This is just a nasty thing to find out. How it ever happened, I don’t know, but it’s probably not that uncommon.

Man buys a home (I’m assuming, perhaps wrongly, that he bought it directly from the seller or seller’s agent, without the help of a buyer’s agent). Finds out AT CLOSING that the home isn’t even in the town he thought it was. Ouch.

Now, a couple of things. First, does it matter? For us buying condos in Boston, it doesn’t really, because we all share the same mayor, and property taxes are the same, city-wide. Your car insurance is based on ZIP Code, I believe, so that doesn’t matter, either.

Second, the buyer closed on the purchase, so he couldn’t have been that upset, either that or he didn’t realize what he was doing, until afterward.

Third, he should kick someone’s ass. I’d start with the seller’s agent, and the manager of the agent’s office. I have no doubt they advertised it incorrectly. Plus, they should be ashamed of themselves for not taking the time or making the effort to find out everything about the property. Yes, it’s buyer-beware, but every agent should be concerned about his or her reputation.

This agent made all agents look like shifty, shady people.

Question: I am a first-time home buyer. The listing sheet and financing documents for the home said it was in Erlanger, Ky. But at closing, I found out that the house is actually in Elsmere, Ky., the neighboring city.I now own this house, but don’t want to live in Elsmere. What can I do at this point?

— John Dimitriadis, Elsmere, Ky.

Answer: If you believed real-estate advertisements, you’d think that all agents were intrepid, all-knowing guides whose sole purpose in life is to take clueless buyers by the hand and lead them confidently through the minefields of offers, counteroffers, escrows and settlement.

But in fact, plenty of agents are pretty clueless themselves — and a few are lazy to boot.

Um, thanks?

Complete story: Across City Lines: Buyer’s Home Isn’t in Town He Thought It Was – By June Fletcher, The Wall Street Journal

(*** Oh, the headline is a lyric from “Barnum” – the musical. It’s good.)

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Updated: January 2018

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