Out and About in Wickford RI: What the Listing Agent Will Not Tell You

What the Listing Agent Will Not Tell You

What the Listing Agent Will Not Tell You


How many times have you gone into an Open House and the listing agent asks you if you are working RI coastal real estatewith a Realtor?  Hopefully, every time you have gone into one.  It is one of the most important questions a listing agent can ask you.  If you are represented by another agent, it is your real estate agent who needs to do the 'digging' in on the home.

In the world of RI waterfront real estate, going to open houses unprepared by your agent is not a good thing.  You can ask all the questions you want and you should.  However, ensure you ask your agent the same questions too.  Why?  You are buying into very coastal communities - streams and flood plains can make all the difference to whether or not you can afford to buy.

What the listing agent will not tell you is that you may need several thousand dollars or more in flood insurance for a home.  Is it their fault?  Well most real estate agents look at the sales disclosures the sellers fill out and take it as gospel.  Very few drill down on the current flood maps for an area.  As I have shared before in my posts, flood zones have been changing in most Northeast coastal communities almost every two years (as they coincide with the hurricane damage along the coast).  Even homes that appear not to be in a flood zone and have no mortgage on them may not be represented to a buyer correctly.  It is the buyer's agent's responsibility to verify a flood plain issue.  Do it early before you fall for the house!

Understand what the listing agent is not telling you is they don't know it, so they don't need to reveal it.  Be aware and buyer beware.  Ensure you have the representation you require to miss the landmines of buying along the way.  Make sure you have an agent who truly represents your interests and protects them well.

Whether you are buying or selling in the RI coastal real estate market, I would love the opportunity to earn your trust and business.  I know my waterfront real estate well.  When you are ready to buy or sell RI real estate, call me at 401-529-7849.

Have a better idea on what the listing agent will not tell you now?


Ginny Lacey Gorman is a Rhode Island waterfront Real Estate Agent who works and knows the Rhode Island geographic area of homes for sale, schools, happenings and important tidbits of information well.


Coastal, water view, ocean front, luxury and waterfront Rhode Island real estate are my specialty.  If you are considering Buying, Selling or Relocating to Rhode Island and need a real estate Professional it would be my pleasure to help you!    When you are in need of an internet savvy RI realtor® who sells homes in this real estate marketcall Ginny today at 401.529.7849 or email at Ginny@RiHouseHunt.com. 


This blog © and its contents is original to Ginny Lacey Gorman

the RI waterfront Realtor of Choice


Ginny L. Gorman, a purveyor of Fine RI Waterfront Real Estate   

Specializing in waterfront, ocean front, vacation, coastal and luxury homes for sale in North Kingstown, South Kingstown, Narragansett, Jamestown, Charlestown, East Greenwich, Exeter, West Greenwich RI and beyond ...  I sell dreams!  Because there is no place like home...the RI Real Estate Agent in the Sparkly Red Shoes.


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cell: 401.529.7849      Ginny Lacey Gorman, Realtor




Comment balloon 107 commentsGinny Gorman • July 01 2013 02:58AM


I know one thing for sure, when you are representing a client, they will know all they need to know. Your post is so very true, not all is disclosed as it should be.

Make it a great week!

Posted by Joe Petrowsky, Your Mortgage Consultant for Life (Mortgage Consultant, Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS # 2709) about 5 years ago


Buyers out visiting open houses without an agent to not have "REPRESENTATION".

They have merely spoken with an agent.  Even if they're in a BA Contract, it's only as good as the duties performed by the agent.


Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) about 5 years ago

Ginny: Just another reason why buyers need their own representation...it is too big of a purchase to not know as much about the property as possible.

Posted by Anita Clark, Realtor - Homes for Sale in Warner Robins GA (ColdwellBanker SSK Realtors ~ 478.960.8055) about 5 years ago

Excellent advice!  In Virginia, agents at open houses must disclose for whom they are working, but I'm not sure prospects really understand every time what that really means. 

Posted by Susan Haughton, Susan & Mindy Team...Honesty. Integrity. Results. (Long and Foster REALTORS (703) 470-4545) about 5 years ago

Ginny, Congratulations on the featured post. It is importnat for home buyers to work with a buyer agent who will represent them.

Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) about 5 years ago

Good morning, Ginny.... it's the listing agent's job to know those details.... that's why listing agents get sued...it's not what you say that gets you into trouble, it's what you didn't say!!!  and the buyer should not be wandering on his/her own.... that's what buyer agents are for... to accompany and guide....

Posted by Barbara Todaro, "Franklin MA Homes" (RE/MAX Executive Realty ) about 5 years ago

Yes, caveat emptor indeed.  That's the whole purpose of a buyer's agent and I feel that many out of towners just don't realize this.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) about 5 years ago

Hi, Ginny.

    A Buyer's Agent may be as Uneducated and Mis-Informed about Flood Insurance (and other issues) as the Listing Agent.  The Buyer had better be sure they are dealing with a knowledgeable Agent (like you!).

