CORONAVIRUS STAT REPORT: Supply is extremely low. Demand is above normal. We’re still in a full-blown seller’s market. I’m not expecting any surprises when the March closing numbers are reported. Tom Ruff
CASE STUDY: LOVE LETTERS, DON’T USE THEM! 11/5/2020: Teamxglassman
QUESTION: Good morning. There has been some talk about cover letters attached to offers to purchase may be a Fair Housing violation with the risk of a $16K fine. For many years I have used cover letters and photos of my clients to strengthen their offer.I certainly do not point out their color, race, sexual orientation but the seller would be able to figure that information out based on names, buyer info and photo.
How can I continue to do cover letters and position my buyer’s offers and not violate fair housing? Or, is this really a non-issue of which I shouldn’t be concerned.
ANSWER: Hi X, (New 2/15/2021)
Following is a screenshot from NAR, "Hot Topics in Broker Risk Reduction" which you can also find at the following link:
This comes up from time to time and in an effort to reduce liability for both agents and HomeSmart by managing and reducing risk, our position mirrors that of NAR, that agents should refrain from using cover letters, photosor any other type of media including videos.
As innocent as they may seem, so many things can be interpreted in a negative way or imply that someone acted in some way due to some component of fair housing. It can be a "slippery slope" and we don't want our agents to be caught up in anything that can be interpreted as a fair housing violation based on a protected characteristic. Please feel free to reach out if you would like to discuss further. Take care,
SMART REFERRAL NETWORK, SRN: I am relocating to Australia, but would like to keep my license active if possible. My license is valid until April 2022. Am I required to keep at active membership with SAAR? What are the minimum requirements for me to remain an active HomeSmart agent?
HomeSmarts requirement to remain active is that you must be a member of one of the local associations (PAR, SAAR or WeSERV). You can however waive your MLS membership, ARMLS has a waiver form for that. Plus your HomeSmart $25 monthly fee.
You might consider moving your license to our sister company Smart Referral Network. With that you don't have to be a member of an association or ARMLS, as a matter of fact SRN agents are not allowed to be a member of an assoc or ARMLS and can only send referrals, writing contracts is not allowed. The fee for SRN is $25 month paid quarterly. The referral split is 80% for agents, 20% to SRN. Not a bad option to keep your license active.
There is an FAQ section in RSA that goes into more detail about the Smart Referral Network if you want to investigate further.
We can't prohibit a buyer from instructing the SA to include a cover letter with their offer, but we can advise the SA via private remarks that due to fair housing concerns or due to the seller's instructions (page 6, ER) we are unable to include the cover when present the offer to the Seller.
Additional Compensation when representing a buyer on a
Use additional compensation agreement in zipForms or Transaction Desk.
Q: Good morning. I just had a call with my buffini group. One of the agents had a buyer contribute $2500 towards the seller’s closing costs and agree to use the seller’s title company. This agent was told that it could be a RESPA violation for the $2500 to go towards the ALTA policy b/c the buyer is using the seller’s title company. If the buyer used his own title company it would not be a RESPA violation.
A: Buyer to Seller concessions used to be pretty rare, but in this market we are seeing that occur more often. The parties are allowed to negotiate the title co and also allowed to negotiate concessions. In this case, the buyer would still pay their own lender policy, not sure why that would be a RESPA issue...? QQ: The issue is not the buyer paying their own lender policy, it is an issue of the seller using the buyer’s concession to them to pay their ALTA policy. AA: It is a complex argument,I will forward this to our D.B. Rich to get his thoughts. AAA: It is not a RESPA violation. As long as Buyer and Seller agree to use the same company, no violation.The Seller is agreeing to use the company because they are receiving a closing cost consideration. That is not a violation.
1031 Scenario: Is the aar pc assignable? Looking for guidance on a 1031 excahnge. Thx Hi X, Yes the AAR Residential Purchase Contract is generally assignable unless there is a provision added to the contract that would expressly prohibit an assignment. I have attached the Quick Guide for 1031 Exchanges which you can find on RSA in the downloads link that reviews 1031 exchanges in detail. The screenshot (below) is from page 2 of the Quick Guide and as you can see a 1031 exchange contract must be assignable in order for the 1031 to be viable. If the purchase contract prohibits an assignment, the exchange cannot be completed. Please review the Quick Guide and as always please feel free to reach out if you would like to discuss further. I have also attached a couple of assignment articles from the AAR Legal Hotline for your use and review.
AGENT AS FLIPPLER: STUFF STUFF STUFF STUFF
You will need to make multiple disclosures...
Here are just a few examples of language that must be included in your disclosure if you intend to buy and/or flip the property, and seller must acknowledge receipt of this information in writing:
1)“Buyer(Agent) intends to acquire legal, equitable title in order to Sell at a Profit.”
2 ) "Buyer intends to acquire property at less than fair market value." (If below market value).
3) “Seller agrees to allow (BUYER) to advertise the property and enter into a resale agreement during the escrow period. (NOTE: If you cannot find an end buyer to wholesale it to, are your intentions to complete the purchase?)”
4) "Seller acknowledges that (BUYER) holds an active Arizona real estate license and intends to represent her/himself in this transaction.”
5) "Seller acknowledges and Agrees that he/she has been advised to seek out their own exclusive representation along with a Brokers Price Opinion (BPO) from a separate, independent outside brokerage.”
6) "Seller acknowledges that they have been advised to seek outside legal, tax or other professional advice regarding this transaction as required.”
This would also then become an owner agent transaction and will require the HomeSmart Owner/Agent addendum along with the assignment agreement. The buyer will have their own representation or be unrepresented and sign the declination of representation form.
Please feel free to reach out if you would like to discuss further. Jeff.
ADDENDUMSDIPSHIT ADDENDUMS ADDENDUMS
FYI - Line 38 is where a Buyer's Agent will list any "Addendums" to the contract. This is not a place to list "Disclosures or Advisories". Please do not list the Agency Disclosure and Election, Consent to Limited Dual Representation, Affiliated Business Disclosure, Wire Fraud Advisory, SPDS, Market Conditions Advisory or Buyer Broker Agreement on line 38 of the Purchase Contract. They are NOT "Addendums". Thank you.
WHINEYASSBITCH I WANT TO RESIGN BECAUSE I’M A PUSSY
You need to document everything that is occurring in the transaction, what the parties are doing, what you are advising them to do, timelines, dates, etc. At the end of the day if the parties are making outside agreements between themselves, you can't really stop that but you should be protected as long as you can show they are acting against your advice and guidance.
Title can also assist with guidance and paperwork requirements, you should also enlist them to assist with keeping the transaction moving in the right direction. You can send title the filled out post occupancy agreement and ask them to have all parties sign when they are at closing. Any other documents send to title as well.
My Dear Friends, Clients and Colleagues,"Every success story is a tale of constant adaption, revision and change" Richard Branson