State to tighten advertising rules for real estate

Few buyers and sellers of residential real estate believe everything in advertisements placed by brokers and agents.

Neither does New York’s Department of State (DOS), which is proposing to implement new rules as a consumer protection to replace its informal advertising guidelines.  In a notice about the change published on Oct. 24, it said:

After consulting with the New York State Board of Real Estate, however, it was determined that enforceable regulations were required in order to adequate protect the public from dishonest and misleading advertising practices.

Covered by the rule is Continue reading

The Big Apple: Citywide stats improve. . . a bit

VOWs prove useful to buyers searching for new homes

Brokerage firms are getting into the digital game themselves, creating a “virtual office Web site” or VOW.

These are sites operated by brokers that enable clients to search for most of the available properties in a particular market, not just the firm’s exclusive listings, according to the New York Times.

While brokers have mixed feelings about whether these sites are worth the investment, the emergence of the VOW is yet another sign that once tightly guarded listing information has finally been set free in New York.

Dollar value of citywide sales climbs from Q1 to Q2 as seasons change, but sales activity slips 4 percent below one year earlier

The total dollar value of New York City’s residential sales transactions jumped 13 percent in the second quarter of 2011 to Continue reading

The High Road: Broker allegedly breaches clients’ trust

Real estate brokers have a statutory obligation to keep client information confidential.  Failing to do so is a violation of New York Property Law and can lead to license forfeiture.

A broker with the commercial brokerage Grubb & Ellis was accused in a complaint to the state Division of Licensing Services this month with having acted “in an untrustworthy and incompetent manner by reason of his unauthorized disclosure of client information.”

After wrestling with myself, I have decided to withhold his name (though it is a matter of public record), so let’s call him Mason Leicester.

The 45-page complaint alleges that Leicester Continue reading