Legal Review: What Is a RESPA Violation?
The purpose of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) is to prevent abusive settlement charges that plagued this country’s real estate industry in the past — and led to the “Great Recession” in 2008. The key provision under RESPA is that, “No person shall give and no person shall accept any fee, kickback, orRead More
The Benefits and Risks of Home Video Surveillance When Selling a Property
Many homes these days have surveillance equipment ranging from high-tech motion detector and video cameras to so-called “nanny-cams.” Not surprisingly, home sellers use such equipment either to protect their belongings during open houses and showings or to gain information concerning buyers’ reactions to their homes. A prominently displayed surveillance system and/or conspicuous signs alerting visitorsRead More
The Significance of the Liquidated Damages Provision in the Residential Purchase Agreement
The vast majority of real estate agents and brokers are familiar with pre-printed purchase contracts for land such as the Residential Purchase Agreement and Deposit Receipt published by the California Association of Realtors Form RPA-CA Rev. 11/14 (C.A.R. ©). However, you may not be familiar with paragraph 21 B of this document entitled “Liquidated Damages”.Read More
Legal Duties in Residential and Commercial Transactions of a Licensed Real Estate Agent or Broker
Introduction – The Law and Primary Issue California Civil Code section 2079 sets forth the statutory duty of a real estate licensee in the State of California to both the buyer and the seller of a real estate transaction, whether it involves residential, commercial or vacant land. Civil Code section 2079.2 sets forth that theRead More
How to Advise Foreign Language or Visually Impaired Real Estate Clients
Advising a client who is sight impaired or who cannot read or write in the English language Over the years as a real estate attorney in litigated and risk management inquiries, I have had to deal with situations where a licensed real estate agent in the State of California is representing a client who isRead More
I’ve Had A Data Breach – Now What?
A business that maintains records that include a customer’s name along with any one of the following: signature, social security number, address, telephone number, physical description, passport number, driver’s license number, insurance policy number, education, employment, employment history, bank account number, credit card number, or any other financial, medical or health insurance information, must giveRead More
Disposal of Files
Business and Professions Code Section 10148 requires that a real estate licensee maintain his or her file for 3 years after the transaction closes or for 3 years after a listing if no transaction is consummated. Because some statutes of limitations (the time period within which a lawsuit must be filed) do not begin untilRead More
When Does a Real Estate Agent’s Legal Duties Cease in California to His or Her Client?
In recent months I have handled an increasing number of risk management inquiries for real estate agents and brokers on the issue of when does a real estate agent’s duties cease to the client. This question typically arises after close of escrow when new “issues” arise, such as newly discovered water intrusion or pest infestationRead More
What Is Psychologically Impacted Property?
Colorado, like most states of the union, has adopted a statute that excuses sellers of residential real estate and their brokers from having to disclose certain facts that may psychologically stigmatize real property. Unfortunately, Colorado does not have a bright line rule as to what psychologically-stigmatizing circumstances do not need to be disclosed versus thoseRead More
CAR New Wire Fraud Advisory
Cyber crime targeting wire transfers is on the rise. Criminals have developed viruses that hack into email accounts of buyers, sellers, real estate agents and escrow companies. The malware records login information and then sits undetectable by commercial anti-virus software. When an email is sent or received that mentions a wire transfer, the virus alertsRead More