Everything can and should go smoothly with your real estate purchase or sale but sometimes it doesn’t. If you are planning to buy or sell your home and you don’t think it matters who, if anyone, helps you – think again.
The trends, rules and laws having to do with real estate change frequently which is why the best Brokers stay on top of their continuing education and regularly attend their brokerage office meetings to stay current. Here are just a couple of examples where the right information can make or break your real estate experience.
- Home Security Cameras & Sound Recordings.
While video recording without sound is generally permitted under WA law, audio recordings of private conversations without consent of the persons engaged in the conversations is prohibited. While providing a conspicuous notice to potential Buyers might protect a Seller, it is safer to just turn off the recording function. Buyers – you should always be aware that your actions and potentially comments might be overheard by the sellers.
- Wire Fraud.
According to the FBI, cyber criminals stole or attempted to steal almost $1 billion from real estate transactions. Buyers make sure you know how to protect yourself from wire fraud by always verifying the wire instructions with a trusted source or using a cashier’s check. Sellers make sure your Buyer has a reputable Broker advising them so this doesn’t happen on your sale.
- Pollution Liability Insurance Agency.
Does the home you are selling/buying have a heating oil tank on it and has the Seller registered for PLIA insurance? PLIA Insurance is free of charge to the property owner and if there is contamination as a result of a leak that starts after the tank is registered then PLIA will pay up to $60,000 to clean up the contamination. Buyers should know that if they register within 180 days from the date of closing, then there will be no coverage lapse from when the seller registered.
- Fair Housing.
Make sure you know all of the applicable rules in each stage of the transaction. The specific words that are not allowed in Advertising; the rules with respect to service animals during showings & open house touring; and the offer review process that can help ensure Sellers make decisions about offers appropriately. Careful attention to the Fair Housing rules throughout the sales process will protect both Sellers and Buyers.
- Advertising Bedrooms based upon the Septic System.
Both Sellers and their Brokers can be held liable for damages by Buyers in the future if they advertise the home as having more bedrooms then the septic system rating. There are ways to communicate room flexibility without putting Buyers or Sellers at risk for unexpected costs in the future.
Article Published in the Woodinville Weekly Real Estate Section. Since 2017 The Blue Team has written the bi-monthly Real Estate Column sharing their expertise in this community publications. Sharing their Tips for Home Buying, Tips for Home Selling, Tips for Investors, Buying & Selling Luxury Homes, Real Estate Transitions (Including Relocation & Senior Real Estate Tips), and Equestrian Real Estate.