    Caveat Emptor.

Posted by Fred Griffin, Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker (Fred Griffin Real Estate) about 5 years ago

This is another reason why buyers need representation.  Great post here Ginny!                                                                    

Posted by Amanda Christiansen, Christiansen Group Realty (Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843) about 5 years ago

Hi Ginny.  I believe you hit the nail on the head in your comment that many rely of the seller's disclosure form.   A Realtor's experience in a certain area can probe further, prompting answers to other important questions.   

Posted by Carol-Ann Palmieri, "Cal" the Real Estate Gal (RE/MAX Executive Realty, Al and Cal Realty Group) about 5 years ago

SUPER post Ginny. Still I get clients that seek out the listing agent. THey think they are smarter than we are!

Posted by Janis Borgueta, LIC RE Salesperson (Key Properties of the Hudson Valley ) about 5 years ago

Great post that underscores why buyers need to always have their own exclusive representation.

Posted by Nina Hollander, Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage | Charlotte, NC) about 5 years ago

It's easy to say buyers should never go into open houses without their agent but we know that they do and they don't tell us either. In MHO listing agents should absolutely know the information about coastal properties and flood plains but I guess you are right, they'll just take lead from the disclosures. Buyer beware, don't go without your buyers agent, it could be very costley!

Posted by Corinne Guest, Luxury Home Buyer Specialist (Barrington Realty Company) about 5 years ago

It is difficult for a consumer to know WHAT questions to ask and tallking to an agent who may not know the answers doesn't help....be sure Rhode Island Buyers and Sellers...you call Ginnie...an experienced professional to lead you thru a sucessful real estate transaction.

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) about 5 years ago

Any buyer looking at Rhode Island Waterfront homes for sale should contact Ginny Gorman today!

Posted by Morgan Evans, LICENSED REAL ESTATE SALESPERSON (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) about 5 years ago

Good morning Ginny,

Congratulations on an excellent  featured post! Well deserved!! If you are looking for a RI waterfront home you should be contacting Ginny Gorman for the real scoop!!

Posted by Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR, Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate (Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.346.1799) about 5 years ago

I agree with you that EVERY buyer needs their own representation..however, I also agree with Barbara above, I think it's the responsibility of the listing agent to know whether their listing is in a flood zone or not.  I think that here in Texas if a listing agent doesn't disclose a pertinent fact about the home if they know it, can be held liable.  


Posted by Brenda Mullen, Your San Antonio TX Real Estate Agent!! (RE/MAX Access) about 5 years ago

There are times when customers visit open houses without their agent.  No big deal here.  The listing agent respects that.  Does that listing agent have to disclose everything?  No.  Before closing yes but at an open house, NO.

Posted by Chris and Dick Dovorany, Broker/Associate at Premiere Plus Realty ( Homes for Sale in Naples, Bonita Springs and Estero, Florida) about 5 years ago

The buyer agent needs to be aware where their customers are looking and what the consequences are for the area they are in. The buyer agen too many times has the customer sign an agreement and then tells them to get back to him when they find the home they like. I think that it is absurd and that buyer agents can get very lazy.

Posted by Jimmy Faulkner, The Best Of St. Augustine (Florida. Homes Realty & Mortgage) about 5 years ago
Ginny, Excellent post. Those of us working in coastal areas have an additional set of challenges to deal with now. I'm seeing both listing agents and buyers agents providing inaccurate information to buyers. It amazes be how few listing agents are obtaining flood elevation certificates at the time they list the property.
Posted by Bill and MaryAnn Wagner, Jersey Shore and South Jersey Real Estate (Wagner Real Estate Group) about 5 years ago

Great info Ginny. Buyers and Sellers should always have their own representation for their best protection.

Posted by Bobbie Smith, 570-242-1891 about 5 years ago

Ginny, this is an example where representation is needed more than ever.

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA about 5 years ago

Hi Ginny, flood insurance in a flood area can add several thousands of dollars to the annual insurance cost.  Buyers, and especially those who will get a mortgage, need to find out these cost very early on so they can be calculated into the overall payment

Posted by Silvia Dukes PA, Broker Associate, CRS, CIPS, SRES, Florida Waterfront and Country Club Living (Tropic Shores Realty - Ich spreche Deutsch!) about 5 years ago

In Texas you can be sued by "omission" or "co-mission" meaning you knew but didn't disclosure, or you didn't know but should have.  I well waterfront homes on the coast as well and you are right the flood insurance, and windstorm are a pricey price tag.  If someone is interested in the home I will go into more information with them - otherwise I normally answer any questions they have.  It is good to have cards of different insurance companies so the buyers can satisfy themselves with the information.  Information is key about any home someone is purchasing whether you are the buyers agent or sellers agent.

