Los Altos Real Estate Blog

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The Buyer Is Cancelling The Purchase - His Cellphone Won't Work

Los Altos Cellphone TowerThere has been a lot of controversy in the recent past about cell phone towers in Los Altos.  A vocal minority of people there, and in other places, don't want the towers because of appearance issues and concerns over radiation.  Unfortunately, without the towers our cellphones don't work.  All the promises of 3G or 4G data service on iPhones and Android phones are out the window without strong signals.  Which begs the question; do we need to disclose if cellphone service is poor?

I was at a house in Sunnyvale recently that had no 3G service inside the house (or outside for that matter).  Inside the home, the call quality was marginal and depended on where I stood.  This is especially frustrating because

  1. the home is in the middle of Silicon Valley - the poster child for modern technology
  2. the home is located in a flat area with no geographic obstructions

If I were a buyer for that home, I would have noticed the lack of cellphone service and made it a priority to determine if the issue was with my phone or the provider.

Could the lack of cellphone service become a condition for cancelling a contract?  Is it an aspect of the property condition in the eyes of the law?  For me personally, it would be a deal killer.  Never mind the fact that Silicon valley should have 4 bars in every single location, it's crazy that in any house in the flatlands there would be anything less than a strong signal.  I understand that the distribution of cell towers impacts signal coverage.  Fine.  Then we probably need legislation that mandates a minimum distribution so coverage, especially in major metro areas, is 100%.

If the buyer uses their cellphone in place of a landline, then the lack of signal could become a safety issue.  If they can't get a signal to dial 911, then what happens in an emergency?  Again, this is, in my opinion, an issue of property condition.  It may be a condition that impacts many properties nearby but it still impacts the property.  Does it impact value?  Probably not but it could make it less appealing to many buyers.  Again, neighbors taking issue with towers in their area need to be realistic about denying access to a sometimes necessary service.

There are laws in place mandating utilities (water, power, etc) but none in place to mandate phone or cellphone services.  Perhaps it's time to change that.  If not, then the time may come when disclosing a bad cellphone signal may be required.

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 Bryan Robertson, CEO | T: 650.799.9951 | Email: bryan@catarra-re.com | Website: http://www.BryanRobertsonHomes.com |CA BRE# 01191946 | Catarra Real Estate, Inc  | 171 Main St #220 | Los Altos, CA 94022

 

 

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Comment balloon 65 commentsBryan Robertson • January 27 2011 01:27PM

Comments

This is an excellent post! Thank you for sharing this post.

Posted by Richard Ruggaber, California Real Estate - (818) 422-5035 (Metro Life Homes) almost 8 years ago

If you do not disclose that fact your buyer will bad mouth you forever. Not in your best interest and certainly not in the consumers best interest to omit that fact.

Posted by Chris Miller Nevada Land with Water Rights, Land with Water Rights For Sale (Vegas Grand Realty and Property Management) almost 8 years ago

Very interesting arguement. For me it would be a deal breaker because I work mostly from home, so cell service is critical. I think the safety issue is a good point, too, because fewer homes do a have a land line. Very surprising issue for that area as you've pointed out!

Posted by Sylvie Stuart, Home Buying, Home Selling and Investment - Flagsta (Realty One Group Mountain Desert 928-600-2765) almost 8 years ago

Bryan, that's a tough one. I do understand the frustration. I cannot live without a phone or cell phone. However, I cannot imagine that being a part of disclosure. I see your point but I am not sure it would deter 100% of buyers.

It's like cable, comcast vs Direct TV. I've had buyers question the importance of one or the other and the bottom line is, if they really like the house and that is the only down side, they normally write the contract.

I'd like to see how this play out.

Posted by Indera Coggins (Re/Max 100) almost 8 years ago

Here in Washington you can do a "neighborhood review" which is a subjective review of things affecting the property - such as your potential commute, noise, cell phone limitations etc.  But a lot of people don't write it into their inspection forms.

However, more to your comments in the post, we don't need legislation for cell phone coverage requirements. Lots of phone calls to your service provider will also get them to push for better coverage if they believe they'll lose customers to another provider. Get your neighbors to help push for the same thing and you might see some action over the minority number of complainants.

