Sellers, Who exactly is preparing the market evaluation on your Home?

A few days ago I was in discussion with a cooperating agent on a property listing I have for sale. I was answering for him a few questions about the property that weren’t noted on the MLS listing, but were important to his client in nature.

After the questions were answered our conversation turned to the highly competitive marketplace and the angst sometimes felt by a buyer looking to bid on a property in a hotly contested market.

He thanked me for my time and professionalism in my understanding and responses to his questions, but after we had hung up it got me to thinking further on the subject, and specifically about a podcast I had recently listened to on the topic of virtual assistants, or VA’s, and the tasks that they are handling.

Now I’ve been around the Toronto real estate industry as a full time agent for 24 years, and before I continue on, I want to be clear and upfront that the majority of agents I know personally, and myself included, carry out first hand the evaluation on a property.

But there are some agents who utilize the services of an administrative assistant (non licensed/licensed) to do so, or as this podcast guest had been touting, “it’s a task you can have your VA carryout”.

Absolutely NOT! Yes, a capital NOT!!

I don’t care if you as the lead agent review the evaluation after its been completed, this is a major no-no in my opinion. Contrary to what online sites will try and tell you, algorithms cannot put a value on your home that should be considered accurate if one were to place their home for sale. Don’t believe me? Google it and look for the lawsuits on behalf of those who thought their computer could spit out fair market value for their home.

If the person who comes over to your property isn’t asking you thought provoking questions on the state of the property, regardless if you understand their intent or not, you should raise a weary brow.

Realtors have a duty to view a property in person and ask questions about potential defects, which are defined as either Patent or Latent in nature.

A brief description of both, are:

Patent defects are those that can be discovered by inspection and ordinary vigilance on the part of the purchaser. With respect to these, the ordinary rule isĀ caveat emptor.

Latent defects are those which would not be revealed by any inquiry which a purchaser is in a position to make before entering the contract.

So, as you can see, without an in person inspection of the property and using one’s trained eye and experience, there is potential for some serious problems.

This is not meant to scare you. There is the potential for something to be missed even by an experienced Realtor, Professional Home Inspector (I’ve seen it) even an unwitting seller. It can happen. But having a virtual assistant, or anyone for that matter not trained in putting a value on your property, prepare yourself for the lawsuit ahead.

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