Posted by Brenda J. Andrew, Professional Realtor in Corpus Christi, TX (ULTIMA REAL ESTATE) about 5 years ago

Good Morning:    Great Post,  keep up the good work and Info and good luck with your business,  E

Posted by Ed & Tracy Oliva, The Oliva Team Arizona Agents (West USA Realty - Arizona) about 5 years ago

A listing agent is obligated to disclose information they know about the property itself (as opposed to personal information about the seller).  A good listing agent will know or try to find out such relevant information.

Posted by Brian Schulman, Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552 (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA) about 5 years ago

Very Nice post. it's all about the research !

Posted by Michael Rasch, Michael Rasch 305-741-1819 (Florida Home Sales and Investments ) about 5 years ago

Ginny a buyer always needs representation. It's the only way they'll know everything about the home/area they're thinking of buying into and an experienced agent like yourself can help them do that!

Posted by Suzanne Otto, Your Montgomery County PA home stager (Six Twenty Designs) about 5 years ago

Great and very informative post Ginny. In North Carolina,it is "buyer beware" .

Posted by Charlotte Luxury Real Estate, Eli Magids (Keller Williams - Ballantyne Area) about 5 years ago

Ginny, it is so important that buyers have an agent representing them who understands the lay of the land, the rules and regs, etc. You can explain who you represent and what that means to them, but it just doesn't sink in at times. If they already have an agent they should be well informed. Should being the operative word.

Great post!

Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) about 5 years ago

Ginny, there is nothing worse than an uninformed buyer of real estate! Your post says it all. Imagine how real estate could be different if every buyer worked with an experienced buyer broker as their advocate!

Posted by Emily Medvec Qualifying Broker, Realtor | Serving Santa Fe & Northern NM (Hello Realty Partners) about 5 years ago

Thank you all for sharing in my post today!  It was precipitated by a buyer who came to me yesterday after going to open houses and the information they received from listing agents here...always have representation to aske the tough questions.

Posted by Ginny Gorman, Homes for Sale in North Kingstown RI and beyond (RI Real Estate Services ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate) about 5 years ago

While I do think that listing agents should learn everything about the property they are offering for sale, I also think that buyers should not rely on anything that the sellers agent says.


Good buyer representation is verifying anything that is important to the home buyer.


Good blog.

Eve in Orlando

Posted by Mike & Eve Alexander, Exclusively Representing ONLY Orlando Home Buyers (Buyers Broker of Florida ) about 5 years ago

Great post and congrats on your feature.  I agree with most of the statements, it is about representation, we have to do our homework for our clients whether it's on the listing side or the buyer's side. 

Posted by Graziella Bruner, Associate Broker - Serving Wayne & Oakland County (NCS Premier Real Estate) about 5 years ago


Great information and key for buyers to have representation.  We do have a property listed and under contract that we know is in the flood plain and has previously flooded.  We have shared this in the listing COMMENTS as well as the owners documented it in the sellers disclosure.  We over disclose, as well as have shared what the flood insurance costs!

Life is too short and this should never be a surprise for buyers.  Sadly, it is. 

Another good way to check is to call an insurance company about a property.  Even if you think it's not in the flood plain, this is a great double-check.

All the best, Mcihelle

Posted by Michelle Francis, Realtor, Buckhead Atlanta Homes for Sale & Lease (Tim Francis Realty LLC) about 5 years ago

It is best to get buyer representation from a reputable real estate agent

Posted by Harry F. D'Elia, Investor , Mentor, GRI, Radio, CIPS, REOs, ABR (Real Estate and Beyond, LLC) about 5 years ago

great post and very good advise for all real estate. To many of the public are to trusting and not well informed. Get your own representation!

Posted by Joel Weihe, Helping you to use your VA home loan benefits (Realty World Alliance) about 5 years ago

I agree.  Your agent represents your best interests. The listing agent should be focusing on the seller's best interests which should include providing all relevant disclosure information; however, there is no guarantee for a buyer that is actually happening.  That is one reason why choosing a well-informed, strong realtor is so important.

Posted by Menlo Park Real Estate and Homes for Sale, WendeByTheBay.com - 650.504.0219 - SF Peninsula (Wende Schoof) about 5 years ago

Would be talking to myself...because 95% of our deals are list them, twist them and sell (repeat) I know what the other agent is up too... it's me! Your post makes me think, worry about how I spelled flood plain in earlier blog posts we have done on the subject now though. One of those words that time and again pick the wrong one.

Posted by Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573, Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker (MOOERS REALTY) about 5 years ago

Great post! It is all about the representation and very important to educate your clients.

Posted by Ymeki Stevens (Keller Williams Realty Partners) about 5 years ago

Great advise as flood insurance has become a major issue on the eastern seaboard the last 2 years after storms Sandy and Irene.  Reviewing the flood maps is very important.


Posted by Ira Bodenstein, NMLS#: 445143 (PNC Mortgage) about 5 years ago

You are right.  The buyer's agent must insist that the buyer perform their due diligence and check all these items out before purchasing.

