Neighbors... Tell All

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Real Estate Cafe LLC 199909023

Zillow may have the facts... (albeit skewed at times) but it's usually the neighbors who have the skivvy.  Yes indeed... everything you ever want to know about a home or property, just ask a neighbor.  After all, it's only neighborly, right?!

Sometimes neighbors can be so helpful.  They love to share things... like the last time your house flooded from a broken pipe, or the year before last when you replaced your roof because it leaked.  Some neighbors even know about your extra-curricular activities (if you know what I mean).  Yes indeed, neighbors tell all.   

If you're planning on selling your home or property, make sure you carefully consider the part on the Seller's Property Disclosure Statements about 'material facts.'  What's a material fact, you ask?  Anything that may possibly influence a buyer's decision to buy your home/property (or NOT buy).  

A lawyer friend offered this advice... "You rarely get sued for disclosing too much."  The point is... be honest and disclose everything (except maybe your x-tra curricular activities... lol).  Even if you've repaired something, you should disclose it.  If you don't disclose, your neighbors likely will.

Neighbors... Tell All

Posted by

Melinda Peterson




Melinda Peterson ~ Oregon Principal Broker

Curator of Happy Endings

Real Estate Cafe LLC


Serving Central & Southern Oregon





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Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Patricia Kennedy 07/19/2016 04:38 PM
Real Estate Best Practices
Oregon Deschutes County Bend
Active Rain Newbies
The Lounge at Active Rain
Almost Anything Goes
Dedicated Bloggers
material facts
sellers property disclosures

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Pat Champion
Coldwell Banker Camelot Realty - Mount Dora, FL
Call the "CHAMPION" for all your real estate needs

Great post and excellent advice for all Seller's to read and follow I give my Seller's the same advice. Thanks for sharing I hope you have a great weekend.

Feb 26, 2016 06:23 AM #1
Steve Ewing - Keller Williams Realty
Keller Williams - Stockton, CA

Melinda - Disclose, disclose, disclose and then disclose some more.  Your lawyer friend was right, you can never disclose enough.  

Feb 26, 2016 06:52 AM #2
Rob D. Shepherd
Windermere/lane county - Florence, OR
Principal Broker GRI, SRES

One of the times they like to share is as soon as the U-Haul has backed in and the motor might even still be running.

Feb 26, 2016 08:01 AM #3
Michele Cadogan 917-861-9166
Fillmore Real Estate 2990 Av U, Bklyn , NY 11229 - Brooklyn, NY
Licensed Real Estate Associate Broker -

If  owners don't disclose not only the neighbors will but maybe  the local repair servicemen that the new owner happens to call just might have been in the home to  work on a problem too.

Feb 26, 2016 09:29 AM #4
Melinda (Mel) Peterson
Real Estate Cafe LLC - Bend, OR
ABR, CRS, ePro ~ Curator of Happy Endings

Thanks Pat!  So often, Sellers pick and choose what they 'want' to disclose, not really understanding their duty to disclose 'everything.'  Then a neighbor tells all and the information lands the Seller in court ;-/

Yes indeed Steve ;-)

LOL... I had that exact thing happen to me when I bought my home in Oregon 17 years ago.  What an eye-opener that was Rob!

Excellent point Michele.  In one of my recent transactions, the seller failed to disclose some dryrot issues.  Funny thing was... the inspector (who performed the inspection for the buyer) mentioned he had inspected this home 3 years earlier and had pictures to prove the dryrot was there BEFORE!  

Feb 26, 2016 10:39 AM #5
Andrea Bedard
Thompson Company, REALTORS® - Silver Spring, MD
M.A.; REALTOR® Silver Spring, MD and beyond

Thank goodness sellers don't have to disclose how nosy the neighbors are on a scale of 1 to 10

I love the type of neighbor who will drive by to make sure you are not, in fact, trying to burglarize the home. There's your Neighborhood Watch program .. no alarm needed!

Feb 26, 2016 12:26 PM #6
James Dray
Fathom Realty - Bentonville, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

Good morning Melinda.  I've been showing homes in the past when the neighbors come over and offer their 2 cents worth.  Most have been helpful and kind, others not so much.

Feb 26, 2016 07:27 PM #7
Mimi Foster
Falcon Property Solutions - Colorado Springs, CO
Voted Colorado Springs Best Realtor

Your lawyer friend is 100% spot-on correct. One of my first real estate lessons was when a friend was sued. He had done a property disclosure. Seller said, "I had this basement pipe fixed a few weeks ago. Do I need to disclose it?" Realtor said, "No, you've had it fixed." Not blatant negligence, just thought it was okay because it had been fixed.

Six months after selling, same pipe breaks, new owner calls closest plumber, closest plumber says (of course), "Ah, this is the same pipe I fixed six months ago."

Buyer sues. LISTING AGENT LOST FOR NEGLIGENCE RE: NON-DISCLOSURE. E&O won't cover, of course, because it was negligence. $40,000 fine out of pocket, and there wasn't even much damage. (Sounds like they had a good CA lawyer.) Trust me, I have my Sellers disclose everything!

Mar 31, 2016 07:06 AM #8
Mimi Foster
Falcon Property Solutions - Colorado Springs, CO
Voted Colorado Springs Best Realtor

Hello, old friend. Just stopping by to say 'hi' and see how you're doing.

Hope life is treating you well.

Hugs . . . 

Jul 07, 2016 07:07 AM #9
CA COASTAL ESTATES Lauren Selinsky Perez CRS
California Coastal Estates - Aliso Viejo, CA
"Your Real Estate Broker" #oclauren

Neighbors know every detail. I had them all come in the last open house and gave me all the details.


Lauren Selinsky

Jul 19, 2016 04:48 PM #10
Dan Tabit
Keller Williams Bellevue - Sammamish, WA

Hi Melinda (Mel) Peterson I agree wholeheartedly.  There is little downside to telling the truth. 

Jul 19, 2016 05:10 PM #11
Kathryn J.
Rentec Direct - Grants Pass, OR
Rentec Direct

I believe honestly is the best policy however nosey neighbors doesn't always disclose the truth either.  Who is going to make them play by the rules ;)

Jul 20, 2016 03:18 AM #12
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Hi stranger hope all is well and since we have not heard from you in a while thought I would ask the Neighbors as to what is going on:) after all they know everything and their information is more accurate than Z & T:))Endre

Jan 14, 2017 02:43 PM #13
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Melinda (Mel) Peterson

ABR, CRS, ePro ~ Curator of Happy Endings
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