Posted by Reba Haas, Team Reba, CDPE (Team Reba of RE/MAX Metro Eastside www.TeamReba.com) almost 8 years ago

Richard - You're welcome.  I'd like to see what opinions come up from across the country.

Chris - If I noticed something like bad cellphone reception I'd tell my client immediately.  It's a property condition just like a cracked wall.

Sylvie - Thanks.  It was a little shocking to have such bad reception in that area.  I held a house in the hills open and it had 5 bars.  Ugh!

Indera - You're right to some degree.  If they like it enough, they'll see past the cellphone reception.  It could be more of an irritant than a major disclosure - hard to say.

Posted by Bryan Robertson, Broker, Author, Speaker (Intero Real Estate) almost 8 years ago

Reba - Folks have been calling into Verizon and AT&T for better coverage in Los Altos.  The challenge there is getting neighbors to now fight placing more cellphone towers.  One property owner in a residential neighborhood which already has towers and on which he has a legal right to place more towers, has been dragged throught the courts by neighbors to stop another tower. It's tough battle.

Posted by Bryan Robertson, Broker, Author, Speaker (Intero Real Estate) almost 8 years ago

Bryan - This is an excellent point to raise.  I have noticed when trying to use my cell in some homes there is NO signal.  I think any buyer seriously considering a purchase should satisfy in their mind that the signal strength is acceptable.  Most carriers have maps available online to help you see the strength of their coverage as well as simply using the cell from within the home.

Posted by Tony Morganti, CRS, ABR - Cuyahoga Falls, Stow (RE/MAX Crossroads in Cuyahoga Falls and Stow, Ohio) almost 8 years ago

Bryan, great topic for discussion.  I wouldn't consider it an element of property condition...rather a kind of external obsolescence because of what is generally expected in an area...possibly affecting appraisal value since cell phones usage is so widely expected.  If you know about the problem I'd certainly disclose it.  On the other side of the coin, I know a very upscale area outside of Chicago where cell towers are not allowed and the homes there are all multi-million dollar homes...those homes have no problem selling.

Posted by Nick T Pappas, Madison & Huntsville Alabama Real Estate Resource (Assoc. Broker/Broker ABR, CRS, SFR, e-Pro, @Homes Realty Group, @HomesBirmingham & Providence Property Mgmnt, LLC Huntsville AL) almost 8 years ago

Bryan:  I can see a cell phone usage disclosure in our future! :)

Posted by Sidney Kutchuk - Realty Works Temecula Kutchuk - Realty Works Temecula, Realty Works Temecula (Realty Works Temecula) almost 8 years ago

No, of course it does not impact value, but these companies should put these towers near the business areas as those are the people with the issues... I have Vonage at home connected to my cable line and for some reason I could not make calls out and as you mentioned in your blog that calling 911 would be a huge concern for companies for their customers to call in an emergency. Well, Vonage put my call at the top of the list to get corrected asap due to the importance of maybe having an emergency. Great post!

Posted by Lauren Selinsky Broker CRS, "Your California Real Estate Broker" TM #oclauren (California Coastal Estates) almost 8 years ago

This is very interesting and I can see how it would be a real problem.  I would not want a house where my cell wouldn't work.  It would affect my business too much as well as safety (and sanity).

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) almost 8 years ago

This lady above me and I share the same thought. Properties with poor signals are real deal killers. I have got  another "things to look for when buying a home" checklist item. Thanks so much Bryan

Posted by Kathy Goldman, Social Media & Marketing for Real Estate (REVA Online | SEO Boost For Real Estate, Social Media Marketing for Real Estate and Real Estate Blogging Expert) almost 8 years ago

Bryan - Cell phone dead zone areas may exist for some cell phone companies but not others in a specific location due to the physical location of the cell phone company's cell towers.  Other factors may include the the topography of the specific location, the materials that the building are made out of etc.

I have had situations where in some buildings, I do not have cell phone coverage if I move the cell phone a few inches (literally) in the same room.  I also do not receive cell phone coverage in certain areas of Congress in Washington, DC.

Posted by FN LN almost 8 years ago

We have finally eliminated our land line ( about 8 months ago ) and don't miss it at all ! This however would be a huge problem !

