Legal Updates

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Emails versus Texts in a Real Estate Transaction

The best way to prevent a claim or lawsuit against yourself as a licensed professional is to memorialize what was discussed in writing with your client starting with the log notes in your transaction file and then followed up with an e mail, facsimile transmission or a hard copy letter (preferably certified mail return receiptRead More

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How Does a Property Manager Minimize His or Her Exposure in Landlord Tenant Relations?

With the resurgence of the California real estate market after the “Great Recession” I find that many of my real estate clients have diversified their business and have become involved in real property management. In California, a property manager is a person who takes care of the many aspects of commercial, industrial or residential propertiesRead More

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The Pros and Cons of Binding Arbitration

Many times I have consulted with my real estate clients as to the advantages and disadvantages of binding arbitration to resolve a dispute concerning real property as opposed to resolving the dispute in a litigated case in a California court room. There are advantages and disadvantages of the binding arbitration process of the binding arbitrationRead More

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Cancellation of Escrow Considerations

Invariably I have come across disputes in real estate sales where a cancellation of contract, release of deposit and cancellation of escrow on a California Association of Realtors© form CC has been sent to either the listing or selling agent for his or her client(s) to date, sign and return to the party sending theRead More

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What is a Fixture and How to Prevent Misunderstandings After Close

California Civil Code section 660 defines a “fixture” as follows: “A thing is deemed to be affixed to land when it is attached to it by roots, as in the case of trees, vines, or shrubs; or imbedded in it, as in the case of walls; or permanently resting upon it, as in the caseRead More

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How to Prevent a Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) Complaint

California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) maintains the authority to investigate complaints of discrimination in the areas of employment, housing, public accommodations and hate violence. Many persons believe they have been treated unfairly or harassed in employment opportunities, in renting or purchasing a home, or in receiving service in a business establishment. TheRead More

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The “Procuring Cause” Claim

Over the years of handling risk management matters, I invariably see disputes where the real estate agent who was not the listing or selling agent on a closed transaction makes a claim for real estate commissions claiming that he or she was the “procuring cause” for the transaction closing. The typical “procuring cause” claim arisesRead More

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The Digital Dangers of the Realtor Profession

As a Realtor or Broker, you allow consumers to search your real property listings, photographs, videos, public records and other real estate information over the Internet and/or provide other online services to consumers. Whether you are aware of it or not, this service you provide also carries with it an obligation to protect the dataRead More

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Cyberattacks on Real Estate Professionals, What’s Next?

Brokers and escrow officers, like other professionals, use phones and e mail as their main mode of communication and by doing so they are exposed to data breaches. In the last year data breaches became more prevalent in real estate transactions. Brokers and escrow officers should be aware of the issues and try to avoidRead More

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When Should a Real Estate Agent Be Communicating With a Seller’s or Buyer’s Attorney?

When problems arise after close of an escrow for a particular real property, the listing and selling agent are typically contacted by an attorney for either the seller or buyer or both of them. This raises a concern for the real estate agent, in that he or she usually desires to help his or herRead More

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