Posted by Edward & Celia Maddox, EXPERIENCE & INTEGRITY - WE TAKE THE HIGH ROAD (The Celtic Connection Realty) about 5 years ago

Hi, Ginny.

GREAT post; congratulations on the Feature!

Buyers should shop around for a knowledgeable, competent realtor who can serve as their Buyers Agent. So may prospects think they are saving money by DIY but it's a false economy!

Posted by Leslie Helm, Real Estate For Trail Riders (Tennessee Recreational Properties) about 5 years ago

So very true.  I've had a number of potential offers go away after I determined the cost of

the flood insurance.  Living in coastal NC all insurance cost are a major factor when determing

your monthly cost for the home.  Coastal NC homeowner insurace rates are higner due to hurricanes

hitting our coast between June and November..........Homeowner insurance and flood insurance can

increase monthy outlay by hundreds of dollars.


Posted by John T. Dowd, Integrity - Service - Experience (United Country Dowd & Forbes Realty) about 5 years ago

Ginny, either they don't tell you, or don't KNOW.    You go above and beyond for your buyers (and sellers) and make sure they are armed with all the information to make good decisions on the largest purchase they will ever make.

Posted by Joan Cox, Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time (Metro Brokers - House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373) about 5 years ago

Excellent in the business and need to know for this product post...At first glance, you don't think about :flood insurance" at all. I am reminded about beautiful estate homes and how you don't think what the water bill is like to maintain them either...Its like another house payment

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) about 5 years ago

Excellent question about flood plains wherever you represent buyers or sellers.  There are many financial factors to take into consideration when purchasing a new home.  Energy efficiency to maintain the home needs to be considered, as well.

Posted by Barb Merrill, GRI, Associate Broker (Cactus Mountain Properties, LLC) about 5 years ago

We have the same issues with flood zones in Galveston County in Texas. You are required floor insurance in some places. This can mean hundreds of dollars difference. Great information and a great reason to ALWAYS have an REALTOR at your side when purchasing a home.

Posted by Marilyn Wier, Your League City & Surrounding Areas REALTOR! (RE/MAX Space Center) about 5 years ago

This was an interesting post since I am in the mountains and learned a bit about your market and its pitfalls. In North Georgia the biggest problems buyers have is often with land. They deal with the listing agent and figure hey it is a piece of land what can go wrong ? For example not being able to accommodate a septic system could go wrong . So in each case yours and ours buyers should be represented.

Posted by Charlie Ragonesi, Homes - Big Canoe, Jasper, North Georgia Pros (AllMountainRealty.com) about 5 years ago

In Southern California the discussion a lot of times is fire zones, soil liquifaction and earthquake fault locations.  Everywhere has their own nature issues.

Posted by Jay & Michelle Lieberman, Creating Calm in the Buying and Selling Chaos (Keller Williams World Class) about 5 years ago


Unrepresented buyers really are doing themselves a disservice. I suspecgt many simply do not understadn th role of the buyer agent adn all that a knowledgeable B.A. will do on behalf of the buyers. You can tell them the listing agent is working in the best interests of the selelrs but I don't think buyers really understand what that means.


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad (Solutions Real Estate ) about 5 years ago

The listing agent does not represent the buyer.  The buyer needs to find their own agent who will be able to assist when the buyer begins their due diligence.

Posted by Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED (RETIRED / State License is Inactive) about 5 years ago

Ginny this just reinforces more and more that Buyers NEED to have their own Realtor representation, to not do that is simply silly on their part.

Posted by George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert (George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages) about 5 years ago

Ginny: Waterfront property is indeed tricky. I've worked with several listings in the "flood zone" and the questions and disclosure can be varied. Let's say a commercial property vs a residential home, existing vs if you plan to build, etc.

Posted by Hella Mitschke Rothwell, Hawaii & California Real Estate Broker ((831) 626-4000) about 5 years ago

Buyers need heir own agent and to do their own due diligence. As a buyer's agent I will never make a definitive statement on some things...like flood zones.

Posted by Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty, Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County (Bucci Realty, Inc.) about 5 years ago

Great testimonial for the hiring of a Buyer Agent. Spread the word. Some consumers do think they can save money by dealing directly with the listing agent. This makes listing agents smile and usually ends up with the buyer paying more for the property. After all, whom does the listing agent represent?

Posted by Richard and Jean Murphy, (207) 712-4796 (Harborview Properties) about 5 years ago
I think the big point in your post is not about streams or flood plains, but the issue of agency and representation. Walking into an Open House as a buyer and assuming the Listing Agent (or agent running the Open House) is going to work for you in your best interest is crazy, but very smary people do it all the time. And they shoulldn't. They should work with an agent who can do the digging for them and who represents them and NOT the seller.
Posted by Dana Hollish Hill, Lead Associate Broker (Hollish Hill Group, Keller William Capital Properties) about 5 years ago

Excellent post.  There are many areas that the newer flood plain maps have included in the flood zones.  Buyers need an agent that will go above and beyond in their services to check out all factors that can effect their purchase.

