Protect property disclosures from theft

Home Sale Hindsight

Q: My daughter is trying to sell her home in Cleveland, Ohio. She was out of town last week and her roommate was in the home when the Realtor called and asked if he could show the home. While in the home the Realtor asked if he could take the home floor plans with him (eight pages of architectural drawings of the home add-on and remodel that was done 10 years ago).

The roommate said she didn’t think he should take them but the Realtor took them anyway. He did return the prints, but my question is: Is the Realtor allowed to do this? –Cathie

A: Well, the question whether someone is "allowed" to do it is a difficult and technical one. The fact is, he was physically capable of doing it and no one stopped him from doing it, and he did return them, so it’s not really theft.

Additionally, there are many who would say that he wouldn’t have bothered taking them, in any event, but especially over the objection of the roommate, if his clients weren’t seriously interested in the property. In that context, many a seller would say, "Go for it, take ’em, enjoy, just bring them back" (with the offer). And in the end, it was a no-harm, no-foul situation.