A broker argued that there were no specific duties for a buyer’s representative and the parties didn’t have a written agreement. However, the jury and later the appeals court agreed that continued conversations between buyer and broker demonstrated that the relationship still existed.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit has found that a creditor violated federal bankruptcy law when it threatened to file a complaint with the state real estate commission if the broker did not agree to settle the creditor’s debt during bankruptcy proceedings.
The U.S. Supreme Court has affirmed the constitutionality of most of the provisions of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002. The ruling is expected to have only a modest impact on the fundraising and advocacy activities of the REALTORS® Political Action Committee (RPAC).
The Third District Court of Appeal of Florida reversed an earlier court decision and denied a broker a commission from the sale of land to a school district. The court determined that a contingency fee contained in the listing violated the state’s public policy forbidding contingency fees for property purchased with public funds.
Because a taxpayer couldn’t substantiate that her cell phone service was used for business, a tax court has supported the Internal Revenue Service’s decision to disallow the cost of this service as a business expense.
The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida has ruled that a commercial broker was not entitled to a lease commission on a new lease with a former subtenant after the initial lease on which it was paid a commission had expired.
The Alabama Supreme Court has ruled that a salesperson who acted as a dual agent for both the buyers and sellers in a transaction had a fiduciary duty to make accurate statements to buyers when questioned about a property.
Michigan’s highest court has ruled that simply filling in the blanks in preprinted documents without counseling a consumer “in matters that require the use of legal discretion and profound legal knowledge” doesn’t constitute the unauthorized practice of law.
A salesperson filed suit against her brokerage, claiming that her dismissal was due solely to her unpaid debts, a violation of the federal Bankruptcy Code. The trial court found in favor of the brokerage, and a Georgia appellate court affirmed the ruling.
Although the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act and some state laws have curtailed the use of phones and fax machines in soliciting business, the act doesn’t regulate the use of promotional e-mail, a Pennsylvania court has ruled.
Real estate transactions can be traumatic, but Oregon’s highest court has ruled that a buyer can’t collect damages for emotional distress from a real estate broker for an alleged breach of fiduciary duty.
A Kentucky appellate court decided that provisions in a purchase contract could give a property condition disclosure form the strength of a warranty, even though state law makes it clear that the form is not a warranty.
A Kansas federal district court concluded that the only reason the brokerage didn’t conduct negotiations with the buyer was the owner’s “deceit and misrepresentations” in failing to refer the buyer to the broker, as required in the listing agreement.
The Colorado Court of Appeals has ruled that a transaction broker earned a commission by securing a buyer, even though the broker had not performed all the obligations for a transaction broker listed in the state’s real estate statute.
An Illinois Appellate Court has ruled that because a seller failed to refer a prospective buyer to a broker with an exclusive listing agreement, the broker is entitled to a commission on the sale to the prospect, even after the listing has expired.
In a reversal of a decision by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled that an owner or officer of a real estate corporation isn't personally liable for violations of federal fair housing laws by an agent or employee except under certain circumstances. However, the high court did state that under legal principles of vicarious liability, the corporation itself could be held liable for an employee or agent's actions.