Posted by Nancy Strabel (Keller Williams Realty Consultants) about 5 years ago

Publicly funded or guaranteed flood insurance should be for homes NOT on the ocean or waterfront. It should NOT be for extravagant homes with a value above average for the overall area.

Folks who can afford ocean front should not rely on the average homeowner in the general area to fund the high dollar homes flood insurance.

I have fought with NAR for years about this. Why should someone paying flood insurance a mile off the coast in a $150,000 home have to subsidize someone on the ocean in a $1,000,000 home?

Posted by Marvin Shelley about 5 years ago

Congratulations Ginny on the feature!  Excellent piece of advice from the go to Real Estate Expert for Rhode Island Waterfront Real Estate.

Posted by Christine Pappas - REALTOR®, eXp Realty - The Agent-Owned Cloud Brokerage (eXp Realty) about 5 years ago

Hi Ginny,

it sounds like if it changes that often, then it is possible that it could eventually be in a flood zone, so probably best to be prepared for that possibility no matter what! Wow!

Posted by Marney Kirk, Towson, Maryland Real Estate (Cummings & Co. Realtors) about 5 years ago

Thanks again all...it is not just about flood plains but definitely about agency and how we all can do a better job explaining it to the consumers.

Posted by Ginny Gorman, Homes for Sale in North Kingstown RI and beyond (RI Real Estate Services ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate) about 5 years ago

Ginny, great article.  Thanks for sharing your experiences with us, I have shared your incites with my own readers. 

Posted by June Piper-Brandon, Piecing Dreams One Home at a Time (Remax New Beginnings ) about 5 years ago

The public doesn't understand agency very well unfortunately.   Many agents don't understand agency.  You should have someone representing your interests.   There are some very good and high integrity agents who can help you through the transaction honestly and fairly, but they are still not looking out for you.  Hire someone who is!

Posted by Yvette Chisholm, Associate Broker - Rockville, MD 301-758-9500 (Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.) about 5 years ago

Thank goodness this is not an issue in my area, most of the time. 

Posted by Brien Berard, Maryland Real Estate Agents - Laurel Real Estate (Remax Professionals Laurel MD) about 5 years ago

Well said!  I like how you pointed out that they may not say simply because they don't know!   Whatever part of the country you're in, work with someone familiar with the area!   Have a safe and happy 4th!

Posted by Karen Berg, Experience Matters! (Queen Creek Realtor, San Tan Valley Realtor, United Brokers Group (602)919-2375) about 5 years ago

Do you not consider that a material adverse fact about the property?  I do.  If it's in a flood zone, I believe a disclosure is required regardless who you represent, and failing to do so could get you in hot water.  


Having said that, I agree with the concept about representation and there are things a listing agent can not tell a buyer.

Posted by Vicky Chrisner (Fieldstone Real Estate) about 5 years ago

This extends to more than just flooding. In New Jersey we are allowed to act as a Dual Disclosed Agent, representing both Buyer and Seller. The key word is disclosed. So the second thing we do at an Open House after asking the "Do you have an agent?" question is to provide the legal document that states this to the buyer. I take the time to explain what this means and it is their choice to work with me or not. Commission aside, I would not want to represent a buyer who felt their interest were not protected and if they are uncomfortable at all, I will tell them to come back with another agent. Most of the time because I am this upfront with them, they choose to stay.

Although it can be difficult to represent both sides, it can be done in many circumstances, especially those which have a good Property Disclosure. and will not put me in a position to compromise my own standards.  This requires me to have an honest, fully disclosed relationship with my sellers, and means asking them the hard questions at the outset, I don't like surprises on that side either. It does no one any good. 

Posted by Pat Linde-Neidermeyer about 5 years ago

Good info. As an expert witness I'm trained not to volunteer info in depo or on the witness stand. However, real estate is an entirely different matter. Here full disclosure is the key to a long and healthy career.

Posted by John DL Arendsen, Crest Backyard Homes "ADU" dealer & Contractor (CREST BACKYARD HOMES, ON THE LEVEL GENERAL & FACTORY BUILT HOME CONTRACTOR, TAG REAL ESTATE SALES & INVESTMENTS) about 5 years ago

Great post Ginny. Yes, new areas in flood zones these days.  As a Realtor, we need to be prepared and know this information.  Happy Fourth of July!!

Posted by Christi Farrington, ~ Your representative in Fairfield County, CT (William Raveis Real Estate - Norwalk, CT) about 5 years ago

Regrettably, many listing agents DON'T do their homework.  It is a disservice to themselves, the buyer, the buyer's agent and most importantly to the Seller.

Having a Buyer's Agent on the other end only works so far in North Carolina.  Here, the state allows the Buyer's Agent to rely on SOME statements and representations made by the Seller's Agent - but not all.

Property Disclosures in NC don't cover the agent if there is an obvious (or could be determined) flaw, or if the agent knew the seller was lying.

