DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU DON'T KNOW???....If you know what I mean?
This post was inspired by Elliott Topkins, a superb real estate attorney in Massachusetts in his post about easements:http://actvra.in/6QM In his post, Elliott makes a point of letting us know what we should have peripheral knowledge of when it comes to easements on a property we may be trying to sell.
As real estate professionals we can find ourselves in over our heads very easily, especially when complications arise with a property. As Elliott did in his post, we have to be able to share some information when a buyer says to us: "What does easement mean?" or "How do I know if I can sell off that guest house in the back if I buy this property?"
Before a lawyer gets involved,here in the Hamptons, we should be able to give the buyer a run-down on the possible complications of a property. Otherwise, a buyer is apt to turn and run when they see a path running along the side of a lot, or when they see a house behind the house they love and they want to subdivide after they buy. We should be able to supply cursory information BEFORE they hire an attorney.
I, personally had a recent experiencewhere the buyer of a property was caught off guard when his lawyer told him the county required that he had to "subdivide" a 20'X60' tab of land that had at one time been part of the lot he was buying. Because it had never been officially subdivided, it was falling on this buyers shoulders to do it....Well, because of my experience and because I knew the lot (I was a former owner) and knew the old issue of how a former owner had "given" over the ownership of the "tab" to his neighbor as a gift, I was able to expedite by going to the Village and saying: "Do you remember when I came to you in 1993 and asked why the size of my lot was not what the old survey stated?" The county approved the exception.
Because I was able to expedite the situation, I saved this buyer months of working through the system with his lawyer, and the cost of a subdivision process which could have been thousands of dollars in lawyers fees...
Now, you say, "That was an unusual circumstance"....and it was. However, these are the things that separate us from our peers and the newer agents who are now filling the desks at most agencies here in the Hamptons and other areas.
THE POINT I AM MAKING IS: There used to be a heavy duty level of knowledge amongst the long time real estate agents; through years of experience, good and bad, agents passed muster by gaining as much real information as feasible to be the "Experts" that they turned out to be. Many of those "Experts" have long ago left the business making way for the Newbies who began entering the arena of "Independent Contractor". These Newbies came, leaving the world of finance and other corporate structures because of downsizing.
Now, it is time that we become those "Experts":
- It can only be done when we know what it is we don't know.
- As professionals, we need to take the time to go to our local building and zoning offices and learn the things that need to be a part of our accumulated knowledge.
- Read local Building and Zoning books
- Become an online participant in the local building and zoning meetings.
- Go to building and zoning meetings
- Really get involved in understanding local zoning laws.
- Talk to your Building Inspector
- Ask for a meeting with the Inspector at his office and ask questions
- Set up an office meeting with the Inspector to talk about new Building and Zoning Laws eith all the agents.
GOOD LUCK WITH BECOMING THE LOCAL "EXPERTS" THAT WE NEED TO BE!!!
**ALL INFORMATION AND CONTENT IN THIS BLOG IS ORIGINAL TO PAULA I. HATHAWAY. The views expressed herein are my personal views and do not reflect the views of Douglas Elliman Real Estate
Paula I. Hathaway, Senior Broker Associate, Douglas Elliman Real Estate
Southamtpon Village Real Estate Specialist since 1995; Also Specializes in North Sea, Noyac, Water Mill and Bridgehampton, New York
Diamond , Gold and Chairman's Circle Awards; Top Producer since 2005
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