California

Flooding House representing California special flood zone notification

Now Prospective Tenants Must Also Be Informed if a Property is in a Special Flood Zone

Changes in California Law: Disclosure Requirements Flood Zones California’s legislature within the past year made the following findings and declaration: (a) In February 2017, several neighborhoods within the City of San Jose experienced severe flooding that forced the evacuation of 14,000 residents and caused significant damage to public and private property throughout the city. ARead More

forest wildfire

“My Client’s Home Was Destroyed in the Wildfires – Now What?”

In early October 2017, a series of 250 wildfires started burning throughout Northern California, bringing terror and destruction to the region. The wildfires broke out throughout Napa, Lake, Sonoma, Mendocino, Butte, and Solano Counties. These fires included the Tubbs Fire (which grew to become the most destructive wildfire in the history of California), the AtlasRead More

residential swimming pool

2018 Swimming Pool Inspection Law – California

The California Senate Bill 442 was passed,  signed by the Governor, and codified as Business and Professions Code, Section 7195, effective January 1, 2018.  This Statute provides standards for new residential swimming pools and spas, or any remodeling of an existing pool or spa.  The new law requires at least two of the seven drowningRead More

man surprised with hand on head

Dealing with Malicious Acts by Tenants – a Guide for Property Managers

It’s every property manager’s and property owner’s worst nightmare —  when a tenant does malicious damage. This is why it’s important to know what the liabilities are, and what you can do to reduce your risk of a lawsuit. Not only does it allow you to protect your clients by offering sound advice, but itRead More

buyer signing disclosure

Disclosing and Documenting Before Closing

Document All Client Advisories about Third-Party Experts Do you advise your clients in writing to consult with third-party experts before closing? And if you do, do you document it in the client’s file? If you want to reduce your risk of a real estate lawsuit, the answers should be yes and yes. I’ve defended manyRead More

handing holding dollar sign hand holding house

Understanding the Earnest Money Deposit in Real Property Sales

What Is Earnest Money And Its Purpose? Earnest money is cash deposited by a buyer to a seller into escrow (in states that use escrow), demonstrating the buyer’s intent to purchase an offered property. Essentially, it’s a way for a buyer to secure a contract with a seller to demonstrate they’re serious about making aRead More

house on top of calculator

What is a Seller Carryback? How to Protect the Seller and Yourself in a Seller Carryback Transaction

Seller carryback financing is when the seller of a given property acts as a lender for a buyer on the seller’s property. The end result is that the buyer signs a promissory note to the seller, for the amount of the carryback with a set interest rate, set monthly payments, and a set time forRead More

house not sold sign

What To Do When Your Client Is In Contract and Does Not Want To Close?

Buyer’s (or seller’s) remorse becomes a legal issue when the buyer or seller does not want to close after they are under contract to buy or sell. This is true for commercial, residential or vacant lot property. Documentation is critical for claim prevention. Let’s take a look at what the listing agent and the sellingRead More

gavel, scales, law books

Case Study: Creation of an “Associate Licensee” and the Duty to Investigate and Disclose – Horiike v. Coldwell Banker

Real Estate Agent Fiduciary Duties Ruling In November 2016, California’s Supreme Court affirmed the Appellate Court’s decision in Horiike v. Coldwell Banker (2014) 225 Cal. App. 4th 427. Its significance is that where a real estate brokerage is representing the buyer and the seller in a transaction, albeit with separate real estate agents for theRead More

hiding money behind back

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

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