sure a buyer gets an idea of the true nature of the property. 

Some of the conversation online is that previous seller / listing agent did not disclose.  Was it a bank sale?  We have no idea what disclosure laws in Idaho are.

Saving comment b4 I hit submit.   

Jan 30, 2011 12:07 AM #32
Ambassador
1,726,157
Richard Weisser
Richard Weisser Realty - Newnan, GA
Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional

Maureen...

I am always surprised at the terror surrounding snakes. Dog kill 5 time the number of people than snakes do in the US, yet many will kill a snake on sight.

Jan 30, 2011 12:48 AM #33
Rainmaker
266,618
Jim Gilbert
Keller Williams Fairfax Gateway - Manassas, VA
The Gold Homes Team

Garter snakes are not dangerous.  Some people react poorly.

On the other hand there is the great joy of opening the door to show a property and finding every inch of it covered in living and dead cockroaches.

 

Jan 30, 2011 01:50 AM #35
Rainer
52,672
Joyce Herr
Prudential Lancaster Real Estate - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster County & Beyond

Interesting and uniques post. Thanks for disclosing snakes.

Jan 30, 2011 02:14 AM #36
Rainmaker
528,812
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Wow, I think that there should be room for all types of disclosure regarding infestation.  While some buyers would not have an issue, others may feel it is a deal breaker.  But then again, who determines whether or not such a thing needs to be disclosed as a "restriction on the quiet enjoyment" of the property.  Thank you for bringing this into the limelight, very interesting story indeed!

Jan 30, 2011 02:44 AM #37
Rainer
171,130
Robert Butler
Aspect Inspection - Montreal West Island, QC
Montreal Home Inspector | Aspect Inspection
Who cares if the law requires it. Hiding it is wrong. Disclose it because you SHOULD. Apply the golden rule. There still are no snakes in Ireland or Newfoundland as well as much of the subarctic climate zones of the Northern hemiphere. We called them Garter snakes but they are garden or lawn snakes, litterally 'the snake in the grass'.
Jan 30, 2011 03:05 AM #38
Rainmaker
171,664
Mary Jo Quay
Remax Results - Edina, MN
I Move You Home

An attorney told me about a couple that bought a turn of the century home on the outskirts of Minneapolis that they just loved for all the original charm.  Ms. Buyer had a melt down to find a snake den in the basement.  The inspector mentioned 'mice,' and that there was an entry hole in the foundation. The mice attracted the snakes, and the hole let the snakes to slither in.

The couple sued to rescind the $500,000 sale.  

I asked the attorney why they didn't close the hole, and bring in a couple of farm cats.  The hole would have been a $20 fix, and a few cans of tuna to pay off the cats to get rid of the snakes.  Cats kill snakes, snakes hate cats.  The attorney hadn't thought of that.

I have a killer cat that I used to loan out if someone had mice, squirrels in the attic, chipmunks in the garden, bats in the belfry, or critters waddling about.  The job was usually done in a couple of days.  However, a possum wandered into my basement and the cat allowed it to eat it's food!  Seems that cats and possums have a mutual understanding. 

Jan 30, 2011 04:23 AM #39
Rainmaker
1,478,261
Maureen McCabe
HER Realtors - Columbus, OH
Columbus Ohio Real Estate

Richard wrote  "Dog kill 5 time the number of people than snakes do in the US, yet many will kill a snake on sight."

Really. Interesting but I don't know that the revulsion at snakes has much to do with fear of being killed.

I was thinking about  why so many people are scared of snakes this  morning.  I wondered if other cultures felt the same way about snakes.  I wondered if there was an emnity with serpents hard wired into Christians, or some Christian religions anyway. While I am not one to quote chapter and verse  Genesis chapter 3 and the word "emnity" popped into my brain when I was wondering if it is cultural.

#31  Eve in Orlando I am not a big lizard fan either.  They really freaked me out in Aruba,  They were everywhere.  

Erica sorry that you have no empathy for people who are not fond of snakes.  There are lots of us.

Gold Team Thanks for the visual "On the other hand there is the great joy of opening the door to show a property and finding every inch of it covered in living and dead cockroaches."  I have not seen cock roaches in years.

Karen #37   I agree. 

Robert in #21 and #37  Not sure who you are talking to when you say "Who cares if the law requires it. Hiding it is wrong. Disclose it because you SHOULD" 

I fail to see anyone in the conversation  recommending to sellers in any state that  hiding any defect is right.  This post is written for Ohio consumers about disclosure. Are you bellowing "Who cares if the law requires it. Hiding it is wrong. Disclose it because you SHOULD"  at sellers in Ohio?"    Or are you screaming ""Who cares if the law requires it. Hiding it is wrong. Disclose it because you SHOULD"  at  sellers in Idaho?  They are not hiding anything...

Get a grip or move along. 

Mary Jo Possum in the basement?  That would scare me.  They stink too. 

Jan 30, 2011 10:33 AM #40
Rainmaker
1,478,261
Maureen McCabe
HER Realtors - Columbus, OH
Columbus Ohio Real Estate

Chris I don't have a problem with the Residental Property Disclosure not having a spot  for bedbugs or any other odd things.  I think the last section on the last page is just fine. Or sellers can always add an additional page. They could inhibit a persons use of the property....

