Monday, June 18, 2012

Disclosure in Real Estate

One of the issues that plagues both REALTORS® and sellers is the matter of disclosure. Both factions can often be unsure of what circumstances pertaining to a property need to be disclosed to a potential purchaser. Publications put out by organized real estate often detail the long and costly legal proceedings that arise when the decision is made to withhold information that would impact a buyer's decision to purchase a particular property and there are usually no winners in such scenarios.
  As a general rule-of-thumb, I always ask both myself and my sellers “would this item (ie: a deficiency in a home or incident that happened therein) affect your decision to purchase the property?” If the answer is yes then disclose, disclose, disclose is the order of the day. I’ve seen or heard of incidents where a prior fire or basement flood took place, mould remediation was done or where a suicide happened that were not disclosed to a buyer until after a deal was firm or closed and you can imagine the legal ramifications that ensued.
  We have one such potential incident in the area which some of us have recently talked about. Many of you will have heard and or read about the double murder that took place in Craigleith recently. We can only sympathize with the victim’s families and further, hope the police apprehend those responsible in due course. The house in question had been listed for sale and no doubt will once again be on the market at some future point of time. This is a prime example of what can only be described as a “stigmatized” property. The question is, how much does such a stigma devalue a property? Many buyers would never even remotely consider purchasing a property that was the scene of a murder no matter what the price. Those that would, still have to consider the long term impact on value and saleability that an incident such as this will forever have on the home.
  REALTORS® are ethically bound to abide by the direction/instructions of their clients as long as it's legal.  In an instance where a seller wishes not to disclose a pertinent fact about a property, a line must be drawn between obeying the client and what is ethically and morally correct.  Not disclosing a material fact about a property that would impact a willing buyer's decision to purchase, a fact that a seller wishes to keep secret is in the long run not in the seller's best interest.  The seller's REALTOR® is obligated to council the seller accordingly and if the seller insists on not disclosing a matter of importance, it's probably best to walk away from the listing. Honestly always pays off and disclosing a material fact about a property to a buyer and their representative is in my opinion, one of the highest forms of honestly a REALTOR® can display.

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330 First Street, Collingwood, ON L9Y 1B4



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Rick relocated to Collingwood from Toronto in 1985 through a transfer with Goodyear Canada. In 1987 Rick was recruited by a major client of Goodyear’s, managing their Canadian business based in Barrie before moving to Chicago in 1992 as Vice President of Sales & Marketing. Upon returning to Canada in 1996, Rick ran an industrial products manufacturing company in Stratford, Ontario. In 1998 Rick returned to Collingwood with his two children. Rick is a licensed real estate Broker with Royal LePAGE Locations North in Collingwood and holds his MVA designation (Market Value Appraiser-Residential). He is an active volunteer in the community serving several years on the Board of Directors with the Collingwood Chamber of Commerce as Treasurer, 6 years on the Board of Directors for the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS® of which he is the Past President (2008) and currently serves on a committee with the Ontario Real Estate Association. Rick is a diverse executive manager with extensive experience in strategic planning, manufacturing, finance, human resources and quality assurance management.