You are in a hurry to get to that Realtor caravan, or to make it on time to meet with clients when you jump out of your car and shut the door. Immediately you realized you’ve locked your keys inside your car. Does that sound familiar to you?
A similar situation happened to me last week when I went to Waikoloa Beach Resort, except this time I was the keys and the car was the garage. My duty as a Realtor that day was to check an inventory list on behalf of clients who were purchasing a condo. I got into the property, checked off my list, and was finishing with the items in the garage.
I was looking at 2 beach chairs when the kitchen door accessing to the garage slammed behind me. I could not get back into the kitchen because the door was locked. I suddenly thought of my file, cell phone, purse, and keys left behind on the dining table. No worries, I said to myself, I will press the garage opener and get out of there. It would have been too easy, now I was part of a Lifetime movie, the Realtor is locked up!
Part of that story brings up two agent duties and responsibilities among others: the first one is about the Hawaii Seller’s Real Property Disclosure Statement. While I was stuck in that garage, I was thinking of having read the Seller’s Real Property Disclosure Statement and not recalling any disclosure about the garage door opener being out of order.
I knew the sellers were just in town since we met them while I’d shown the unit to my clients. Either they did not use the garage door their entire stay and were not aware of the deferred maintenance, or they did not want to disclose it even if they were obligated to do so. Also remember, under Hawaii Revised Statute 508D, your review of the Seller’s Real Property Disclosure Statement is not a substitute for professional inspections.
This brings up the second duty and responsibility of the agent to be willing and able to recommend several well-qualified home inspectors. The importance of having a home inspected by a professional inspector can not be over-emphasized even if it is up to the buyer to make the decision and pay for the inspection.
A real estate agent is vital to the home buying process and can provide a variety of services in locating a property, negotiating the sale, and advising buyer and seller. I was not expecting that day to be qualified to discover defect, this was not one of my duties neither was being kidnapped by the garage!