Disclosure forms not always needed for buyers

disclosureIt has taken a while, but most listing brokers now have agency disclosure forms available for homebuyers at open houses.

The forms spell out who is representing whom — namely that the listing broker has only the seller’s best interests in mind.  However, rare is the listing broker who complies with a statutory requirement to explain the form in more than a few words before buyers sign the thing.

What some brokers working for sellers apparently don’t understand is Continue reading

Listing broker has obligation not only to sellers

“honestly, fairly and in good faith”

It is pretty obvious that real estate agents and brokers who list properties for sale assume significant fiduciary duties to the owners under state law.

Those duties encompass obedience, loyalty, disclosure of information, confidentiality, accountability, and reasonable care, skill and diligence.

What may be less apparent to consumers is the obligation to treat everyone else acceptably under the law.  We real estate professionals must “deal honestly, fairly and in good faith with the buyer.”

Within that phrase lie a number of duties — for example, the following: Continue reading

State admits to limited policing of us brokers

(Flickr photo by Metropolitan Police)

Real estate brokers in the state number 52,855, nearly half them in New York City.

Number of complaints filed with New York’s Department of State last year: 952.

Those figures were reported by the Real Deal in a piece about how hard will be enforcement of new advertising rules.  (I reported on the changes previously.)

Given what most consumers think of real estate agents and the number of times that I alone have observed violations of state law, those numbers just don’t square with reality.

There’s a simple explanation. Continue reading

The High Road: Best and final offer is illusory

There is normally no magic involved in choosing a best and final offer. (Flickr photo by Emz.watson)

We are told early in the week that the listing broker already has two offers in hand.  All other offers are due by Friday at 5 p.m., she says.

Fair enough, but then she adds that best and final offers have a deadline of the following Monday at 5 p.m.

A double-deadline in advance is strange, indeed.  What usually happens is that a listing agent has several offers in hand, doesn’t see a clear winner and only then, in concert with the seller, asks for best and final offers.

That’s the typical procedure. Continue reading

Listing brokers actually must see board package

Requirements list on typical purchase application

Requirements list on typical purchase application

To paraphrase Lloyd Bentsen, when I make a mistake, it’s a doozy.  So it was with this post.  Please see correction below, now reflected in headline.

A broker friend of mine confided in me her anger at another broker.

It seems that the broker listing an apartment wasn’t happy with the board package.  My perfectionist friend, a highly successful broker of close to 30 years, had assembled the thing for her buyer and sent it to the other woman for review.

Without a comprehensively and competently presented package, as most consumers here know, the likelihood of a board’s accepting a prospective shareholder into the building is greatly reduced.

My friend, call her Emily, had painstakingly put together the thick packet, having Continue reading

Weekly Roundup: All-cash offers, reality dust-up, high annual sales growth, no-doc loans, Newtown resiliency, worst investments, housing ‘haze’

April transaction volume in Manhattan beats year earlier by 24 percent as supply finally starts to rise

Rent board preliminarily approves annual increase of at least 3.25 percent for one-year lease

Winning offers at even lower levels more likely than ever to be all cash

State passes overhaul Continue reading

Say good-bye to real estate VPs, SVPs and EVPs?

The New York Department of State says in a stunning opinion letter distributed Monday by the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) that many of us real estate salespersons and associate real estate brokers, including me, are violating the law.

Associate Attorney Whitney A. Clark states in the letter that those of us who adopt or receive corporate titles such as vice president on upward are in violation of the real property law if we are not actually officers of the corporation — for example, any incorporated brokerage.

In the one-and-a-half-page missive, which amounts to a bombshell, Clark declared: Continue reading