Posted by Michael J. Perry, Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist (KW Elite ) almost 8 years ago

This is a bone of contention here. The smaller towns around me fight cell phone towers tooth and nail. Most of the residents, by the way, are NOT full timers, rather New Yorkers. When you first take them to a home, they are stressed about the lack of service. Next thing you know they are fighting against and winning the cell phone tower battles. Go figure!

I have lousy service at my house. This part of CT has issues, no matter what service you have. But... I can use the cell phone for data like a champ here in the house.

Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) almost 8 years ago

We have areas in Westchester County where the cell service is awful. It is a problem. I have never seen it kill a sale, but people who are against cell towers and better service bug me. 

Posted by J. Philip Faranda, Broker-Owner (J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY) almost 8 years ago

You raised a valid point, but I don't think that alone will stop me from buying my dream home.

Posted by Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group, 301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA (Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001) almost 8 years ago

Interesting issue. It's a classic case of NIMB,. We all want the service, but we don't want the associated infrastructure.

Posted by Richard Weisser, Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional (Richard Weisser Realty) almost 8 years ago

This is becoming an issue. I could not place calls last week. I called my service company explaining to me they had a distressed tower. I said well I have distressed homes for sale-are you interested?

Posted by Harry F. D'Elia, Investor , Mentor, GRI, Radio, CIPS, REOs, ABR (Real Estate and Beyond, LLC) almost 8 years ago

Very interesting discussion. That is something, quite frankly I've never thought of, and my cell service is not the best in my home also. It's irritating but certainly not something I'm going to break a deal over (I will leverage the irritant for a better deal:) ), even as much as I use my cell. I have a landline really only for my fax machine and wish I could get rid of faxes, but there are still some in the business world who still require using those archaic piles of crap.

It's 2011, people, and I have more ways to communicate than I've ever dreamed of. I have more "in your face 24/7" ways of giving and receiving data and voice than I know what to do with.

The big question is....

is it really going to matter when cellular is dead?

(because let's face it and be honest, even at its best, a cellular connection really is not as good as a landline and i really wish it was)

This will not be an issue when the whole world has gone sat phone technology and your old cell sits in a drawer collecting dust. At that point, cell towers will sit there like relics and calling across the globe will be the same price as calling starbucks down the street.

In a few years down the road, this will not be an issue.

Posted by Michael Myers (King-Rhodes & Associates) almost 8 years ago

Bryan,

I completely agree. So many builders today are not even wiring the house for hard wired connections. They only wire for TV service. Many younger clients have no home phone line, they rely 100% on the cells for everything. They are upset when they find out they need a land line for a security system to work at 100%.

-Brent

Posted by Brent & Deb Wells, Prosper TX (LivingWell Properties) almost 8 years ago

I strongly suspect that there were multiple reasons the buyer balked. 

And the point about the importance of good cell service is excellent.

Posted by Jim Gilbert, The Gold Homes Team (Keller Williams Fairfax Gateway) almost 8 years ago

Perhaps an extender via the cell provider plugged into a computer with a wireless router is the answer.   My mom has no signal at her home and I recently found out about this from a neighbor who is retired from a phone company and solved the problem this way at his house.  It could be the solution for buyers.  They certainly should consider the option before canceling a contract because of something that can be fixed for less than $500.

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) almost 8 years ago

Bryan, I don't think cell phone coverage is a disclosure issue, but it is something buyers should be aware of if they rely on cell phone usage. Good Post!

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA almost 8 years ago

Good subject. I changed servers for that issue so I would say it is a factor in property choice. You still have to market the property, so I would recommend disclosing it but accentuate the tranquility and peaceful life style. You need to market to modern day luddites, people who want to live with less technology.

Posted by Robert Butler, Montreal Home Inspector | Aspect Inspection (Aspect Inspection) almost 8 years ago

Hi Bryan,
As the others have said, I can certainly see where this would be a problem.  However, I don't think it should be MY responsibility to do more than remind the buyers to check service while we view the home. To 'disclose' a home (and all parts of it as you mention) for cell service would be impossible if for no other reasons than different providers have different coverage areas & phones have different receptions.

