Brokers and agents: trulia.com is helping you gather neighborhood security information with a crime map you can use to beef up a property’s marketing package. The real estate valuation website has launched an interactive map highlighting the crime history of a community.
This property disclosure tool allows agents and their homebuyers to check the crime history of a property listed for sale, with areas exhibiting high criminal activity colored red and regions with little crime colored green to simulate a heat map.
The application also allows Facebook users who are familiar with the area to comment about their own knowledge and experiences. It is currently in its beta form and thus does not cover all regions of California.
first tuesday take: The two operative phrases for property disclosures are “readily available information,” and “relevance to a buyer’s decisions.”
While this particular program is still in beta, this is the latest in the many tools which seller’s agents and buyer’s agents alike can take advantage of to instantly obtain relevant crime information — material facts — and hand them to prospective buyers of a property.
Another website, CrimeReports.com, provides information volunteered by police departments about criminal activity in a given area, including the location of registered sex offenders. These tools of the information age are an informative resource for a buyer’s agent to use when visiting a property and filling out his Open House Agent Interview Sheet. [See first tuesday Form 320-2]
The printed crime map should also be attached to the Seller’s Neighborhood Security Disclosure Addendum — an essential part of any marketing package. The local crime rate is part of a property’s attributes and always affects a buyer’s decision-making process. [See first tuesday Form 321]
If the seller’s agent fails to provide this relevant property information to prospective buyers, then it becomes the responsibility of a buyer’s agent to request and review the criminal history before handing it to the buyer/client.
As always, we strongly recommend that buyer’s agents contact local law enforcement directly for the most accurate information possible, but applications and websites such as these provide immediate access to preliminary information homebuyers will certainly be interested in hearing about before they take a second look at the property.
Re: “New map helps renters, owners spot crime” from Sign on San Diego