Technology continues to transform marketing, real estate in particular. Accuracy in real estate listings is more concerning than ever, how a home is represented and described may not always be what a buyer sees. Advertising, especially in real estate, always pushes the boundaries, but there is an expectation that the information presented is factually accurate.
Accuracy in Real Estate Listings Matters:
- Legal Implications: Providing inaccurate information could lead to legal issues. Misrepresentation of a property can result in lawsuits and fines. Real estate laws vary by state but there is the expectation of full disclosure of all material facts about a property. Seller disclosures are completed and assumed to be truthful but that’s not always the case. Home buyers should complete a thorough examination of all parts of the home and area before purchase.
- Marketing & Description: A precise and accurate listing is also part of effective marketing. It can help attract the right audience who are more likely to be interested in and ultimately purchase the property. Concerns continue to grow over altered photos, misleading narratives, and incorrect physical data. Square footage discrepancies remain common despite a standardized policy enacted in April 2022. Agents continue to insert disclaimers to protect themselves in the event of issues, essentially "don't blame me".
- Time & Effort: Accurate listings help potential buyers and agents understand if the property meets their requirements, saving time and effort for both the buyer and seller. Accuracy in the real estate listing means it will be seen by buyers that it suits, saving both buyer and seller time and inconvenience.
- Transaction Process: Many third parties are involved in a transaction, inaccuracies discovered during the process can cause delays or even jeopardize the sale. This could include discrepancies discovered during a home inspection or appraisal that contradict the listing information. Accuracy from the start can help ensure a smoother transaction process.
Over the last few years, the number of lawsuits filed against real estate agents and home sellers claiming misrepresentation skyrocketed. There are a number of reasons, all of which could have been avoided by simply being transparent and accurate. Lawsuit wins against agents are rare, the industry is well insulated, but judgements against individuals are seen. Be certain that the real estate listing accurately reflects the characteristics of the home, disclose disclose disclose.Posted by Hank Miller on