I almost got out of bed last night (even though it is 5AM now) to write some version of this. It was just going to be a comment on the previous thread but seems to deserve it own post.
Reflecting on the tone of the discussion on the blog I have to start to question whether I need to censor my selection of threads before writing them.
First, I am getting tired of defending myself for things that were well intentioned. I’m usually portrayed as guilty before innocent and have to be able to respond instantly otherwise the daggers come out. I don’t like feeling this blog is me against the anonymous commenters but it often does from where I sit. It shouldn’t be that way and it is draining responding to multiple negatively toned commenters. There is a big difference between debate and negative ad campaigns: respect. Of course, I opened the door by bringing up the thread but I read the overall tone as accusatory and not debate. Maybe I am too sensitive but I know the feeling is shared as you see very few commenters with opposing views to the current group of commenters, it isn’t because they aren’t there, it is because they don’t want to be attacked for not agreeing with the writing on the wall that only some can see. It is not that they aren’t out there.
The second, largely because of number one, asks whether I should use personal experience in this blog? I stopped writing about our remodel project in NE 13th almost about the time we started the project. There were a lot of valuable real estate lessons in that project but there were so many negative comments about the specter of a “flipper” potentially making money that I shelved the topic. It was the blog’s readers loss, not mine. We sold and made some money in what many viewed as an impossible market.
Bringing up NW Ryan, an active listing, was a new source of topic for this blog. The intention of the post was about fliers and different agents providing different services and it evolved into pricing (which is fine) and then to two valid questions about the listing: 1) was the basement finished with permits? and 2) what county is it in? The tone of the permit questioning was, in my view, not friendly and I have to question as a professional whether if the question in valid but the tone is not, is that hurting my client to whom I have responsibility to? I haven’t answered the question yet in my mind. I have no issue with the underlying questions. I will preface that I will stop commenting on the listing once there is an accepted offer until after it is closed.
We’ll do some research today and try to answer the questions. No biggie, it is what we do: when potentially conflicting or incomplete information is present we try to answer it with confirmed sources. I’m not an attorney but I am almost sure that if the question was never asked about the basment prior to closing, I would not have had a legal cause to find out (that might be different on the buyer’s agent side). Now that it has been brought up, I probably do have some obligation and the result will become part of a disclosure. I could also say to the buyer’s agent, “there is some concern that the basement may have been finished without a permit so if it is important to your buyer you should urge them to do some research,” but I will research today. It is why there is a Buyer’s Advisory put out by the State and we don’t do dual agency.
I’ve already researched the “what elementary school is it” question (Forest Park) after an agent called insisting that every house on NW Ryan is in Beaverton schools. Portland Public Schools both online and by phone confirm Forest Park but I told the agent, that as this is critical to your buyer, you don’t want to hear it from me, you want to hear it straight from the source.