  

Posted by Bruce Kunz, REALTOR®, Brick & Howell NJ Homes for Sale (C21 Solid Gold Realty, Brick, NJ, 732-920-2100) almost 8 years ago

Bryan,

Welcome to my world!  In this more rural area, cell service is a frequent issue.  Some carriers work, others don't.  Many offer a "booster," which is how I get service within MY home.  Haven't had a buyer cancel - only because I make them check and resolve before writing the offer.

Posted by Irene Kennedy Realtor® in Northwestern NJ (Weichert) almost 8 years ago

This is in no means our responsibility to disclose.

Service providers offer "repeaters" (and buyers can buy them anywhere).

We can't be expected to go around showing property that only receives x amount of data strength. That's ludicrous.

Posted by Chris Pappas (Prudential Douglas Elliman - Manhasset, NY) almost 8 years ago

I disclose it. The buyers are usually not local and count on us to do the right thing.

Posted by Rob D. Shepherd, Principal Broker ABR, GRI (Windermere/lane county) almost 8 years ago

I worked with some young buyers who carefully checked each part of the house for adequate reception BEFORE deciding to make an offer. Being reachable by cell at all times was important to their business. I would never have thought of this otherwise. It was on their checklist, but I'm thinking that in the future it belongs on mine!

Posted by Jan Stevens (Coldwell Banker Pittsburgh) almost 8 years ago

Something to ponder, its just not the cell phone that is essential, how about wireless for computers, and other things we depend on. Also, what about the cost, to have a land line and a cell? Great points.

Posted by Lorraine or Loretta Kratz, Certified Negotiation Consultants (Crescent Moon Realty, Inc. & Land N Sea Auctions.) almost 8 years ago

Bryan,

Has anyone ever suggested using a cell signal booster to improve reception and signal strength?  I have seen them in several homes in NJ where I work.  They are about the size of a sandwich with a 4 inch antenea and plug into a standard outlet.  I am told they work well, but I have no personal experience.  Just a thought...

 

Posted by Bob Zorechak - ABR, GRI, e-PRO, Sells Homes in Morris/Somerset/Hunterdon Cos., NJ (Keller Williams Realty Metropolitan) almost 8 years ago

Tony and Nick -It may not be something tied to property condition but it's probably a good disclosure.  The question then becomes; could a buyer cancel a contract for lack of service, even if it's not applicable to legally considered "property condition".

Jane - Perhaps!

Lauren - Thanks.  Emergency access is critical.  You're right though, I doubt this issue could actually impact values.

Debbie and Kathy - I have poor cell service in my house now and it's really frustrating.

Marc - The variable coverage from carrier to carrier is a big issue.  I have AT&T people with no problem where Verizon won't work and vice versa.  It'd be nice if it were consistent, but I know that's not possible.

Michael - Exactly.

Andrea - It's funny how the NIMBY folks want the services but not the towers.  This is exactly the issue we have in Los Altos right now.

Phil - Me too.  I guess those people fight technology because they have nothing better to do.

Posted by Bryan Robertson, Broker, Author, Speaker (Intero Real Estate) almost 8 years ago

Valerie - I would hestitate buying a home with no service but I'd also look for a way to get a signal.

Fernando -Me either but I'd certainly stop to figure out how to get a better signal

Richard - I'm not a fan of cell towers but I'd work on getting one in my area if it made the service better.

Harry - That's a nice comeback!

Michael - Sat phones with price points like cell phones are a long way off.  However, when the day comes, yes, that will solve the issue.  Transmitting on frequencies less inclined to interference would also help.

Brent & Deb - It's funny how we still rely on old technology (land lines) for some things.  It's annoying too.

Gold Team - Yes, the change was based on other reasons.  However, I have a lot of buyers looking in that area and it's interesting how it comes up with some clients and not others.

Tammy - A cellphone signal booster could be a good solution.  Thanks for making that point.

Posted by Bryan Robertson, Broker, Author, Speaker (Intero Real Estate) almost 8 years ago

Michael / Robert / Bruce - I think it's a casual disclosure along the lines of "Make sure your cell phone works" and not a formal mandated disclosure.

Irene - I'd imagine rural areas have this issue a lot.  Great that you have a solution though.

Chris - It may not be a formal disclosure but mentioning it would be a good idea.

