Letter Re: Information Security Considerations When Selling a House with “Special Features”

Mr. Rawles-
I truly enjoy and appreciate your site and hope to soon be able to express that with a [10 Cent Challenge] commitment.

Perhaps one solution to the marketing of property with “special features” would be a multi-layered approach to advertising and responding. First present the property with a limited description such as general location and non-specific amenities using descriptions such as “special”, “hardened”, if appropriate and perhaps a philosophy statement and pricing that would lend a sense for the property without risking over-exposure. Interested parties could pursue a phone interview or email exchange to determine actual depth of interest, still without disclosing critical specifics. Truly interested parties would then be requested to sign a non-disclosure agreement for any further detailed information or before a visit, with a remedy statement in the event of inappropriate disclosure. This would serve to filter the less-than-serious, serving both parties and help protect both the seller and prospective buyers from over-exposure. It’s not foolproof, but it could help provide some protection.

I don’t think anyone serious about such properties would mind the extra steps and anyone unwilling to sign is unlikely to be a safe prospect anyway. In fact, this could be a way to do business in this kind of real estate on a larger scale. Using such buffer instruments could be a requirement to participate in any 2nd or 3rd tier prospecting for any properties listed as retreats. This could save everyone, including the list or, some legal headaches if a buyer or seller wished to get picky about a transaction gone bad or a revealed retreat. While I must admit I haven’t the faintest idea about the SOPs of your listing process, I would have concern that this could get sticky and would hate to see you or anyone acting in good faith get hurt. Indemnification of you and those taking the risk of listing or presenting is merely prudent and, I think, not at all inappropriate.

Keep up the good work. Best Regards, – Randy G