A Really Expensive Typo

By
Real Estate Agent with Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group S44645
https://activerain.com/droplet/49Pg

A Really Expensive Typo

I will give you an example of an extreme situation that happened to me early in my real estate career.  The condo had been listed for a long time.  It had recently changed listing agents and the seller disclosure was the same except that a new date was added and the seller re-initialed the documents for the new listing agreement.  The MLS sheet AND the disclosure both stated that a washer and dryer would be included.

empty laundry room  

Problem was, there was no washer and dryer in the unit to be included, they were already gone.  The listing agent never corrected the information, almost as if they didn't notice that they were not there. I might even venture to guess that the listing agent had never been to their new listing as all of the photos portrayed a lived in version of the condo prior to the seller's relocation. In fact, they were the same photos used on the previous listing.  That is a whole 'nother blog post! :)

 

My buyer and I obviously noticed that there was no washer and dryer in the unit, and we discussed that since there were no appliances, it must be an error.  I didn't feel it was necessary to clarify the mistake or "help" the listing agent or the seller in correcting their obvious mistake.  Or so I thought.

However, the buyer's father was an attorney.  Our purchase contract states that the MLS sheet and the items on the seller disclosure states the items included and he expected the seller to provide a washer and dryer for the buyer to be included in the sale.   It didn't matter that it was common sense that since there were no washer and dryer when we viewed the condo, that it would not be expected that a washer and dryer would be added.  

It went to mediation, and guess what?  The listing agent and seller paid for a new washer and dryer to be installed in the condo prior to closing.

 An expensive typo to say the least.  I learned to ask the obvious questions of my sellers and to talk about them with my future buyers as well. Mistakes happen.

Now most buyers, would NOT do that.  They would know that it was a mistake and would not expect that.  But some will and you don't want to take that chance either way.  Attention to detail is important, so if your situation changes, make sure that all of the documents are updated to reveal your true intentions.  Because I don't want to buy the seller or the buyer a new washer and dryer.

Keep smiling!

Karen

Posted by

 

Karen Feltman, REALTOR®, ABR, AHS, CHMS,                                                                      CNE,CRS, e-Pro, green, GRI, SRES, TRC

Keller Williams Legacy Group

4850 Armar Drive SE Ste B

Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52403

Email: karenfeltman@gmail.com

Mobile  319-521-0701

www.KarenFeltman.com

Licensed in the State of Iowa

© 2010-2018 by Karen Feltman, Cedar Rapids/Iowa City Relocation Specialist 

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Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Winston Heverly 04/20/2014 09:46 PM
  2. Praful Thakkar 09/08/2018 09:58 PM
Topic:
Home Selling
Location:
Iowa Linn County Cedar Rapids
Groups:
Active Rain Newbies
Realtors®
Iowa Real Estate
"Whacked"!!!
Addicted to Active Rain
Tags:
seller representation
attention to details
included items
proofreading your listing sheets

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Rainmaker
528,812
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Hi Pamela!  I can say with complete confidence, that it would have slipped right through.  The listing agent did not know that they were not there and the seller, a relocation company, would have no idea either.  They were relying on the agent to represent the listing appropriately.  So the blind leading the blind so to speak.

Jan 23, 2014 01:24 PM #71
Rainmaker
371,573
Julie A. Black
KAUAI DREAMS REALTY Kauai Real Property Specialist - Kapaa, HI
CLHMS, CRS, GRI, Realtor, Broker

I have also split the cost of a washer & dryer with the listing agent. They were there but not marked on the MLS. I said let's put it in. The seller signed the PC but took the appliances when she left. Oh well luckily it was an expensive house and a new washer and dryer wasn't a big hit.

Jan 23, 2014 01:25 PM #72
Rainmaker
1,061,062
Sharon Parisi
United Real Estate Dallas - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

Karen, attention to detail is everything.  Even when we read and reread docs we sometimes miss something.  This was a large mistake.

Jan 23, 2014 01:49 PM #73
Rainer
166,335
Marshall Brown
Mid America Inspection Services, LLC - Fargo, ND
BSEE, CHI

There is reasoning and there are rules. There are laws and there is logic. They are not the same and justice fails to prevail frequently.

Jan 23, 2014 11:00 PM #74
Rainmaker
528,812
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Hi Julie!  I must be missing something.  The washer and dryer were included in the purchase agreement that the SELLER signed, yet you and the listing agent had to replace them?  Why?  It is the seller's responsibility.  Better you than me, it must have made sense for you to split that cost at the time.  Thank you for sharing.

Hi Sharon!  You are exactly right.  Things are missed and we need to make it right.  This one was a big one.  Thank you for reading.

Hi Marshall!  Thank you for reading.

Jan 24, 2014 03:11 AM #75
Rainer
303,867
Andrea HoffDomin
Florida Dream Homes Realty - Fort Lauderdale, FL
- in Real Estate always on your side!

I do not know how the contracts are in other states but in the Florida contracts the appliances are listed and if there are more listed on the MLS than they have to be on the contract too. There is a different between the MLS and the contract and the contract is binding not the MLS.

Jan 24, 2014 03:17 AM #76
Rainmaker
523,478
Lisa Friedman
Great American Dream Realty - Essex, VT
30 Years of Real Estate Experience!

Karen, this is a huge pet peeve of mine.  I can't tell you how many listings I see where the agent makes an error on appliances.  That should be proofread and verified with the owner at the time of the listing. After entering the listing, I immediately (within five minutes) send the listing to the owner and ask them to proofread it for accuracy and to make any changes if they want something re-worded. I can't for the life of me fathom how this happens so many times.

