Real Estate is Still a Human Business

Real estate is still a human industry, thank goodness!  And agents can and do make mistakes.  State commissions and the REALTOR and local associations can police mistakes but that doesn’t change the impact to the buyer or seller.  So, always feel free to ask about anything that is important to you or seems a little off to you throughout the transaction, whether you’re a buyer or a seller.

In my neighborhood in North Asheville, we have a couple of houses that are out of the city school district.  There isn’t any rhyme or reason other than when the county schools split from the city schools individual households could choose to stay with the county.  These households continue to pay city taxes that pay for city schools, are in the city limits, and are governed by the same zoning as their neighbors.  They just happen to be in the county district. This is such a unique and unusual situation that it wouldn’t necessarily occur to a listing agent to double check the school district.  I found out by accident—fortunately not involving representing a homeowner or buyer!  However, as any parent of school-aged kids knows, a school district makes a big difference in purchasing a home.  So, there’s absolutely no harm in double-checking the address with the county or city, just in case.

Though buyer’s agents are supposed to follow up on items that are represented by the seller and agent, some things just may not routinely occur to an agent.  Your best bet as a client is to ask the agent to go one step further and ensure the accuracy.  It can be a royal pain, but so can finding out that your new home isn’t connected to public sewer. Yep, that one happened, too.  The seller had always understood and never questioned that it was on city sewer and since they paid a city sewer bill for years what would make them think otherwise? So, when they sold their home, they said it was on city sewer.  When the new buyer did some sewer repair work, they found they were on a septic system.  Imagine their surprise!  And imagine being the listing or selling agent.  Yikes.

Selling homes in Asheville, I’ve had to track down governing bodies for roads in disrepair, sometimes finding that no state, city, or private entity took ownership…even the road that had the city water line straight down the middle!

So for caution, If anything seems out of order or just a little off, or if you’re in a border area between jurisdictions, always investigate systems one step further.  And ALWAYS feel free to ask your agent to research just a bit more.  It can save both of you some very serious pains down the line.

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