Posted by John Dotson, The experience to get you to the other side! (Preferred Properties of Highlands, Inc. - Highlands, NC) about 5 years ago

Makes representation by an area specialist is even more important. It's a hefty cost in some instances for the insurance I understand.

Posted by Lyn Sims, Schaumburg IL Real Estate (RE/MAX Suburban) about 5 years ago

I have found this to especially happen if the open is being done by someone else besides the listing agent. Here Open houses are fading away. New agents sometimes do them to "try' and get buyers and some agents hire others do to them.

Not always, I am not cutting down open houses, some are dedicated.

Great post Ginny

Posted by Noah Seidenberg, Chicagoland and Suburbs (800) 858-7917 (Coldwell Banker) about 5 years ago

A good reason to have a buyer agent representing your interests.  They can ask the questions you might not think of.

Posted by Rob Arnold, Metro Orlando Full Service - Investor Friendly & F (Sand Dollar Realty Group, Inc.) about 5 years ago

Yes, I agree with Dana. Big point to note as a listing agent is to be very careful what you say to a buyer who states they have an agent. Encourage the buyer to have their agent to contact the listing agent for  details.

Posted by Cindy Jones, Cindy Jones (RealEstateAuctions.com) about 5 years ago

I go with the folks who say the big issue in this post is agency, and not so much about the flood area... in fact, we see this as an issue underlying many seeminly disparate issues... great post... again...

Posted by Paul Silver, Rhode Island full service real estate firm about 5 years ago

Whether you are a buyers agent or a sellers agent you still have to disclose any known fact about a property. If a buyer buys a home most times it is not at the open house. I think at an open house you are trying to capture a new customer and maybe sell the property but you still have to disclose things like flood insurance if required. In Destin everywhere is close to water whether it be the Gulf or the Bay. I believe you have flood insurance whether it is required or not.  

Posted by Bill Reddington, Destin Florida Real Estate (Re/max Southern Realty) about 5 years ago

The truth is:  buyers of coastal (and especially beach) property are not looking for a responsible, safe investment/residence.  They are looking for a care free fun/family experience.

I don't know the exact percentage of Oregon coastal properties that would be at risk in a tsunami - but it must reach well above 50% - billions and billions of dollars worth of property.

Once, about 1700 - long before white settlement -  they would have all been underwater from the last big, known tsunami.

Someday they will be again. 

No matter how well - or poorly - they were represented by their agent.

Posted by Jim Hale, Eugene Oregon's Best Home Search Website (ACTIONAGENTS.NET) about 5 years ago

FEMA and Oklahoma City just revamped the flood maps for an area that was hit by the recent tornado. They are preventing people from rebuilding because their homes are now in a floodway and not just a flood zone. The reason for the change? All the new subdivisions upstream that are increasing the run-off.

Even when you know the maps they can and will change.

Posted by Than Maynard, Broker - Licensed to List & Sell - 405-990-8862 (Coldwell Banker Heart of Oklahoma) about 5 years ago

Listing Agents will be Listing Agents. And Buyers will be buyers, some do not believe they need representation. I do always ask as a Listing Agent if they are working with someone and it amazes me how many say no, even as they have been at it looking for quite some time. It is just wrong that during that time some agent has not bonded with them enough to sell them on their need for them to be with and for them. Great post.

Posted by David Evans, HUD NLB Cumming GA (RE/MAX TOWN AND COUNTRY) about 5 years ago

Ginny, excellent post. Thanks

Posted by Ron Aguilar, Mortgage & Real Estate Advisor since 1995 (Continental Mortgage) about 5 years ago

"They are preventing people from rebuilding because their homes are now in a floodway and not just a flood zone."

Than - That is interesting. The homeowners still own the dirt. Now, how will that dirt be taxed and who will pay it? Is the city or state going to condemn and 'take' it? What is going to happen here?

Posted by Marvin Shelley about 5 years ago

Buyer beware - yes!  Still, as David said, 'buyers will be buyers'.  The last time I asked a couple if they were working with an agent and they said 'no', then when they were leaving they said they'd have their agent call me.  Lovely people.

Posted by Joetta Fort, Independent Broker, Homes Denver to Boulder (The DiGiorgio Group) about 5 years ago

Great post, Ginny. Buyers do not understand that not having their own dedicated representative is risky business!

Posted by Sylvia Jonathan, Broker Associate, SFR (Coldwell Banker Platinum Properties) about 5 years ago

Alabama is still a Buyer Beware state, BUT, I work in a smallish market and want repeat business, so I TRY to find out pertinent info and most other local Agents do as well. Even if it costs us a sale.

Posted by Travis "the SOLD man" Parker; Associate Broker, email: Travis@theSOLDman.me / cell: 334-494-7846 (Team Linda Simmons, Enterprise, AL 36330) about 5 years ago

Excellent post that hopefully buyers will take to heart. 

