We've come a long way.....but we still have work to do! by Geraldine Santiago
Published Author, Licensed Real Estate Agent
In 2005, the Real Estate errors and omissions insurance corporation sent out a newsletter siting 2005's Five Most Expensive Claims. They were no final occupancy permit, no permit regarding townhouse renovation, no refund for life leases, easement was not disclosed and condition of the property was misrepresented.
Fast forward to 2010, the five top most expensive claims are non-disclosure (limited dual agent) failed to disclose and misrepresented the boundaries of a property, non-disclosure failed to disclose encrachments and misrepresented the size and boundaries of a property, negligent drafting (limited dual agent), non-disclosure (seller's agent) failed to disclose slope of instability and erosion problems and non-disclosure (limited dual agent) failed to disclose water ingress problems in a leaky condo.
For buyers and sellers alike, obtain third party advice as soon as possible! Retain the services of a lawyer, obtain your own agent to represent your best interests, and obtain title insurance. The cost for title insurance is minimal which can provide the buyer with peace of mind!