Rob - Good job.

Jan - That's the way to do it.  Make checking before the offer a "best practice" and it becomes a non-issue.

Lorraine - Good points to you too.  Other wireless services may not work and if you're counting on them, they should be verified before making the offer.

Bob - Thanks for the suggestion.  Cellphone signal boosters might solve the problem.

 

Posted by Bryan Robertson, Broker, Author, Speaker (Intero Real Estate) almost 8 years ago

Bryan, wow a deadzone cell topic. Sometimes you can get a microcell for your house to boost up a one bar signal, but NO SIGNAL, that is weird in a flat area with major population. You know it is temporary too. it will not be like that forever.

Posted by Gary Woltal, Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth (Keller Williams Realty) almost 8 years ago

I agree. lack of cell service would put the property off the radar for me too. However, as long as there is landline service in the area, it can't be claimed that emergency services would be denied. In fact, cell services CAN be delivered to the house with a "mini" rebroadcasting system via computer too.

 

Posted by Brad Rachielles, REALTOR, CDPE, Upland, CA (CENTURY 21 Peak, Ca BRE# 01489453) almost 8 years ago

 

Whenever you are more than a half mile from a freeway, dead zones can be common.  Many suburban areas have spotty coverage, even the top few providers have random dead zones in various areas.

Google Voice gives you "one number for life." So you can get your calls at home, work, mobile, or wherever.  The functions and reliability are excellent.  I've been using it since the GrandCentral days.  (Google bought GrandCentral a few years back, and has extended it.)  If ever my location is in a dead zone, I can take calls via any landline, by adding a temporary "base" number to my five allowed numbers, so I can take a call anywhere in the US.

Posted by George Fanucci, Internet - Technology - Business - Solutions (CoreFact.com) almost 8 years ago

OMG...if it isn't one thing, it's another..... Cell reception is critcle and we all live day to day, hour to hour with out cell phone.............so, it better be working.

Patricia/Seacoast NH & ME

Posted by Patricia Aulson, Realtor - Portsmouth NH Homes-Hampton NH Homes (BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY HOME SERVICES Verani Realty NH Real Estate ) almost 8 years ago

Thanks for the interesting post today, I think I'll reblog this one soon.

 

Patricia/SEacoast NH & ME

Posted by Patricia Aulson, Realtor - Portsmouth NH Homes-Hampton NH Homes (BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY HOME SERVICES Verani Realty NH Real Estate ) almost 8 years ago

This is a really important issue as more people ditch their "landline" for just cell phone coverage.  I had several clients relocate FROM California and they made sure that their iPhones worked in the houses that they were considering.  Better safe than sorry.  Great discussion topic!

Posted by Karen Feltman, Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa (Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group) almost 8 years ago

i understand mentioning it.

But when they ask you to find property where they get full "ATT/VZWorTM" service, how would you attempt that? Its beyond an unsual request.

We all know you can't rely on those network coverage maps. lol.

Posted by Chris Pappas (Prudential Douglas Elliman - Manhasset, NY) almost 8 years ago

Great subject. I'll start mentioning it during discussion of due diligence!

Posted by Chris and Berna Sloan, Tooele UT (Group 1 Real Estate) almost 8 years ago

Bryan:

It is surprising that in the middle of Silicone Valley cell phone service is dodgy.  It's the other California problem, people who don't want anything they think is "bad" in their neighborhood.

Posted by Evelyn Kennedy, Alameda, Real Estate, Alameda, CA (Alain Pinel Realtors) almost 8 years ago

Very interesting issue, If I wasn't tied to my cell phone for work I would be fine without one.  However, for many it would be "no cell, no sale."

Posted by Tracy McPeek almost 8 years ago

This is a new issue that I personally have not run across in selling a home. However, I have this very issue at my home and it is frustrating, to say the least. I'm sure a cartoonist seeing me trying to get reception in my home would have a field day with me in a comic strip.

A couple of folks have mentioned the cell booster, and Verizon is offering a booster for $250 but it attaches to your fios or internet connection (I don't know about any other company, as this is the company I use for all my services) and then to your router, I think. Does it work if the connection is down for some reason?

