Letter: Buyers beware of the listed property descriptions online

Editor,

Talk about ‘caveat emptor.’ I recently submitted a complaint to the state department of compliance and regulations for real estate. I complained that several online real estate listings derived from the MLS had misstated square footage from that indicated in the county assessor’s online site.

It seem to indicate that owners had non-permitted work done that had not been reported, the assessor’s records were not updated, or that generally misleading information was being presented.

In most other states, the listing information must be from a reliable and reasonably accurate source, and the source must be accountable.

The response I received from the complaint intake manager was, “All potential buyers need to verify the information contained in listings of property.”

The state regulator accepted the phrase that “information is deemed reliable but needs to be verified,” even though I pointed out errors in excess of a thousand square feet.

Thus, I would advise buyers to truly be wary of listed property descriptions because the state does not obviously pursue blatant misrepresentations and hold those sources accountable.

Tom Carey

Freeland

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