Monday, November 11, 2013

Q: I was in your office recently with some friends of mine who are looking for a weekend getaway.

I was frankly shocked that you said there were areas of the Island you won’t sell. I guess I’m naive but aren’t there rules or something that you have to show everything on the market? I don’t want my friend missing an opportunity because you have some sort of prejudice about specific places.
A:  I’m sorry if I gave you the impression that I arbitrarily choose areas I don’t like and exclude them from showing or selling. In fact, I am working from the specific history of substantial landslides and serious flooding in certain areas that have sort of red lined those areas as far as I’m concerned.

I really don’t have to show everything. I can’t say bad things about another Realtor or "steer" a buyer to a specific area, but knowledge of major landslides or serious floods is a material defect for many areas of the Island and I want to be sure folks know about that. I want them to have their eyes wide open.

In addition, I’m happy to refer your friends to another broker in another company if they really intend to buy in those areas that I’m excluding. I have discovered, over the years that even when everything is disclosed and buyers get inspections and engineering studies, etc. they can still come back years from now and say that I was at fault for letting them buy a seriously defective property.

More important to me is the fact that I can’t live with myself if I sell a property I know is in a serious slide hazard area or flood area. Most of my clients become my friends. I want them to be happy now and 20 years from now.

Listing agents can pick and choose as well as I can and some believe they are covered by the seller’s disclosures and public record. That is their choice and I totally respect their decision to list such properties. But I don’t have to sell them.