Legal Updates

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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

real estate agent writing contract

How to Ensure Offer Terms Survive the Real Estate Closing: the Doctrine of Merger

Errors and Omissions claims against real estate agents or brokers are often based  on the Purchase Agreement and Sales Disclosures. Clients who feel their interests were not adequately protected often turn to filing a claim against their agent or broker. Often, claims arising from the Purchase Agreement are based on a legal concept called theRead More

house with utility pole easement

Real Estate Agents: Understanding Easements and How to Minimize Liability

Easements are a non-possessory right to use land or a portion of property belonging to another person. Failing to recognize and educate clients as to the existence of any easements can curtail an otherwise routine real estate transaction and potentially lead to litigation. An easement may exist in one of two forms: affirmative easement orRead More

paper with withdrawn stamp

How to Withdraw Counteroffers to Prevent Real Estate Lawsuits

The good news is that you’ve gotten multiple offers on an open listing. The bad news, you accidentally sent out two counter-offers. What should you do? One of our clients faced that exact situation. Our client realized that this put the seller in a potential situation of being under contract to sell to two buyers,Read More

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Is Zillow’s Joint Marketing Program a Violation of RESPA?

Increasing Scrutiny of RESPA Violations Joint marketing activities between real estate agents and lenders have been the subject of inquiry by governmental authorities as a potential violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (“RESPA”). This oversight has taken on a more aggressive tone ever since the Dodd-Frank legislation created the Consumer Financial Protection BureauRead More

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What to Do When the Tenant Will Not Allow Access During Your Listing?

Do you know what to do when a property is listed for sale with a tenant on the property and the tenant refuses to cooperate with requests for open houses and viewings by interested buyers? As the real estate agent, there are steps you and your seller client can take to help address and avoidRead More

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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

Give your real estate sellers up to $50,000 of Seller's E&O to protect them from a disgruntled buyer after the clos… https://t.co/q5alvDnVTT The Residential Purchase Agreement is the most important form in real estate - and the cause of most real estate la… https://t.co/hu3OIp1bf2