Stupid Real Estate Questions

Why Stupid Real Estate Questions?

Hey, Jim Duncan with and Nest Realty here. I’m thinking about stupid real estate questions.


As I tell my customers and clients, it’s not a stupid question in that you’re in a stupid mindset, but it’s a stupid question in that there are no such things as dumb questions, just the ones you don’t ask. A lot of what I do is complicated, it’s complex and it’s very intricate in details and it seems really simple to me because I do this everyday.

I live and breathe real estate. So that’s my thought process for this site, stupid real estate questions is I want to answer the questions that my clients have frequently, the ones that almost every single one of them asks, I want to be able to put in one place so that they can go and find these answers because a lot of them will ask:

Should I get an attorney or a title company?
– Should I get a home inspection? (YES)
– Should I get a radon inspection?
– How should this happen?

And these are questions that happen every single day, so I want to help and educate and put them all in one place. So if you have a stupid real estate question, ask me. (434) 242-7140 — or just So thank you very much and please let me know what questions you have.

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  1. albert rylak March 2, 2010 at 17:58

    With a home possibly being your most important purchase, why wouldn’t you get an attorney to look after your interests? A real estate agent gets a percentage of the purchase price and therefore there is an inherent conflict of interest. A title company insures only the title and no more. Hence, I ask again, why wouldn’t you get an attorney to look after your interests?

  2. Jim Duncan March 4, 2010 at 06:53

    Albert –

    Thank you for the comment. You raise an interesting and important purchase. I would take it further and say, why is the Buyer’s Agent paid by the Seller in most transactions? (but that’s another story)

    I actually agree with you to a certain degree. Virginia isn’t an attorney-review state as some others are, and I have no idea why other than “it’s always been that way.”

    On your point about the conflict of interest –

    You’re absolutely right, and my best answer is this – my clients have found that I am willing to (and often have) advise them to walk away from a house if the situation dictates. My job is to negotiate the best price for them, regardless of my interest. It’s why I use a Buyer Broker Agreement with all of my clients. Otherwise, everyone is a customer although there may be implied agency relationships created.

    The buyer broker agreement doesn’t say this, but I do to my clients, “My job is to put your best interests ahead of my own,” and I do.

    The foundation of a working relationship based on trust is an esoteric one with regards to a real estate transaction, but it does work. At least with me.

  3. Todd Waller March 4, 2010 at 07:59

    “Stupid Real Estate Questions”


    Is this going to be a regular feature possibly? Kind of like Letterman’s Stupid Pet Tricks…

    Great agents will never flinch at telling their clients, “Your interests are not just my priority, they supersede mine.” The conflict of interest inherent in any transaction involving consideration is mitigated when we as agents not only state, but then practice the “your interests above mine” paradigm.

  4. Ray Caddell March 4, 2010 at 11:47

    Get an attorney, period. And a real estate attorney at that. Why would you risk the successful and proper handling of what for most of us is the biggest financial transaction of our lives to an administrative person (no matter how well trained).

    The savings of settlement company vs. attorney can’t be easily calculated anyway. Sometimes it can even cost more, not less (reissue credits, etc.) and settlement companies are not allowed to practice law, negotiate problems etc. If there were never any problems, we’d just all shake hands anyway instead of all this pesky paperwork. For a savings of negative who knows how much to +$200 or so at best, it just doesn’t make sense to me.

    My wife and I have bought and sold literally (many) dozens of properties, and we use the same local real estate attorney every time. We’re pretty sophisticated real estate investors, but I absolutely want his counsel (and insurance company) standing behind us. It’s Bill Tucker at Tucker Griffin barnes, btw and I encourage all my personal clients to use his firm as well.

  5. Roberta March 5, 2010 at 20:46

    Question: I have a home in escrow and I just learned yesterday that the property taxes on the homes is double what I was told they were. Can i rescind my offer now that I know the taxes are higher than anticipated which will add about $500.00 more a month to my mortgage? What options do I have.

  6. Jim March 6, 2010 at 13:20

    Roberta –

    Thank you for stopping by and I am sorry for your situation. Not being familiar with your situation and not being able to offer specific real estate advice, I would ask your Realtor what your options are. Usually, there are ways to exit a contract …

    To other buyers – please always independently verify this information, particularly tax rates and assessed values. Roberta’s is an unfortunate situation that could have been avoided.


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