Can a broker submit offers for two buyers?

(Flickr photo by orangesparrow)

If a broker is representing a buyer, that broker has a fiduciary duty to that buyer.

What if a broker has two buyers who want to make offers on the same property?  Is it possible to fulfill a fiduciary duty to each of them?

Based on a ruling by an Ohio appeals court earlier this year, maybe not.

The case Continue reading

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Who died and left you. . . the buyer?

Flickr photo by Shaheer Shahid

When it comes to purchasing a property in which someone died, good luck easily finding out that was the case. One reason for secrecy: Such a property generally takes longer to sell.

It doesn’t matter whether there even is a suspicion that someone perished from natural causes, accidental ones, murder or suicide, but state law protects brokers, owners and mere occupants from having to disclose that information.

Nor must they disclose Continue reading

The High Road: With disclosure doubts, don’t ask

(Flickr photo by Auntie P)

Have you heard this observation before?

If you have to ask, you already know the answer.

Naive sellers may ask their listing brokers whether a certain defect needs to be disclosed.  The most sophisticated sellers know better than to ask their agent: They appreciate that the law obligates brokers to disclose defects of which they are aware.

At the same time, New York State is among the most permissive in the nation when it comes to seller disclosures. Continue reading

The Big Apple: Schools, smoke, slides and more

If you can’t beat them, you don’t have to let bedbugs join you

Adam Greenberg, president of USBedBugs.com, one of the country’s largest online retailers of anti-bedbug gear, tells BrickUnderground.com that, in comparison with the rest of the nation, New Yorkers are “ahead of the curve” on knowing what to do about bedbugs.  Says he:

“Therefore, New Yorkers are both more hands-on in the products they buy for monitoring and treatment of bedbugs and also more proactive at purchasing prevention items like mattress encasements and travel protectors.”

Because almost everyone knows someone who has experienced bedbugs by now, they know the value of the prevention items, Greenberg explains.

Topping his list of 10 preventative items purchased are luggage and clothing encasements–that is, containers for containers.  For the other nine, visit BrickUnderground.

New Web site points to best public schools using your maximum price to purchase or rent

SchoolFisher.com is for New Yorkers “who want Continue reading

When in doubt, let it all hang out

The law minces no words.

When it comes to letting buyers know about a defect in a property that can materially affect its value, it is impossible for sellers to err in disclosing what they know.

And when it comes to working with a broker, the broker may not fail to disclose his or her relationship to buyer or seller. Nor may brokers hide any material defects of which they are aware.

With respect to sellers, they need to appreciate that defending themselves in court will far exceed the amount of money they think, probably erroneously, they will lose Continue reading