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

The High Road: Some lawyers shirk due diligence

Some lawyers work really hard, others take it easy. (Flickr photo by jcoterhals)

As in any profession, there are good apples and bad ones.

When it comes to real estate lawyers, the bad ones are more likely to be lazy than incompetent.

However, I have to say that the  challenge of practicing residential real estate law often is less demanding than, say, intellectual property or medical malpractice law.  (That’s not to say I don’t know some terrific real estate lawyers.)

My issue with the lazy lawyers whom I’ve encountered here in Manhattan is that they do not fully perform the due diligence required of them.  After all, they bear fiduciary duty to their clients, many of whom are committing to the biggest purchase of their lives.

What are some of the things that the lazy lawyers don’t do?

They don’t Continue reading

States: Real estate agents are somehow special

656' custom Gigayacht can be yours for only $499,555,000.

What is a real estate agent, after all, but a salesperson?

Those well-dressed folks behind the counters selling million-dollar bling at Tiffany’s are salespersons too.  So are the glad-handing folks bounding after consumers in automobile showrooms.  If I were to wander into a yacht brokerage, I imagine I would find a salesperson or two there as well.

But as my friend, lawyer and real estate broker Scott Forcino, observed during the last monthly dinner meeting of the Lucky Strikers Social Media Club, only real estate agents and brokers bear the burden of fiduciary responsibility to their customers and clients.

I never noticed Continue reading