Linda Mindock, Representing buyers and sellers in Chicago (Dream Town Realty)

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Alan May
Jameson Sotheby's International Realty - Evanston, IL
A moving experience!

It's not the job of the "sitting" agent to disclose latent defects to those visiting the open house.

Since you've already agreed to sit the open house, it would be unprofessional to cancel at the last minute.  Since the defect was "noticeable" to you, it should be noticable to the public as well.  I would sit the open house, but mention the defect to the listing agent afterward.

May 03, 2017 01:13 PM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate

I don't sit open houses. If I did ... I would absolutely mention the defect to everyone who walked in the door. I would add, I apologize I do not have more information about it however I will find out more and send you additional information if you would like. 

May 03, 2017 02:21 PM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


An undisclosed major defect is a red flag in our opinion.  Since we value our reputation more than instant cash, we would not do an open house and represent that house.    I have no idea what the laws and litigation atmosphere is like in Chicago, illinois.  In California, it is fertile ground for a lawsuit which includes a scattershot mentality meaning that anyone who has represented the house (openhouse) could be sued.  Even if you are not liable, you still have to defend yourself.  As Mimi Foster would say, "Run Forrest, Run!"  A

May 03, 2017 10:59 AM
Annette Lawrence , Palm Harbor, FL 727-420-4041
ReMax Realtec Group - Palm Harbor, FL
Making FLORIDA Real Estate EZ

"You notice a major defect."

If the defect is readily apparent, and no attempt to conceal, then all you need to do is confirm those visiting also see the same opportunity.

Depending on the nature of the 'defect' some will run like chickens while others will see a conversation is needed.

"What the seller intends to do" should not be a roadblock. In most cases I advise buyers, those who want the job done right, to negotiate and fix it themselves.

This IS a list building opportunity. "Do you have other opportunities like this?" Be prepared to take names and numbers.


May 03, 2017 10:53 AM
Teri Pacitto
Compass - Westlake Village, CA
Real Estate, Your Style...Your Home...My Specialty

When sitting an open house for another agent it would always be a good idea to be familiar with the home.  That would mean a visit to preview in advance and get to know the property.  If the LA wants to share information with you about the property then you would talk to them in advance.  I have never had any agent sit an open house with disclosures in hand so I'm not sure how you know something was not disclosed.  

I get what you are saying that there is something that you saw that concerned you but not sure if it's advisable for you to diagnose it as major.  Unless you are an expert in that particular issue it might be wise to not say that.  If it's that obvious those who come through would see as well.  

You might just want to give the LA feedback at the end and mention what you have a concern with.  Maybe the home is being sold as a fixer.  You gave limited info, the listing is not yours and how do you know?  

Just saying...


May 03, 2017 08:33 PM
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

I agree with Alan May - it's your job as a 'sitting agent' to notify the listing agent of a suspected defect. Disclosure is the seller and LA's responsibility  -unless, of course, you find yourself representing one of the buyers who comes through the property. 

May 03, 2017 08:08 PM
Harry Norman, REALTORS® - Atlanta, GA
Associate Broker

Disclose, disclose, disclose, disclose, disclose, disclose, disclose, disclose and then disclose.

May 03, 2017 07:06 PM
The Myers Team | Las Vegas Top Real Estate Agents
Simply Vegas Real Estate - Las Vegas, NV
Nobody Finds BUYERS Faster Than The MYERS

Homes get sold with defects all the time.  The key is disclosure.  If you're not the listing agent, then you're probably doing an open house to find a buyer.  If someone notices the defect and asks a question, it's perfectly OK to say, "Nothing was mentioned in the property disclosures; however, lets ask the listing agent to see if they can provide some additional info."  I would take a photo of the defect, and ask the listing agent via email (so there's a paper trail)  If neither the seller or listing agent have any additional information, then I would explain to the buyer, "I understand your concern,; however, I'm not a contractor or home inspector.  If you'd like to write an offer, I strongly recommend getting a home inspection from a licensed inspector of structures.  They can give their professional opinion."  I would still do the open house.  Even if nobody is interested in writing an offer, I would STILL send the listing agent an email putting in writing what you observed.  This way, you can bring it to their attention and nobody can accuse you of failing to act in a manner that demonstrates, "a standard of reasonable care."

May 03, 2017 02:02 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

I'd be concerned about holding it open but if you are already there I would proceed. If its obvious it's likely attendees will see i but I would be sure to disclose it. L.A. and seller need to disclose, even if apparent. I would document any questions, and your concerns, including the lack of disclosure.

