Agent is listing a condo unit described by King County as a one-bedroom unit. However, in this building, the one-bedroom units lack at least one of the following: window, door or closet. How should it be listed?
It is possible that MLS rules may speak to this question. The Hotline lawyer does not represent any MLS and cannot interpret any MLS rules or guidelines. Broker should consult her MLS for information regarding MLS rules relating to the definition of a "bedroom" and if any particular features are necessary before a space can be advertised as a bedroom.
State law does not look at this issue from defining the term "bedroom". Rather, state law requires brokers to disclose known "Material Facts". In this context, "Material Facts" includes significant, adverse information relating to the physical condition of the property. Thus, if broker says that a condo has one bedrooms but also knows significant, adverse information relating to the naming of that space as a bedroom, then broker must disclose that. For example, a "bedroom" named such by a broker, may lack a closet. Broker may consider that a "Material Fact" and disclose that information in advertising where the space is identified as a "bedroom". A named bedroom may possess or lack other qualities that broker believes require disclosure.
Brokers sometimes confuse local building codes with advertising issues related to marketing property. A local building code may create requirements for any space named as a bedroom in approved building plans. Building codes do not, however, create definitions binding on real estate advertising. Instead, brokers must disclose known "Material Facts". If broker believes that a room's failure to meet building code requirements for a bedroom constitute Material Facts, broker should disclose those facts. Otherwise, the building code definition of "bedroom" is not relevant to this inquiry.
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The Legal Hotline Lawyer does not represent Washington REALTORS® or its members. The advice contained herein does not constitute legal counsel. Please consult with your managing broker for best practices.
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