Life in central Texas is very good! Our economy is on fire, new homes are being built, folks are moving from across the country for jobs, what's not to love?
Well, private property owners have the ability to do what they want with their property (within reason, of course!). One owner that has owned a local golf course for many years has decided to sell the land for commercial purposes. Although there is a lot not to like about that, they have that freedom! There is not a golf course membership program, no mandatory memberships, and that is why so many folks love to live there. So, now we have a local golf course that recently closed operations with no publicly known plan for the future. Of course, there are homes that surround the course and have been there for years. And, as you can imagine, there are sellers that are pretty upset that the course is closed and are looking at selling. Do you get my drift?
I just read one active and one closed listing that clearly had "On golf course" in the remarks. Of course, neither listing agent is from the area, so they can probably claim ignorance - not! This is a locally well-known closure and has been brewing for some time.
My issue is that most sellers wouldn't be able to sell if they stated that their home is "on a closed golf course!" And, what about the buyer that is not locally aware? Doesn't that buyer's agent have a duty to know a little about the area? It will be some time before the long term fate is known, so at this point in time, there is property value volatility, to say the least.
Here in Texas, we have a few rules that spell it out:
- It is the obligation of a real estate agent to be knowledgeable as a real estate brokerage practitioner. The agent should:
- be informed on market conditions affecting the real estate business and pledged to continuing education in the intricacies involved in marketing real estate for others;
- be informed on national, state, and local issues and developments in the real estate industry; and
- exercise judgment and skill in the performance of the work.
My bottom line is that we need to be open and honest and disclose things that can make a huge difference in buying or selling a property! Wouldn't we all feel better if everything was disclosed that should be? I know we can't know everything and the courts understand that as well. However, when we choose to not disclose, or fail to tell the whole story, we are not helping our business, or our profession. There is true joy in disclosure - let it out!!!
Vent over - thank you!