Whether they purchase leads from a list broker or simply call area residents periodically on their own, many real estate salespeople depend on cold calling for acquiring listings and leads. However profitable cold calling might be, it’s important to understand how new laws may affect your right to call potential clients.
Hindsight, they say, is 20-20, but it is possible to improve your foresight. You can steer clear of legal trouble if you understand how other practitioners have landed in court. Here are 10 legal pitfalls and how to avoid them.
As a buyer’s agent, you want to provide every possible service to your clients. But sometimes that’s just the problem. Don’t be tempted to provide a service that’s outside your expertise. You’re not an inspector, so don’t confuse your buyers by acting like one.
In reaction to increasing costs and pressure to reduce commission rates, some brokers have begun to charge transaction fees. Although several federal court decisions indicate such fees are legal, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development disagrees and may challenge your company if it adopts a commission-plus-flat-fee form of compensation.
The bills under consideration by some state legislatures around the country would protect new-home buyers from costly construction defects. Details of the bills vary, but their general aim is to give homebuyers protection above the construction warranties offered by builders.
Unquestionably, the disclosure du jour in residential real estate is mold. Toxic mold, as it’s been called, is an increasingly important issue for real estate professionals. To reduce liability, consider the following points.
The tax rate cuts and estate tax repeal President Bush signed in June are a complex puzzle; they become effective in different years, have various phase-in and phase-out rules, and, most surprisingly, are all repealed after 2010. Here’s a primer to help you make sense of the new tax law.
As a real estate professional, you work too hard to let commissions slip away due to faulty paperwork and easily avoided errors. Review your listing contracts to assure that you’ll be compensated for your efforts.
Increasingly, sellers are being required to inform buyers of material facts affecting the value or desirability of a property. However, buyers generally want to know about more than just those issues that rise to the level of “material.” Home inspections provide that additional insight.
Buyer’s agents have a fiduciary duty to search for all available properties--just as the listing agent has a duty to work with all potential buyers--unless the agency agreement says otherwise. Here are some tips to avoid breaching your fiduciary duty to buyers.
Referral fee payments to unlicensed individuals or entities can jeopardize your real estate license. Yet, it’s so easy to make referrals online that it may be equally easy to overlook the status of someone’s license.
We refer to them all the time, but what are real estate red flags, and what should we do when we identify them? Calling attention to red flags may make waves in a transaction, but it’s far better than overlooking them, which leaves your client or customer vulnerable and you open to liability.
Having a complaint filed against your license with your state’s regulatory body can be traumatic. Few licensees are familiar with the issues and procedures involved in responding to, and defending against, a license complaint. This article will explain how licensing authorities generally handle complaints and suggest how to respond effectively.
For well over a decade, NAR statistics have shown that the leading sources of litigation against real estate practitioners are lawsuits alleging either misrepresentation or failure to disclose a material fact. Most of these suits are brought by a homebuyer against the seller and all real estate practitioners involved in the transaction.
A stigmatized property puts you in the difficult position of wondering what facts, if any, you must disclose to prospective buyers. It’s important to understand, because failing to disclose a stigma or disclosing it improperly is a frequent claim in lawsuits against real estate licensees.
If you can remove, in advance, a buyer’s likelihood of misunderstanding or being misled by advertising language, you’ll reduce the likelihood of a post-close challenge. When working on a draft real estate ad, ask yourself, Could someone reasonably challenge any claim made in the text? Here are some tips to consider when reviewing your draft ad copy.
Don’t believe the myth that the Internet is as lawless as the Wild West. Government at all levels is watching what happens online and clearly believes it has the authority to regulate and punish misconduct. Likewise, courts have had no difficulty extending the long arm of the law into cyberspace.
When they involve property condition, surprises can mean liability for sellers and real estate salespeople. One way to avoid surprises--whether you represent the buyer or the seller—is to stress the importance of a home inspection. Then follow up with these additional risk-reduction steps.
The U.S. government and all 50 states now have enacted regulations to register convicted sex offenders. Although courts are just beginning to interpret the regulations, one thing has become clear: This area is a potential minefield for licensees.