Real estate agent reveals disclosure ethics

Denounces industry greed, dishonesty

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DEAR BOB: You were "right on" when you recently warned some realty agents recommend "easy inspectors" to their home buyers, knowing those inspectors are unlikely to discover any "deal killer" defects. As a 14-year realty agent, I commend you for that warning. Although I've never been sued by an unhappy home buyer, I've seen my fellow agents sued for alleged failure to disclose home defects to their buyers. That's why I always (1) recommend my buyers include professional home inspection contingency clauses in their purchase offers and (2) when asked, I give my buyers the names of three "tough" ASHI (American Society of Home Inspectors) inspectors so the buyers can't say they didn't know of any home defects. Also, I insist the buyer accompany the home inspector to discuss any discovered defects. I am also usually present. I blame most of the alleged home defect non-disclosure problems on (1) dishonest sellers and/or (2) incompetent realty agents who either try to hide known defects or re...