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Columns : Let's Talk Real Estate - James Sarles Last Updated: Feb 6, 2017 - 2:32:04 PM

If Abraham “Honest Abe” Lincoln sold Houses
By James Sarles
Mar 4, 2010 - 10:32:21 AM

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As the 16th President of the United States  Abraham “Honest Abe” Lincoln said “Honesty is the Best Policy”.  If “Honest Abe” lived on Grand Bahama Island, and was a BREA (Bahamas Real Estate Association) real estate agent he would have insisted that owners disclose any problems of a house that is listed for sale.  Let’s say that you just listed your beautiful home in Bahamia for sale, and you withheld a few “little” problems from your real estate agent – the roof leaks, but only when it rains; the outlet in the back bedroom won’t spark unless something is plugged in; and there is a stain on the hardwood floors in the living room that is covered up by a rug.  Will it be all right if you simply don’t mention these defects?  Definitely not!

It is a mistake to think that your home will sell more quickly by concealing its little (or not so little) imperfections.  We have seen these seemingly insignificant items  escalate into major issues that have ruined a sale that would have closed if only the seller would have disclosed the problems upfront.   A good agent should encourage all sellers to disclose  these little problems before they become deal breakers and nobody wins.
Buyers have a right and  must be informed not only about any structural problems, but also about any limitations imposed by a homeowner’s association if you are buying a condo or in a gated community.  These could range from Hurricane Assessments, to a restriction on number of parking spaces, to Board regulations about renting your condo or regulations on pets. You can see why failure to disclose could have disastrous consequences and even end up in court.
Keep in mind that all homes have their quirks.  If something in your home is not working properly or needs to be repaired, fix it or make sure that your agent discloses it to the prospective buyers.  Be absolutely candid with your agent and buyers about the condition of the property.  It is unlikely that such defects will go undetected because more and more buyers are getting home inspections and after the past hurricanes are paying more attention themselves on  the structural and mechanical aspects of your home.  If they don’t see what you are trying to hide on the first visit they may pick it up on the second visit and when buyers remorse sets in that spells trouble with a capital T.

So instead of having sleepless nights before or after the sale its better to disclose the major and minor problems upfront to save problems later. So when you list your home for sale and your real estate agent  asks you a question make sure that your answer is the Truth and you won’t go wrong!!  Your goal is to sell your house and a real estate agent’s  goal is to sell your house so both parties should work together to accomplish that mutual goal.  So take a tip from “Honest Abe” and be honest, disclose to your agent everything about your house and you will benefit at the end of the day by selling your house. Until next week.

Contact James at Coldwell Banker - James Sarles Realty  james@sarlesrealty.com

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Let's Talk Real Estate - James Sarles
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