Jan 24, 2014 05:07 AM #77
Rainmaker
528,812
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

 Hi Andrea!  On our contracts, the MLS sheet and the seller property disclosure are included in the contract and are effectively addendums to the contract.  Thank you for reading.

Hi Lisa! It does happen a lot.  It is very frustrating for me as well to see the contradictions between what the MLS states and what the sellers state on the disclosure.  Clarification is required when they do not match.  Thank you for reading.

Jan 24, 2014 05:29 AM #78
Rainmaker
1,493,736
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

Sloppy work on behalf of the listing agent, and the seller obviously wasn't paying much attention either.  Those mistakes cost them a washer and dryer.  I hope they at least bought second hand ones!

Jan 24, 2014 06:13 AM #79
Rainmaker
528,812
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Hi Georgina!  The buyer accepted a cash allowance at the closing to purchase their own washer and dryer of their choice.  That was determined by the mediator to be a fair way of taking care of the issue.  Thank you for reading.

Jan 24, 2014 08:54 AM #80
Rainmaker
810,011
Evelyn Kennedy
Alain Pinel Realtors - Alameda, CA
Alameda, Real Estate, Alameda, CA

Karen:

Regardless of the fact that there was no washer and dryer, if the MLS and disclosures indicate that a washer and dryer will go with the sale, then they must be replaced.  You client had a perfect right to insist on the seller and listing agent complying with the MLS and disclosures.

Jan 27, 2014 10:55 AM #81
Rainer
103,107
Rosie Moore
Serving Sugar Land, Richmond, Rosenberg, Missouri City - Sugar Land, TX

I was in this very same situation. I was working with renters and the listing agent (property management co) advertised the home with a washer and dryer that never existed. Also, they advertised the home with gas connections for dryer. Guess what? There was no gas connections. Long story short, after much pestering, the property manager tossed in the washer and dryer. Listing agents need to ensure all information is accurate on MLS. NO EXCUSES ALLOWED.

Jan 27, 2014 01:47 PM #82
Rainmaker
528,812
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Hi Evelyn!  Thank you for reading.  What is in print and in the contract stands.  

Hi Rosie!  I think that there are no excuses for being sloppy on the details.  Thank you for reading.

Jan 28, 2014 12:19 AM #83
Ambassador
4,012,218
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

 I had a similar situation with a house I solds. We specifically asked for the frig in the contract and the sellers signed but, had had intended to take the frg (which is not uncommon here). They did not say anything in the MLS about it not staying. Guess who got the frig?

Jeff

Jan 28, 2014 06:48 AM #84
Rainmaker
528,812
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Hi Jeff!  I hope that the buyer got the fridge or the seller paid for the buyer to get a new one!  Thank you for sharing.

Jan 28, 2014 07:36 AM #85
Rainer
28,510
Justin Peck
Miller Real Estate - Hastings, MI

In Michigan this situation would pan out much differently for the buyer. On the MLS sheet it states this information is not guaranteed. On the Disclosure it states Items listed on this document are not included in the Purchase unless so defined in the Purchase Agreement. I have bought a Fridge before because of this only to ease the pain, but legally if it is listed on the MLS sheet, it is not included unless buyer asks for it in Purchase Agreement. Karen: I am suprised you did not point this out the listing agent before making the offer?? My question is why you as a Professional Realtor held to high ethical standards did not help out your fellow Realtor partner in explaining the mistake??

Feb 02, 2014 11:03 PM #86
Rainmaker
528,812
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Hi Justin!  In Iowa, our contracts include the MLS sheet AND the seller disclosure as part of the contract as addendums.  That is why it ended the way that it did.  As far as me pointing anything out to the listing agent, who do I represent?  The buyer.  And the buyer saw that the washer and dryer were not present at the time of the offer.  I did not feel the need to correct the listing agent's error.  It was the buyer's father, who was an attorney, that pushed the issue.  Although I agree that as a fellow REALTOR, I had the option of "helping out" the other agent, it is not my job to do that.  It was not in my buyer's best interest.  It was a learning experience for the listing agent and for me.  It will never happen to me because of that experience.  My hope is that this post will help another agent avoid these mistakes.  Now, I will correct MLS data on other agent's listings such as typos in the directions or remarks, because that is in the best interest of our profession.  My MLS system allows me to click and report data errors easily.  This was an oversight by the listing agent and most of the time, most buyers would have not pursued it.  But it was in his right to do so.  Thank you for reading.

Feb 03, 2014 12:34 AM #87
Rainmaker
273,520
Wayne B. Pruner
Oregon First - Tigard, OR
Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI

I was trying to get comps once for a listing. I could not find the house that was for sale down the street in the MLS. I really had to dig. It became an obsession. I finally found it and it had the wrong Thomas Guide numbers and had been for sale for 2 years. I called the agent and told her the coordinates were wrong. She had just copied the info from the previous agent. That house closed 2 months later. Coincidence....

Sep 26, 2014 01:58 AM #88
Rainmaker
639,363
Tanya Van Blake-Coleman
Van Blake-Coleman Realty, St. Thomas/www.talk-to-Tanya.com - St Thomas, VI
Improving the Quality of Your Life

Although contract should supercede MLS this is why they should both be consistent. Hopefully this taught you to pay attention to detail for later dealings. I know I would not want to pay for too many appliances unecessarily. Thank you for sharing! Many other newcomers will benefit from this example.

Sep 30, 2014 09:32 AM #89
Rainmaker
528,812
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Wayne B. Pruner I don't think it was a coincidence that the house sold once it was located properly.  Unbelievable that no one caught it sooner.  Thank you for sharing.

Tanya Van Blake-Coleman Consistency is the key!  Thank you for reading.

Oct 02, 2014 08:25 AM #90
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Karen Feltman

Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa
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