News & Information: Risk Management Resource

I Am Not A...

Monday, June 22, 2015  
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By Sherrie Gallina

I am a REALTOR®. REALTORS® and sales agents are expected to be knowledgeable and professional in their field.

Sometimes it is hard to know exactly what that entails. One aspect is that it is an agent’s responsibility to have a general idea of items that could adversely affect the value of a property and agents are expected to provide that information to their customers. For example, if there is a gas main going through the property or the property was part of a World War II bombing range, a buyer might be interested in knowing this before they make the purchase. The responsibility of sharing this information is also placed on the sellers and their agents.

I am not an inspector. It is never a good idea to discourage inspections and home warranties or make personal opinions of the property’s condition. It is not an agent’s job to determine how long an appliance, air conditioner, or roof will last. If an agent tells a buyer that the roof on the property they are purchasing will last for several years and it subsequently fails within six months, the agent could be financially responsible for some or all of the repairs and damages.

I am not a lender. An agent cannot guarantee a house will qualify for financing or know individual lender requirements, rates or fees. Even if a lender expresses they are offering a specific buyer incentive, providing this ‘incentive’ information could cause problems if the lender stops the offer or the buyer does not qualify.

I am not a lawyer. One must be licensed to give legal advice. Last time I checked, having a license to sell real estate is not a license to practice law. For this reason, if you have any questions on what to disclose or share with your buyers and/or sellers, please have a discussion with your broker, lawyer, and/or the Florida REALTOR® Legal Hotline. Knowing your job and being consistent makes for great customer service and customer satisfaction with every transaction.

Sherrie Gallina, Watson Realty Corp, is a member of the ORRA Professional Development Forum's Risk Management Task Force. She can be reached at

 ORRA frequently schedules classes, workshops, and online offerings related to risk management. Check the ORRA Calendar often, as new classes are continually being added to the education lineup.

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