Disclose! Disclose! Disclose!

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Kristen Correa Real Estate & Reedy Creek Realty Services 0514644

Disclose! Disclose! Disclose!

Not my favorite Realtor re-pe-pe-pe-peater, but one risk eliminating phrase that rang in my head like a love song two times recently. And on the same subject matter, to boot.

Excited as all get-out to list a new Keller, Texas, property for a homeowner I knew and trusted, I went on the listing Selling Houses in Keller Texasappointment only to find out it had previous foundation repairs and previous repaired slab leaks. Many of you are saying, "Run!" But I am used to that, to be honest.

They say in Texas there are three types of foundations: One that needs repairs, one that has been repaired, and one that will be repaired. Simply put, it happens. A lot. To give a brief example, go on vacation for two weeks in a Texas July and forget to set your sprinkler system or set it, but a break in the line occurs while you're away and don't catch on to fix it fast enough, then not only do you lose your lawn to a hotter than Hades Texas summer drought, but you may come home to find neighbors' children fallen into the cracked earth you failed to water; so, you water it, then pop goes the foundation when that dry earth gets a drink and swells back up all unlevel like. Ug.

All that to say, it's OK! It happens. The key is: What did you do about it? So my homeowner, again, who I know and trust, is an honest man, discloses a previous foundation repair and two previous slab leaks. He's owned the home since the 80s and it was built in the 70s, so there is certainly history. However... he can't find his records. Darnit.

What do you do with that? That's easy. Price it accordingly and...

Disclose! Disclose! Disclose!

Basically we had to be 100% honest. Buyers: Here is the history. Lay it out there. But we can't give you a warranty. We can't give you a receipt. We can't give you a dad-gum thing but the honest truth and you buy it knowing that. That's it.

It doesn't matter what the problem is, how bad it is, what records you lost over the years, at the end of the day if you have taken care of a house, it will show. And if you have been honest about problems, consumers take a lot of comfort in that. They really do when the facts of the matter are laid on the line and the home is priced accordingly and the home has other really strong features that are lovable. How do I know? I had more than one offer on an older, broken cookie home. Buyers ate it up.

So, what's my favorite re-pe-pe-pe-peater? Location! Location! Location! Which is another one of the reasons this property could have sold a hundred times over -- right by a park I used to feed ducks at when I was a babe!

Don't let a little dry earth and subsequent foundation issues Quack you up..... Disclose it and focus on the positive features of the home and it will sell just fine.

Keller, Texas Parks

Posted by

Kristen Correa Real Estate

Comments (12)

Wayne Zuhl
Remax First Realty II - Cranford, NJ
The Last Name You'll Ever Need in Real Estate

Great post Kristen!  We just had a deal fall apart because the seller (not our client) was not honest in the disclosure and when our buyer found out, they killed the deal.

Apr 10, 2013 01:15 AM
Kristen Correa, Broker
Kristen Correa Real Estate & Reedy Creek Realty Services - Keller, TX
I love coffee & real estate. I am out of coffee!

It's so hard to recover from lies. So hard.

Apr 10, 2013 01:21 AM
John Dotson
Preferred Properties of Highlands, Inc. - Highlands, NC - Highlands, NC
The experience to get you to the other side!

WOW, I didn't know dry dirt was such a problem in Texas!

Disclosure is a butt-saving must in every deal, in every part, of this litigious country.

Great post.  All of us need to be reminded every day to "tell what we know."

Apr 10, 2013 01:23 AM
Curtis Van Carter
Better Homes & Gardens Wine Country Group - Yountville, CA
Your Napa Valley Broker Extraordinaire

Kristen

Fascinating bit of local knowledge. I guess we all have local problems we sure need to be aware and absolutely right on about the need to disclose these. The reason for the disclosure statement came to be here in California was a famous case were the seller failed to disclose foundation issue caused by the hill the house was on. cheers cvc

Apr 10, 2013 01:24 AM
Kristen Correa, Broker
Kristen Correa Real Estate & Reedy Creek Realty Services - Keller, TX
I love coffee & real estate. I am out of coffee!

Hi John! NOW you know! We have to maintain balanced soil in Texas. It is very common to see a soaker hose around the foundation, which is just a garden hose with holes in it to let just a little water at that foundation everyday when the rest of the lawn gets watered on a different schedule.

Apr 10, 2013 01:31 AM
Kristen Correa, Broker
Kristen Correa Real Estate & Reedy Creek Realty Services - Keller, TX
I love coffee & real estate. I am out of coffee!

Hi Curtis. Was the address Lombard Street?  :)     Have fun selling in California!

Apr 10, 2013 01:34 AM
Cindy Westfall
Premiere Property Group,LLC Portland Metro & Suburbs Oregon - Tualatin, OR
ABR,GRI Your Tualatin & Portland Metro Real Estate

Hi Kristen, I remember when I lived in Austin for a couple of years..quite a distance away and sure a different climate. Going to dig in the lawn my body was like a cartoon going back and forth on the shovel because the soil was hard. I've seen the cracks in it when it dried up. Never put much thought into how it would affect foundations. Your so right...disclosing is ALWAYs the best way to go!

Apr 10, 2013 01:22 PM
Kristen Correa, Broker
Kristen Correa Real Estate & Reedy Creek Realty Services - Keller, TX
I love coffee & real estate. I am out of coffee!

Hi Cindy, thanks for the comment. Much different, Austin to Portland! Is it raining today? :)

Apr 10, 2013 10:24 PM
Dana Basiliere
Rossi & Riina Real Estate - Williston, VT
Making deals "Happen"

Kristen,

I knew it was dry there but never realized it would affect the foundations. Here it the N/E we put foundation footings way down below the frost line so they are not affected by the climate. Never dreamed the heat and moisture would bother it.

Apr 10, 2013 11:32 PM
Kristen Correa, Broker
Kristen Correa Real Estate & Reedy Creek Realty Services - Keller, TX
I love coffee & real estate. I am out of coffee!

Dana, yea, I see this was two major lessons in one post... the foundation is pretty high maintenance in our climate. And expensive to repair. Once it cracks, you can also have plumbing and other expensive repairs to go along. No fun! Thanks for commenting.

Apr 12, 2013 11:42 AM
Silvia Dukes PA, Broker Associate, CRS, CIPS, SRES
Tropic Shores Realty - Ich spreche Deutsch! - Spring Hill, FL
Florida Waterfront and Country Club Living
Kristem, we lived in Val Verde County in the 90s for several years. It sure was hot and dry but I don't remember ever hearing about this type of foundation damage so I learned something new today. Like you said, disclosures are so important and it's always better to disclose up front than when a buyer finds out afterwards.
Apr 13, 2013 11:58 AM
Kristen Correa, Broker
Kristen Correa Real Estate & Reedy Creek Realty Services - Keller, TX
I love coffee & real estate. I am out of coffee!

Hi Silvia, thanks for the comment. I'm sure it happens more when people are behind on payments and can't afford to water or vacate and foreclose, etc., the problems are more prevalent in tougher times than when you were here in the 90s and grass was green! But it's a problem now... a vacant summer in Texas "ain't purdy!"

Apr 14, 2013 06:36 AM