I asked the cellular rep at the Sam's Club about it the other day. He said that what I REALLY want is a cellular repeater. Businesses housed in metal buildings tend to have issues with cell service and they can use repeaters to solve the problem. The repeaters I have looked at online can be installed either on the outside of the house, or inside your attic if you get a decent enough signal there. The interior installation appears to be really simple, with the most important part of it all being able to determine where your strongest signal is found. Basically they give you a bracket for the receiver to sit in, and this bracket gets installed on an upright beam in the roof joists at least 3 feet away from metal (such as an air conditioning unit, metal siding, metal roof), you screw the cable into the base of the repeater and set the repeater upright in the bracket, and the length of cable gets run to the spot you want to have the receiver base located. Screw the other end of the cable into the receiver, plug the power supply in and go from there. For some of us, this is simple. For others, it may require a contractor to handle it. The repeaters come in varying square footage coverage "sizes" - 2,500 sq. ft., 5,000 sq. ft. - are two of the ones I have seen. They can be found for $350 and up, depending on what you buy.

For my money, I think this would be a better solution than a booster plugged into my internet service. Your neighbors, if they are close enough, will also thank you because they can benefit from your repeater as well.

Rhonda Patterson, Broker/Owner, Waterfront and Preferred Homes, LLC - Central Gulf Coast of Florida

 

Posted by Rhonda Patterson (Waterfront and Preferred Homes, LLC) almost 8 years ago

And to think it's in the heart of Silicone Valley -- that would be so deceiving.  I mean, it's not as if the property is out in the boon docks, and it's reasonable to assume there's no cell service.  Great post, and a modern day disclosure issue!  Tammy#25  has a good answer.  Hope you can find a solution.  I'm sure other neighbors in the area have figured something out.  Go to the house with the most teenagers -- I'm sure they have it worked out!  ;-)

Posted by Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED (RETIRED / State License is Inactive) almost 8 years ago

Your post got me thinking and I wonder if we'll see a change in the coming years? We have seen contracts fall apart because people couldn't get access to DSL. We are a connected society. People want to be connected via the Internet. I think cell phone coverage as well as Internet access should be addressed.

Posted by "Jayne" Focused on Finding the "Right" Home For You (Georgia Residential Realty, LLC) almost 8 years ago

If they put it in the contract as a condition, then it is fair game!  Reception around the Seattle area is generally good, but I can see people putting it into their contracts.  That and if the wireless internet signal is good.

Posted by Jacquie Cliff, - Real Estate and Short Sale Expert (Champions Real Estate Services - Lynnwood, WA) almost 8 years ago

Wow. That would just KILL some deals here in rural Pennsylvania!

Posted by Erica Ramus, MRE, Schuylkill County PA Real Estate (Erica Ramus - Ramus Realty Group - Pottsville, PA ) almost 8 years ago

Bryan, wow!  This is all very thought provoking.  When I read the title of your post, I wondered what this was going to be about.  I think the lack of cell phone service is a material fact and should be disclosed.  I have not had a land line for over ten years now.  I think it will be a big deal for many buyers.  Thanks for the post and best wishes in Los Altos!

Posted by Karen Pannell, Owensboro KY Real Estate -270-903-2167 Homes, Cond (Real Living / Home Realty) almost 8 years ago

Good point, one I've never heard.....under a buyers due diligience(ie Home inspection) I would agree this is grounds for a cancelation. I've had a cancel for no highspeed internet as their job depended on it. this is no different. As Realtors our jobs most defintely depend on good cell service in my opinion.

Posted by Larry Costa, Realtor, Carver MA Real Estate (Century 21 Classic Gold, Carver MA) almost 8 years ago

Bryan, We actually have this problem in our own home.  It's really a pain in the heiney to lose a call and try to call them back on the home phone, only to have their phone be busy because they are trying to call you again.  It's simply frustrating.  I hope these things are something the buyer would think about themselves, but we can't rely on that.  So, in essence of being truthful with everyone, we as agents SHOULD disclose it.  It is an important aspect say for a doctor or lawyer, etc.

