Should You Disclose Something that Hasn’t Happened

I was recently reading a post on Active Rain about Global Warming. The author wrote that he believes it is real estate agents duty to disclose to any potential buyers thinking about purchasing coastal property that Global Warming could render their property useless, under water, washed away, etc. He also stated that if an agent does not disclose this possibility, they should be sued, fired, etc.

I am not here to debate Global Warming, but now is not the time to get twisted up in knots about events that may or may not happen. Remember, an Inconvenient Truth was worse case scenario. But my questions are, why should real estate agents disclose to a buyer that his property might be under water? How could a real estate agent be held liable to a force of nature beyond his control? How can you disclose something that might never happen, or happen 50 years from now?

My answer would be that he can’t, nor should he. Common sense has to come into play sometime.
The fact is, global warming can effect anything. It can cause crops to dry up due to lack of rain, it can cause massive land slides due to excessive rain, it can blow in a record number of hurricanes in one year, it can cause no snow to fall for a decade, and it can make your lake home overlook nothing but Lilly pads.

Yes, our climate is changing. Everyone understands that, but don’t make it an agents responsibility to point out a fact so readily available to anyone.

What do you think? Should an agent be responsible for disclosing something that may or may not happen? Should disclosures now include speculation or opinions?

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