Posted by Terry McCarley, REALTOR, SRES, CDPE - Cape Coral, FL (REMAX Realty Team - Cape Coral FL) about 5 years ago

Ginny - While we don't have hurricanes in North Idaho, flood planes still play a part along our rivers and lakes. And the maps can make you shake your head in wonder. Some places within the 100 year flood plane are so far elevated that the entire river valleys would have to flood before they'd be touched. BUT - because they're on the map... 

Setback regulations regarding "live water" are something else that many agents fail to disclose - much to their buyers' detriment. 

Posted by Marte Cliff, your real estate writer (Marte Cliff Copywriting) about 5 years ago

I work with buyers of property I've listed and have always gone the mile for them! I have great relationships with them after the sale.

In Florida, it is not called Dual Agency. It's Limited Disclosure and we are Transaction Brokers. We work to get the transaction to closing all duties to Seller and to Buyer are disclosed and completed. What the Seller can't know is what price the Buyer may be willing to pay and the Buyer can't be told what price the Seller might accept. Disclosures are asked for in writing before they are given to either Seller or Buyer. Other Seller or Buyer confidentialities are discussed!

I can't say about other agents but I am very comfortable knowing I can represent both parties successfully.

Happy house hunting!

Posted by Linda Just about 5 years ago

Excellent post.it s agood idea to atten open house with your agent.The listing agent works for the seller and might not know about the changing flood zone.

Posted by Claude Lewis (Exp Realty) about 5 years ago

Hi Ginny, even here in Central Florida that is great advice.  Since the FEMA 2008 flood plain assesment, a lot has changed.

Posted by Bob Miller, The Ocala Dream Team (Keller Williams Cornerstone Realty) about 5 years ago

Linda # 88  - I have been raked over the coals about "Dual Agency" on this and other forums.

YES, by golly, an honest agent discussing conflicts, full disclosure about everything and maintain the fiduciary requirements about confidentiality can handle dual agency just fine.

I think most of the flak comes those so-called, holier-than-thou, "exclusive buyer agents" upset because a dual agent limits their prospective properties and is more competition.

Since flood plains are public records, I have some doubts about strict liability on an agent for failure to disclose when the agent did not know. If the agent knew and concealed or did not disclose, the liability may become a real butt biter.

There has to be some reasonable limit as to what knowledge an agent must know about a property. The buyer has the same access to FEMA records as the agent. I think adults should be responsible for their errors and omissions and failure to do their due diligence. Or, are agents required to hold their hands and walk an adult thru life?

In 10 years, I have done ONE open house and will most likely never do another one. I have had sellers ask and I tell them the home must be spotless , perfect, shampoo or replace carpets and pay 50% of the open house advertising. And I tell them - statistically speaking - the house probably won't sell, but I will almost certainly meet some buyers and sell them something else. They shut up about it. How many of you tell your sellers the truth about open houses?

Posted by Marvin Shelley about 5 years ago

A professional agent would disclose all the possible consequences of purchasing a property including flood and fire zones or CC&R communities. 

Posted by Kimo Jarrett, Pro Lifestyle Solutions (WikiWiki Realty) about 5 years ago

Make's sence the floodplain is topo is moving with nature.  Holding open house's, when a guest indicates they have an agent, I do not Help them but will answer normal questions about the home or property.  Once you Help them, you have created an agency.  As a listing agent in CA, I represent the seller only and do not want to unduly create a buyers agency.

Posted by Michael Blue, REALTOR - 760-889-8877, Encinitas/Carlsbad (Home Smart Realty West) about 5 years ago

#91 Marvin- just funn'in, It's you hair cut, might scare off potential customer/clients.  In honesty, yes the future buyer or seller picked up at an open house may buy some other home...but they might buy the open house property, It's happened to me 10 or more times. Could be lack of experience on your part with only one open house under your belt, their is an art to it and experience plays a large role in a profitable open house.

Posted by Michael Blue, REALTOR - 760-889-8877, Encinitas/Carlsbad (Home Smart Realty West) about 5 years ago

Wow, so many great informational comments...didn't know about the tornado path insurance...dual agency or transaction brokerage...you are still helping both sides and you need to be very careful...thanks!

Posted by Ginny Gorman, Homes for Sale in North Kingstown RI and beyond (RI Real Estate Services ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate) about 5 years ago

Flood Insurance can bump the buyers out of their financing capacity.

On a different note, but it was years ago, my buyers were able to dispute having to pay the flood insurance by getting an elevation certificate. With the recent change in the FEMA regulation or zoning, not sure how to contest this these days.

Posted by Maria Gilda Racelis, Home Ownership is w/in Reach. We Make it Happen! (Home Buyers Realty, LLC-Manchester, Bolton. Vernon,Ellington) about 5 years ago

Ginny, thank you for the post! The public is sometime clueless about what the cost of flood insurance can add to the expenses on a Coastal property. In Hawaii, many homes are located on flood zones so this is of outmost importance!

