Top 10 Current Market Issues

1.    Everything you say in marketing materials can be used against you.  Be careful to balance your marketing interests with your risk avoidance interests.  Always have your client sign off on any marketing materials.

2.    With proper planning and implementation, you can provide the prompt delivery of a thoroughly completed Transfer Disclosure Statement, Sellers Property Questionnaire and Agents Visual Inspection Disclosure to increase the chances of a successful and claim-free transaction.

3.    The Disclosure Documents are for identification of defects, not diagnosis.  Leave the diagnosis to the appropriate experts.  Be careful with respect to which experts are utilized.

4.    If it is not in writing, it did not happen.....unless it can hurt you.  Put everything in writing.  Maintain thorough records including chronological logs.  When possible, do so electronically so you can maintain indefinitely without storage concerns.  For most purposes, electronic files are now deemed the same as paper files.

5.    “As is” does not relieve the duty to disclose.  Also, recognize the expressed “good faith” obligation in the Purchase Agreement.

6.    The role of the bank in REO’s and Short Sales.  They are a party and need to be treated as such.  Be careful about duties, expectations and assigned responsibilities.

7.    Be careful about multiple offers, fair opportunities to all parties, “insider dealing,” and anything else which may be raised by frustrated buyers, unhappy sellers and other brokers.

8.    Be careful with: a) overzealous buyers: non-contingent offers, unreasonable offers, over-encumbered and b) uncommitted and/or investment sellers.

9.    The Department of Real Estate:  Changing to Department of Consumer Affairs and they are actively auditing.

10.     Always discuss actual and/or potential claims with management and the company’s attorney.  Many things occur from the inception of the claim which can create adverse effects on you later in the litigation process.  In addition, be aware of the reporting obligations imposed by your insurance carrier.

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