Buyer Beware, And Do Your Homework

Everyone has heard the saying ‘buyer beware’, but you would think that a seller would have to disclose to you if a brutal crime had been committed right outside of the property, right? Not exactly. Although a seller does have a legal obligation to disclose any latent defect on a property, it’s still up to a buyer to inquire or do their own research outside of that.

The Real Estate Errors and Omissions Insurance Corporation has reported on a recent case that you may find interesting, see their post here.

The bottom line is – if something is important to you, do your homework and communicate directly t0 your real estate agent what you’d like to know. Stigmas can be a grey area, so it is always best to ask.

The Professional Standards Manual as written by the Real Estate Council of BC, states that “buyers are ultimately responsible to satisfy themselves that the property they are acquiring is suitable for their purposes” and if “concerned about certain possible stigmas in regard to a property, are responsible to conduct their own investigation which could include inquiries of licensees who represent them or direct inquiries of the seller or licensees representing the seller. When asked by their client, a buyer’s agent must make the appropriate inquiries.”

It may feel awkward to ask ‘Has someone died in this property?’ or ‘Has there ever been a murder here?’, but if it’s important for you to know that before purchasing the property, it’s always safer to ask. As well, depending on the municipality, there may be crime maps that you can access for readily available, and fairly current data. Victoria Police Department has a great example here.

If you are looking to purchase or sell a property in the current market, or in the future, it’s important to have an expert on your side. Get in touch with The Condo Group for more information at 250-382-6636.

— Amy Francoeur