Buyers -Beware of the Agents that think they're an inspector
I am a Proud Realtor. Not all licensed Real Estate agents are Realtors.
"Why is this important you," you may ask? The answer is-Realtors take an oath to abide by the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice of the National Association of Realtors.
This little report is specifically related to Article 11 of the code. Article 11 falls under Duties to the Public. This article is lengthy and complicated so I will just refer to the portion that is pertinent to this report. "Realtors shall not undertake to provide specialized professional services that are outside their field of competence." In the state of Massachusetts, agents are obligated to provide to the consumer at their first face to face meeting to talk about a specific property, the Mandatory licensee-consumer relationship disclosure. This document identifies that real estate agents are not home, lead paint, insect, septic, wetlands, or environmental inspectors.
Recently one of my listings underwent a home inspection, and during the inspection, the home inspector remarked that there was mold in the attic. 3 days after the inspection, the buyer's agent in an e-mail requested that the sellers have an air quality test, and if the mold is found active, than the sellers are to remediate the areas affected. When the sellers consulted with the air quality inspectors (mold experts) they were told if it was visible mold it should be remediated. The seller consulted with 3 different experts that do only mold testing not remediation, and was told by all 3 that remediation would be necessary. The buyers agent recommended to their client to back out of the transaction as the air quality test was not performed. To the best of my knowledge, the buyers never consulted with a mold professional.
Agents should be the source of the source. In other words we should be knowledgeable enough to point the consumer in the direction of research, if the response doesn't seem consistent with past experiences, then recommend a second opinion, however we should never make recommendations outside of our field of competence. I am a licensed Real Estate agent, not a licensed inspector; I should recommend the consumer consult with someone licensed in the field of expertise.
Pam Crawford, ABR,e-PRO®,CRS,CDPE,LMC
Owner, REALTOR®, Managing Partner, MBA, BSBA
RE/MAX Professional Associates
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