Like asbestos and radon before it, synthetic stucco rings loud alarms with anyone involved in buying and selling homes in certain parts of the country. News stories and lawsuits have linked the product to water intrusion behind exterior walls, which in turn rots sheathing, and other building components and makes many afflicted homes virtually unsalable.
Stigmatized properties are homes where a real or rumored event occurred that didn’t physically affect the property but could adversely impact its desirability. As a buyer’s representative, you’d probably have a fiduciary obligation to inform your clients of anything you know about a property even if such disclosure is exempted by state law. So what to do?
Identity theft victims may be denied credit or medical benefits, have their wages garnished, find liens placed on their property, or even be arrested for someone else’s crime. The Federal Trade Commission estimates that victims of identity theft spend an average of 175 hours trying to clear their names.
It’s often done with the best of intentions, but manipulating contracts, appraisals, sources of downpayment, and sale prices to help buyers qualify for a higher loan amount—even if it’s suggested by the lender—may make you guilty of loan fraud.
Giving testimony at a deposition can be risky because the American legal system is naturally adversarial. Here are 10 simple guidelines that will help you render deposition testimony effectively and safely.
Because of the potential for conflicts of interest inherent in the disclosed dual agency relationship, buyers and sellers must understand its implications and give their informed consent to the relationship. For salespeople, one of the biggest challenges is keeping price and motivation confidential on both sides of the transaction.
You owe fiduciary duties to your buyer and seller clients. Frequently, however, it takes court decisions to outline the parameters of those duties. Three recent cases offer guidance to help clarify our understanding of fiduciary duties.
Besides marketing property, licensees also often buy real estate, either for personal use or as an investment. But what if you want to buy a property a client owns or has expressed interest in? Proceed with caution to avoid being accused of violating fiduciary duties.
Have you read the NAR Code of Ethics lately? Maybe you should, before it’s read to you in court. When a real estate licensee’s conduct is questioned, the Code of Ethics is one thing the courts use to determine the standard of care expected of real estate professionals—regardless of whether they belong to NAR.
The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® has retained outside legal counsel to help it press for clarification on transaction fees, as real estate brokers grapple with a legal issue they thought was never in question.