May 03, 2017 11:53 AM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

Proceed with the Open House.  If the defect is obvious to you, it is probably obvious to others. If asked about it, just say you will find out how the owners plan to deal with the defect prior to closing.   Do not distribute the Disclosure until the defect is added to the Disclosure.   Get more information for future communications with potential buyers.  Tell the listing agent you did not appreciate being put in that awkward position.

May 03, 2017 11:39 AM
Lynnea Miller
Bend Premier Real Estate - Bend, OR
Premier Real Estate Service in Central Oregon

Realtors are required to tell what they know about a property. The listing agent and seller need to disclose. If the defect is obvious, people coming to the open house will most likely ask about it.  I suggest answering that you have calls out to the listing agent to get answers on what is being done about the defect.

May 03, 2017 11:13 AM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, EXP - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

An adverse material fact is a required disclosure for agents in our state which the Listing Agent and their broker are required to disclose.  Make sure this agent and their broker are aware.

May 03, 2017 10:55 AM
Susie Kay
Ultra Real Estate Dallas Fort Worth - Plano, TX
North Dallas Specialist

Kathleen Daniels nailed this one!

May 04, 2017 07:11 AM
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Linda Mindock - not disclosed in the listing sheet?

I don't feel comfortable sitting at the open house...

May 03, 2017 11:38 PM
Hella M. Rothwell, Broker/Realtor®
Carmel by the Sea, CA
Rothwell Realty Inc. CA#01968433 Carmel-by-the-Sea

I tried to formulate an answer but, unless I know what that "major defect" is, there are different ways it can be handled. If it's apparent, well, that is the case in many homes and you deal with it verbally unless someone wants to go under contract and you advise them as your client. Now if a home is advertised as having 4 bedrooms and it is legally only 3, that can be a problem and I wouldn't put anything on the flyer except square footage. Then verbally, say "This home is being sold as having 4 bedrooms, but one room does not have a closet, so that is really considered a den or office".

May 03, 2017 10:37 PM
Kasey & John Boles
Jon Gosche Real Estate, LLC - - Boise, ID
Boise & Meridian, ID Ada/Canyon/Gem/Boise Counties

If you noticed it the buyers walking through the house will probably notice it too and it doesnt sound like it was covered up, right?  Are you willing to tell us what it is?   How do you know it wasn't disclosed and that it wouldn't be disclosed to buyers? -Kasey

May 03, 2017 08:57 PM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
& Host of Postcards From Success Podcast

I don'tr do opens. But I'd just point out the defect, it's not your listing so you are not putting your name to it, but if you are worried, point it out...that is our job to so.

May 03, 2017 07:28 PM
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

Why is it being held OPEN ???

May 03, 2017 04:27 PM
Fred Griffin Florida Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

      In Florida, the legal issue is "latent".   Is it visible and obvious, or would only a trained eye or a home inspection find it?  Is the Seller or the LA attempting to conceal or cover this defect?

     If you don't feel good about it, then don't hold the Open House.

May 03, 2017 04:25 PM
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Happily Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

yes.... this has been committed to the homeowner, I assume.... if someone asks you about the "defect" you'll need to say you will find out from the listing agent and get back to them.... 

when an agent is hosting an open house listed by another agent, it's always wise to PREVIEW the property and ask if there's anything special that needs to be discussed... and if you notice the defect, get the facts....

May 03, 2017 02:20 PM
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

Either get it disclosed officially or you do it. If not let the listing go. Also you do pay a broker to give you advice.

May 03, 2017 12:20 PM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Bring the defect to the attention of the listing agent.

May 03, 2017 10:50 AM
Jennifer Mackay
Counts Real Estate Group, Inc. - Panama City, FL
Your Bay County Florida Realtor 850.774.6582

Not your job to disclose - but if it were me and I needed the clients I would make sure I disclose what I know and sign them up to look for another property

May 04, 2017 05:43 AM
Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers
Serving the Greater Phoenix and Scottsdale Metropolitan Area - Scottsdale, AZ
Haven Express @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty

Kathleen Daniels nailed this one!

May 04, 2017 04:49 AM
Debbie Reynolds, C21 Platinum Properties
Platinum Properties- (931)771-9070 - Clarksville, TN
The Dedicated Clarksville TN Realtor-(931)320-6730

According to our state law if you know it to be a problem you are obligated to disclose it and I would also tell the LA so it can hopefully resolved.

May 03, 2017 06:10 PM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

I am totally with Ron and Alexandra Seigel !!

May 03, 2017 05:01 PM
John Pusa
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Crest - Glendale, CA
Your All Time Realtor With Exceptional Service

Linda Mindock Any and all defects must be disclosed.

May 03, 2017 04:54 PM
Lyn Sims
Schaumburg, IL
Real Estate Agent Retired

Pick a different property. Now you know. I'd stay totally away from that LA that roped you into it.

