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.
Many Internet lenders are offering real estate brokers and salespeople alluring opportunities to earn money by helping homebuyers select and obtain a loan. When legal, these alliances offer legitimate new revenue opportunities. But brokers should be wary of online lenders that offer large fees for little or no work.
It usually comes as a surprise when our words or actions are interpreted other than how we intended. But regardless of what we intend, how we’re interpreted can mean everything in an antitrust investigation.
The success or failure of a real estate transaction often rests on the language of the sales contract. A well-structured contract can expedite a closing and leave everyone happy. A poorly written contract can land you in court.
In a hot market it’s not unusual for several prospective buyers to compete for the same property. How should listing brokers handle multiple offer situations? And what, if any, duty exists on the part of the listing broker to "shop" offers to ensure that sellers receive the highest possible price for their property?
Recent court decisions have expanded employer liability for the actions of supervisors. Brokers can also be held liable when an employee is harassed by a coworker or a nonemployee, such as a salesperson working as an independent contractor. Fortunately, brokers can limit their liability by taking precautions to prevent or correct incidents of sexual harassment long before any suit is filed.