Posted by Monique Ting, Your agent under the sun (INET Realty Honolulu, HI) about 5 years ago

"In Texas you can be sued by "omission" or "co-mission" meaning you knew but didn't disclosure, or you didn't know but should have. " end of quote by #24. One house has white pipe in the basement and a shared septic and none is disclosed. About equal to walking through landmines in the middle east.

Posted by Daniel Z Stoltzfus about 5 years ago

I'd feel pretty bad if I were a listing agent on a coastal property and a buyer asked me, directly or through her agent, whether the home required flood insurance and my answer were, "I don't know"!

Posted by Brad MacKenzie, Turning Houses into Homes on the South Shore (Brad MacKenzie) about 5 years ago

There is a very good reason to have a buyers agent.  What you describe is one of them.

Posted by Gene Riemenschneider, Turning Houses into Homes (Home Point Real Estate) about 5 years ago

Michael - Your comment about my hair is absolutely uncalled for. I'll have you know that I have the same stylist that does the hair for Heidi Klum and Beyoncé fly in every month to attend to my 'do'.

I'll also have you know that I was voted 'Most handsome man in America" in 2009 by MAD Magazine! So there!

Posted by Marvin Shelley about 5 years ago

A professional agent, would try to hide anything.  They would disclose all necessary information, to help the buyer/seller to make an informative decision.

Posted by Brian Sharkey, SharkeyRE - #SouthFloridaBroker (SharkeyRE LLC) about 5 years ago

I sell land and homes on large acreage in a niche market where I live. I have the majority of the listings in the area and know it better than any buyers agent in the area. I sell the majority of my own listings representing the seller. Arizona law requires disclosure of any relevant information about the property to the buyer. I believe in being fair and honest with buyers even though I don't represent them in the transaction. When buying from me the buyer will know more about the property than they would choosing a buyers agent who is not familiar with the area. If a buyer has adequate information they can make an informed decision. That is something I provide to everyone.

An interesting question, is the buyer better off working with a buyers agent who doesn't know the area or have expertise selling vacant land or working with the listing agent who knows the area far better than anyone else and makes full fair disclosure. Buyers I have sold to become friends and continue doing business with me and referring their friends to me. They would not choose to do that if they didn't feel they were treated fairly. Though not always the case I think some buyers agents promise more than they can deliver often lacking knowledge about the properties they sell.

Jacqueline Drake CRS PMN

Cochise County AZ

Posted by Jacqueline Drake CRS, Southeast Arizona land, farms & horse properties (Jacqueline Drake Realty) about 5 years ago

Jacqueline # 103 - I had to check to make sure I had had not written your post. That's me!

"I know it better than any buyer's agent in the area."

I'm surprised most "buyers agents" do not get sued more often. They just do not know what they are doing when the city limits sign is in their rear view mirror.

About 99% of the time they tell buyers, "this is a year-round creek or spring", this is a corner or property line", "This is a good well". My question to them is, "HOW DO YOU KNOW"?

These agents who work 51.5 weeks a year in town and stumble into a rural listing, should refer it out. Most can not read and follow a map, do not know east from south, cannot follow directions, can not spot the property on the MLS map (I see property spotted as much as SIX miles away.) And they have no idea why so many 40s are only 39.8 or 39.6 acres. Uhhh, What's a 40?

If an agent has not educated themselves about the world of rural real estate, stay in town and refer it to someone who knows what they are doing. Someday, if the industry and occupation survives, we may have to have designations that mean something, like CCIM.

I think I'm talking to the trees here.


Posted by Marvin Shelley about 5 years ago

I do live along the coast and there are flood zones in each of the seven communities I serve.  Almost half of my transactions the last three years have been as a dual agent. My single goal is to do the best job possible for the house and for the buyers and sellers.  I think this as well when I represent just one side. It is not the commission, but the thrilled participants that drive your business, I keep that in mind. Full disclosure, even the parts that are scary, is how we build trust. The minute a client finds that you have withheld one piece of information they begin looking for that other shoe to drop.  Great post Ginny

Posted by Larry Lawfer, "I listen for a living." It's all about you. (YourStories Realty Group) about 5 years ago

Very informative blog ...  I'll bet you have seen some lovely coastal homes.  I would love to have a second home on the ocean!

Posted by Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR, Experience Agent in Kansas City Metro area (Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes) about 5 years ago

I am of the opinion that if a buyer has an agent, they should be with them any time they look at a listing. I know that is not always possible, but you never know what the listing agent might be telling, or not telling, your buyer about their listing.

On the other hand, if buyers are going around looking at listings on their own, then they have no idea what they might get themselves into, and they should look for a buyer's agent to help them. Too many things can go wrong in a transaction.

Posted by Troy Erickson, Your Chandler, Ahwatukee, and East Valley Realtor (Diverse Solutions Realty www.ChandlerRealEstate.weebly.com) about 5 years ago

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