Posted by Linda K. Mayer, Realtor, SRES, SoCAL, A REALTOR YOU CAN TRUST (License # 01767321) almost 8 years ago

Interesting point.  Wouldn't you need a device to check each different cell provider's signal to provide any kind of meaningful disclosure?  Wouldn't checking something like this eventully fall into the realm of the home inspection as Larry suggested?

Posted by Bill Rozek, NMLS #214260 (Embrace Home Loans, Inc.) almost 8 years ago

I have to aadmit that I've thought of this!  Living in Westchester county, NY, we have many areas that do not have good service.  It was horrible when my son would visit friends in those areas and then couldn't phone me from them.  I would tell him to use someone else's phone or the house phone if he had to.  Here, it depends on the service provider.  As Phil mentioned in post #17, it can be really, really bad.  Some people don't want the towers anywhere near them. 

However, I managed to hold off on renewing our ATT contracts until we finalized where he was going to college.  His first choice was waaaaayyyyy in upstate NY so it wasn't until we heard that he'd been admitted when we finally upgraded and got new phones/contracts.  ATT works great from up there in the boondocks!  :-)

Posted by Sandy Fenton, ABR, ASP, CDPE, GRI -Westchester NY - Condos to Luxury Homes (Keller Williams NY Realty * Licensed Associate Broker) almost 8 years ago

Great possible case law post! 

Posted by Andi Grant, Helping 1st time buyers and home sellers in LA! (310-508-4354 | FirstTimeHomeBuyerRealEstate.com) almost 8 years ago

Great post, the question needs to be one of the first raised when showing property, especially if the buyers is running their business out of their home...

Posted by Cory Barbee, Broker (760) 563-4022 almost 8 years ago

As long as landline telephones are available, as well as several alternative cell phone services plus various ways of boosting/improving the signal, I don't think the lack of accessible cell phone service in a particular home should be grounds for cancelling a contract...UNLESS it was part of the original deal.

That's not to say that cell reception isn't vitally important to most people. But there are so many alternative solutions to this problem (for most areas), it really isn't a life-or-death issue, IMO. If my dream home was perfect in all respects but I got lousy cell reception, I'd buy the house and figure out a way around the issue.

Posted by Sonsie Conroy, Energetic, Enthusiastic, Knowledgeable Realtor (I serve buyers and sellers everywhere in San Luis Obispo County) almost 8 years ago

AT&T offers a "microcell" that acts like a cell tower and uses a high speed internet connection. Lack of cell service shouldn't be a deal killer.

Posted by Robert Savage, Bakersfield Short Sales, Property Management, Cash (Bakersfield Property Solutions) almost 8 years ago

This would be a big issue to me as I don't have a landline, and I frequently choose to work from home rather than stay at the office all day.

Posted by Christine Donovan, Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M (Donovan Blatt Realty) almost 8 years ago

I think it would make most people think twice about the home.  More people than ever now rely on their cell phone vs having an actual land line.

Posted by Rodney Mason, FHA 203(k) & HomeStyle Renovation-AL,FL,GA, SC, TN (On Q Financial) almost 8 years ago

Bryan - Interesting points you raised here.  I haven't ever seen this kill a deal, but stranger things have happened.  Great food for thought.

Posted by Jason Crouch, Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653) (Austin Texas Homes, LLC) almost 8 years ago

Bryan -- I never really gave this much thought but I will now.  I may have been unable to get signal at a house and just thought only about that call at that time.  Never thought about it being a permanent issue at that location.   For people who MUST have cell service for their business, this IS an issue.  Thanks for bringing this up. 

Posted by Barbara Altieri, REALTOR-Fairfield County CT Homes/Condos For Sale (RealtyQuest/Kinard Realty Group, Fairfield and New Haven County CT Real Estate) almost 8 years ago

I have service with TMobile and my daughter has Verizon. In this area I get overall better coverage then she does, except in one location I know about, her home. I can not receive or send calls from her home unless I'm standing in one location, literally I have to stand at the end of her sofa (left side only). If you look at the U.S. we are lagging far behind other nations not only for cell service but the speed available for computers. We need to wake up and make the carriers provide better service, not less service, then what other nations get. Why because without this we will be able to compete. Yes the expenditure would be high but it is necessary.

Posted by Mark Wienshienk (MarkW Realty/ Agent for Keller Williams) almost 8 years ago

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