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Tip of the Week – Turn Signals and Disclosures

Jan 15, 2016
This will be the last of my traffic/driving courtesy combined with MLS Tips. But I feel this one is important to include. Read on to find out how I connect turn signals with disclosures.

Just this morning on my way to ECAR, I saw multiple instances of people turning left, right, or changing lanes without using a turn signal. I will admit that if the road is empty, I don’t signal. Or if the nearest car is way in front or behind me. But if I’m in traffic, I always use my turn signal.

In fact, the last time I had to take a driving test (when I first moved to Florida, back when the DMV was on Hollywood Blvd, the only point I lost was because I failed to signal. I didn’t think it was necessary because I was in a parking lot. But the examiner explained that this parking lot simulated a road, and even in a parking lot, it’s important to signal. So guess what I do now?

The whole purpose of signaling is to let other drivers know where you’re going. And so they can avoid you.

One of the examples I saw this morning was someone who moved left into a median merge lane, without signaling, then jumped back into the traffic lane, again without signaling. I guess they realized that they didn’t want to turn after all, because I followed them all the way down Beal Pkwy until I turned.

But if traffic had been busier, or if I had been tailgating (see my earlier Tips on that one), the driver of the other car probably would have hit me. Or I would have gotten rear-ended trying to avoid them.

Please give me fair warning that you’re coming my way. I’ll do the same for you.

So how does this relate to disclosures? Think of turn signals as the disclosure of your intent while driving. In real estate, you’re required by law or by MLS rule to disclose certain situations. For example, selling a property As Is, or if the owner is a licensed real estate agent. Or if the property is an REO or Bank Owned property.

But you also want to disclose other things as a courtesy. Is the parcel being sold part of a larger plot that is being subdivided? Does the listing represent two lots with two houses being sold together? Does the buyer have to live in the property for a certain amount of time after purchase? Or are real estate agents prohibited from buying the property for flipping?

I’m sure you can think of other situations in which you either wished you had the disclosure or you provided it to other agents.

Some of the listing violation complaints we get are not really rules violations, but situations where a little disclosure would have answered questions.

So give your fellow agents the same fair warning that turn signals give other drivers. The more we do it, the more the habit will rub off on others.

Questions? Call us at 850-244-2411, or email susan@ecaor.com.

Susan Beck, MLS Director
Emerald Coast Association of Realtors®
Fort Walton Beach, FL