Either disclose that defect or get another agent

Real Estate Agent SL3317036

Either disclose that defect or get another agent

If you are looking to sell your home in Dauphin County Pennsylvania, you will be asked to fill out a seller's disclosure.  It is illegal in most states for a seller to knowingly conceal major defects from buyers and Pennsylvania is one of those states.  If you hire me to represent you as a listing agent, even though I have a fiduciary responsibility to you, I have a higher responsibility to obey the law and will be required to disclose any known defect. 

Not too long ago, an owner contacted me to list a property for sale and did not disclose any issue with the basement retaining water during heavy storms.  This owner had lived in the property since the age of 15, so at least 30 years, and stated the basement was always dry, never a leak. 

Well, as a part of my marketing plan, after I list a property for sale, I like to walk around the neighborhood with flooded houseflyers of the home introducing myself to the neighbors and letting them know the features and list price of the home.  This is the perfect time for people to chose their neighbors, if they have a friend or family member that wants to move to the neighborhood. 

Well, this particular time, I was surprised to find several neighbors wishing me luck for this particular home as the basement always took water when it rained for any length of time.  They recalled the numerous times the owner as a child was hauling the buckets of water out of the basement.  Their fond memories sure sat like a ton of bricks on my stomach.  I had to address this with the seller.

I contacted the owner and let them know they would need to update the seller's disclosure to include the discovered information.  When Mrs Seller hesitated, I quickly informed her she had 2 choices, either disclose the known defect or start interviewing other agents.  I cannot represent clients that are less than truthful. 

If you are an ethical person with high integrity looking to work with a like-minded real estate professional to help you with your Dauphin County real estate needs, I will be glad to help.



Have questions about buying or selling a home in Northern Dauphin County? I'll be glad to help. Check out MelissaStahlRealtor.com.



Posted by


Melissa Stahl


Melissa Stahl

EXIT 1st Class Realty

4685 N Wickham Rd Suite 104

Melbourne, Fl 32940




Office: 321-259-3990  Cell: 321-313-5607

Brevard County FL Homes for Sale, Melissa Stahl, Realtor specializing in real estate in Titusville, Mims, Port St. John, Cocoa, Rockledge, Merritt Island and Cocoa Beach. Call me directly whether you are buying or selling in Brevard County FL Melissa Stahl 321-313-5607

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Comments (9)

Alan Kirkpatrick
Austin Texas Homes - Round Rock, TX
Alan in Austin


Very nice post. Thanks for sharing it. Hope you have a great week. 

Nov 13, 2012 02:19 AM
Melissa Stahl
Melbourne, FL
Realtor, Exit 1st Class Realty

Thanks Alan, you have a great week as well.

Nov 13, 2012 02:25 AM
Cheryl-Anne Priest
The Real Estate Company Limited - Calgary, AB

Melissa     Awesome post.  I hope your sellers decide to disclose and keep you as their agent.  I commend you for your honesty and integrity.  Way to go!

Nov 13, 2012 02:53 AM
Liz Hill

Great post Melissa, your colleagues and prospective clients respect your integrity.

Nov 13, 2012 03:23 AM
Brenda Whitman, Live in Laramie Real Estate
Live in Laramie Real Estate, Laramie, Wyoming - Laramie, WY
Broker/Co-Owner, Laramie, Wyoming

Oh, boy - I'll bet the owners were hoping it would never come up!  I hope the outcome of this turned out well . . .

Nov 13, 2012 04:21 AM
Melissa Stahl
Melbourne, FL
Realtor, Exit 1st Class Realty

Cheryl-Anne, Thank you, the seller did disclose and we moved forward and got the home under contract in 9 days. 

Liz, I appreciate that, I actually got my real estate license because of a non-disclosure issue that arose with the purchase of my home.  It's very important to me.

Brenda, I'm sure she thought she was in the clear since we didn't know each other.  All did work out in the end, Thank you!

Nov 13, 2012 10:50 AM
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

Melissa.... that was a good decision to challenge the seller and insist it be disclosed....

Nov 14, 2012 03:00 AM
Melissa Stahl
Melbourne, FL
Realtor, Exit 1st Class Realty

Barbara, Thanks, sometimes sellers think by letting buyers know about potential or past issues they will scare them away, but it's always best to disclose rather than end up in court.  The buyer didn't have a problem knowing the basement took water, they knew someone who could fix it, the home sold in 9 days!

Nov 14, 2012 03:42 AM
Carole Webb
Fairfax Realty Greenbelt - Bowie, MD
" Selling Prince George's County "
Great Post interesting comment to Liz regarding why you got into the business of Real Estate. I also got into Real Estate after a different issue with my home purchase. We need great honest agents.
Jun 11, 2013 11:10 PM