This is more about bedbugs than snakes but  snakes are so much easier to see.  It is a disclosure issue.  I have not run into any personally.  I think single family housing is the best defense. No shared walls.  I have heard about bedbugs in shelters, hotels, apartment complexes for the elderly in Central Ohio. 

I hope the EPA allows stronger chemicals in the future.

Jan 30, 2011 01:18 PM #41
Rainer
135,586
Margie Kopp Sorrell
Coldwell Banker Lake Oconee Realty and Lake Country - Greensboro, GA
Lake Oconee Real Estate

oh...my...goodness. harmless or not, that video gives me the creeps. i had a nightmare about snakes last night and thanks to reading this i probably will again : )

DISCLOSE. DISCLOSE. DISCLOSE. i would be royally ticked as a home buyer if i purchased and found this out later. Maureen-thanks for the post but it gives me the heebie-geebies!

Jan 31, 2011 12:52 AM #42
Rainmaker
339,178
Chris and Berna Sloan
Group 1 Real Estate - Tooele, UT
Tooele UT

Just need a Mongoose or two...

Jan 31, 2011 03:40 AM #43
Rainmaker
1,478,261
Maureen McCabe
HER Realtors - Columbus, OH
Columbus Ohio Real Estate

Margie  Sorry.  Disclosure is a sellers friend.

Chris Yes "Herpestidae"  like Rikki Tikki Tavi...

Jan 31, 2011 04:05 AM #44
Rainmaker
682,866
Sidney Kutchuk - Realty Works Temecula Kutchuk - Realty Works Temecula
Realty Works Temecula - Temecula, CA
Realty Works Temecula

Maureen;  Great post and I think I need to have a snake disclosure here in California....we have a lot of rattle snakes in the Temecula Wine Country!

Jan 31, 2011 06:55 AM #45
Rainmaker
1,478,261
Maureen McCabe
HER Realtors - Columbus, OH
Columbus Ohio Real Estate

oooh...  I saw True Grit...a scene with rattle snakes comes to mind.

Jan 31, 2011 07:03 AM #46
Rainmaker
876,345
Debbie Walsh
Shahar Management - Middletown, NY
Hudson Valley NY Real Estate 845.283-3036

I have never heard of this house before and all I can say is OMG OMG OMG!  I can handle alot of things and snakes are not on that list!

Jan 31, 2011 10:55 AM #47
Rainmaker
1,478,261
Maureen McCabe
HER Realtors - Columbus, OH
Columbus Ohio Real Estate

Debra I'd say "OMG, OMG, OMG" if I ever saw A snake while showing a house...  Much less hundreds or thousands of snakes...

Jan 31, 2011 11:37 AM #48
Rainmaker
876,345
Debbie Walsh
Shahar Management - Middletown, NY
Hudson Valley NY Real Estate 845.283-3036

I have to tell you this since you said that.  Not last summer but the summer before I was taking pictures of a listing which was 28 acres.  The seller was driving me around in his truck so I could take pictures of various areas of the property.  At one point when I got out and was trying to take a picture I thought I had stepped on a wobbly rock because I almost fell.  While trying to take the picture I was standing ON A SNAKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It was one of the hardest things I ever did to not drop and break my camera and run screaming.  I still don't know why the snake didn't bite me but I am ever sooooooo grateful!  To this day I can't walk in grass without getting the heebie jeebies.

Jan 31, 2011 12:23 PM #49
Rainer
106,947
Jan Stevens
Coldwell Banker Pittsburgh - Cranberry Township, PA

Creepy! Love the "killer cat" suggestion, though. I'm always a fan of total honest complete disclosure, and this would be no exception. And an owner couldn't possibly be unaware of it unless they never entered the property.

Feb 02, 2011 02:17 AM #50
Rainmaker
1,478,261
Maureen McCabe
HER Realtors - Columbus, OH
Columbus Ohio Real Estate

Debra stepping on a snake, I think I would die!

Jan Our state disclosure forms there are people who do not have to fill one out...  in fact in a recent class on risk the instructor said no one has to use the form. You have to disclose it, but you do not have to use the state form.  Perhaps? I think our company policy and most local companies are the seller needs to put it in writing.  On that form unless excused.

You wrote: "And an owner couldn't possibly be unaware of it unless they never entered the property."

What I see often is "Seller has never lived in the property." on the residential property disclosure.

That is total B S if the seller knows for example about defects because the tenant reported them, because they had tried to have them corrected or serviced...

in example the property sat for 18 months with water in the basement because it was a foreclosure and the electricity and thus the investor / flipper put in a new furnace and replaced drywall where necessary...  to say "Seller has never lived in the property."when the buyer sues... because of mold discovered after closing...

In example Seller paid for Roto Router for the tenant twice a year or the sewer would back up into the basement but seller fills out a  form saying "Seller has never lived in the property."  and in no other way informs buyer of the defect which they are inheriting.  Tree roots?  Collapsed sewer lines?

In example an estate selling a home...  the estate can write " "Seller has never lived in the property."  but if they are aware of defects and the buyers sue the rest of the story is going to come out. 

 

 

Feb 02, 2011 02:38 AM #51
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