This is Weds not Saturday night for Sunday.

May 03, 2017 03:21 PM
Christine Kankowski North SD and Temecula
House Match Inc - Poway, CA
Excellent Sales and Property Management

A lot of times the disclosures happen throughout the process of the purchase.  They dont really need to disclose all defects to an agent who s hositng an Open house, right?  You are not in a trasaction with them at the moment. Just like they may not disclose all repairs that have been made, insurance claims that have been resolved, etc, but they would during the transaction.

If you saw something while at the open house, I would let anyone know that you saw it, and to have them or their agent ask the lsiting agent about it. 

It may not be that they are hiding anything, but maybe not have told you about it yet. 

May 03, 2017 02:50 PM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

If you have knowledge you must disclose. If the LA is not available, so be it! It does not change your duty!

May 03, 2017 01:42 PM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

As long as you give a name to the elephant in the room...proceed

May 03, 2017 12:33 PM
Sybil Campbell
Fernandina Beach, FL
Referral Agent Amelia Island Florida

I would think twice before sitting another open house for that agent.

May 03, 2017 10:56 AM
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Linda Mindock Is this major defect an adverse material fact. If so, it has to be disclosed. Other than that, you have to make a decision if you want to sit on the open house. It's your reputation.

May 03, 2017 10:49 AM
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

I would point out the defect to any one who attends.

May 04, 2017 08:43 AM
Olga Simoncelli
Veritas Prime, LLC dba Veritas Prime Real Estate - New Fairfield, CT
CONSULTANT, Real Estate Services & Risk Management

Discuss openly if it comes up with visitors; address with LA and broker if still no response.

May 04, 2017 05:21 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

You are not the listing agent. At the end of the day, there's little chance that someone coming through the open house will buy that house. But if you do have a buyer client for it, you should disclose. Personally, I would renege on my commitment to sit that house... that might get the listing agent to respond to you.

May 04, 2017 04:53 AM
Jack Lewitz
Exit Strategy Realty - Evanston, IL

Sitting at the open house may give you an opportunity to meet with buyers who are not working with an agent . Very few buyers actually buy the home they see at a open house so sell them something else .

May 04, 2017 04:20 AM
Raymond E. Camp
Ontario, NY
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester

Like others, it is our duty to disclose a defect.

If you were working with a buyer you would negotiate it in the price.

Honesty is the best policy.

May 04, 2017 04:12 AM
Mick Michaud
Distinctly Texas Lifestyle Properties, LLC Office:682/498-3107 - Granbury, TX
Your Texas Lifestyle is Here!

I would not go forward with it.  That's just me.  I will not be put in a position of being in the line of fire with the seller and his agent if I'm not part of the transaction.

May 03, 2017 09:49 PM
Jeff Pearl
RE/MAX Distinctive / LIC in VA - Lovettsville, VA
Full Service Full Time Realtor

If you noticed it, others will notice it, and make allowances for it. I wouldn't worry about it. At some point, the buyer and inspector will address it.

May 03, 2017 12:32 PM
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

Many agents do not even remember what the house looks like after getting a listing signed. In CA AVID form one needs to note it.  Not aware of any agents lost their license because of failure to disclose it.

May 03, 2017 12:16 PM
Richard Weeks
Dallas, TX
REALTOR®, Broker

Disclose it and then just hold a normal open house with a major defect that has been disclosed.

May 03, 2017 10:57 AM
Dave Martin (703) 585-4687
Fairfax Realty - Fairfax, VA
Making Realty Dreams a Reality #WeWillGetYouHome

It's not the job of the agent to disclose latent defects to those visiting the open house.

Apr 03, 2018 08:11 PM
William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

AS a licensed Real Estate agent we are required to disclose any defect that we know about.  The seller needs to be made aware of the liability of NOT disclosing

May 04, 2017 06:49 PM
Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI
HomeSmart Realty West - Carlsbad, CA
Presence, Persistence & Perseverance

You are required to disclose known or discovered defects when representing a buyer.

May 04, 2017 05:18 PM
Harry F. D'Elia III
RentVest - Phoenix, AZ
Investor , Mentor, GRI, Radio, CIPS, REOs, ABR

I would not sit the open house

May 04, 2017 10:07 AM
Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA - Thousand Oaks, CA
Residential Real Estate and Investment Properties

You wouldn't have any info if you brought a buyer either.  Just treat it like that.  "Sorry, no info on this, but I'll be happy to get you an answer on it from the LA if you leave me your name and number."

May 04, 2017 09:23 AM
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of the Manchester NH's area Leading Agents

I always walk through or have my sitter walk through with me before the open house which would head off any surpirses

May 04, 2017 07:19 AM