Recently Whidbey Island Realtors received an email from the Whidbey Island Board of Realtors alerting us to a new ordinance regarding Ebey’s Reserve. Here’s an excerpt from a letter from Island County, the Town of Coupeville and the Manager of Ebey’s Reserve that was addressed to all “Whidbey Island Real Estate Professionals.”
On 10/3/2011 the Board of Island County Commissioners adopted the new Unified Code and Design Guidelines for all development within Ebey’s Reserve. The Code and Guidelines become effective 1/1/2012.
The code requirements include a new Disclosure Statement that applies to the sale, lease or offer to sell or lease any property within Ebey’s Reserve.
My first thought was “No problem, we will just add that to the list of seller disclosures we normally insure are available for our listings.” So I decided to write down how many seller disclosures a homeowner might be required to prepare for a buyer of their property. I stopped at 9, but am sure if I thought a bit longer I could come up with 1 or 2 more.
So you may be asking yourself, “What does this have to do with using a local realtor?” Well of the 9 legally required disclosures, 7 of them are based on local knowledge and information.
Using the example above about Ebey’s Reserve, many off island agents would not even know a property is in Ebey’s Reserve, and even if they did, what is the likelihood they know of the upcoming requirement to disclosure that fact? It is not that they are unskilled. They are simply unaware. Why? Because this is knowledge that local realtors learn from experience, from each other and from their managers and owners. Real estate agents from out of the area do not have the benefit of those opportunities, nor will they.
Unfortunately what your broker/realtor does NOT know can impact you negatively.
So do yourself a favor. If you are going to buy or sell real estate, use a competent, experienced local realtor. It is the best insurance you can obtain to be sure you are well served and well protected.