The eventual homeowner found out on his own -- not from his Realtor -- that this house had undergone lead abatement.

The eventual homeowner found out on his own — not from his Realtor — that this house had undergone lead abatement.

I’ve written before about the importance of hiring a professional, competent Realtor when buying or selling a home. At a time we can seemingly get any sort of professional expertise imaginable — legal, medical, home improvement — via a rudimentary Internet search, some people might not grasp the value of having an experienced, knowledgeable Realtor representing them in a real estate transaction.

Instead of recycling the usual reasons a Realtor is important, I’m going to give real-life examples.

1) Shortly before I was licensed as a Realtor, I was working as an unlicensed assistant and attended a public meeting for the Murphy Crossing Overlay Zone. At the end of the meeting, I encountered a woman at the back of the room who was sobbing and clearly very upset.

Apparently, she was a single mother who had just closed on her first home. She was unaware that there was a 60-foot road right-of-way that would become what we know now as the extension of Murphy Road to Brookswood Boulevard. In fact, not only did her home back up to this area, but she also learned through the maps that the City of Bend had on display and from the comments that city staff made at the meeting that a portion of her deck (which at the time looked out upon an expansive grove of pine trees) actually encroached on the right-of-way.

The Murphy Crossing took nearly 10 years to come to fruition. But if this woman still lives in that home, her backyard is now Murphy Road.

There’s no doubt in my mind that the information about the right-of-way would have shown up in a preliminary title report, or at the very least on the tax map that is included with the report. Assuming this woman used a Realtor to buy her home, someone didn’t live up to his or her fiduciary responsibility to the buyer.

This experience was a formative moment in my becoming the Realtor that I am today. Preliminary title reports are exceptionally important and not very easy to interpret for the average person. I am meticulous about examining them. In fact, I’ve had items removed from these reports and added when the title officer missed something.

2) A couple of years before I met him, a man I know found a home in Bend he thought was worth serious consideration. It was adequately sized, near his daughter’s school and well-maintained. When he asked his Realtor about plans for the undeveloped area beyond the backyard, he got a nebulous reply.

Curious about how future development might affect the home, he and his wife did some research. It turns out that what was then (and still is) a dirt path is planned to become a minor arterial roadway — a classification given to such streets as Century Drive, Newport Avenue and Mt. Washington Drive. That knowledge alone — even without a target date for construction of the road — was enough to drive him away from the house.

Again, analyzing a preliminary title report — which should have shown planned development — is among the duties of a qualified Realtor.

3) This same man, three years before the above occurred, took a job in New England and had found a home his family really liked. The house had been completely renovated, and any questions about the history of the home were sloughed off, as if the home really didn’t exist before the renovation company took ownership.

My acquaintance did some research on his own and made contact over the phone with a previous owner. From her, he learned that the house — before it had been gutted and rebuilt — had been the source of lead poisoning. He retrieved the 3-inch thick file from the town health department to try to find out what he could about the situation. His Realtor was of no assistance in sleuthing out this very relevant fact about the house.

Consider that a home is probably the biggest investment you will make. You want someone with the ethics and experience of a competent Realtor representing you and your interests. A do-it-yourself real estate transaction might sound appealing, but as the examples show, what you don’t know can hurt you.

For buyers and sellers, I perform my responsibility as a Realtor to the utmost. My knowledge of the Bend market and my attention to your needs will help produce an outcome that leaves you more than satisfied. To get started with listing your Bend home or to view area homes, contact me at (541) 383-1426, or visit Bend Property Search to connect with me through my website.