Many “Clean Up” Changes to Real Estate Laws

Recently, the Legal Department of the California Association of Realtors® (CAR) released a memorandum informing members of changes to a variety of laws that affect real estate transactions in California. These changes were the result of so-called “clean-up legislation” that was sponsored by CAR. They were contained in two bills – AB1289 and AB2884. They…

Earning Client Trust: The 3 Rs of Respect

Things that matter often happen quickly in real estate. To succeed and to help clients succeed, real estate professionals must earn trust from first contact with prospective clients. Professionals must also sustain trust with clients through often stressful, quick-response decision making and, occasionally, when things do not work out as hoped. A buyer or seller benefits…

Did My Offer Get Presented?

One of the crazy-making moments in the world of real estate occurs when this happens: The buyer’s agent submits a written offer to the listing agent; and, then, after the time that was allotted for a response has expired, there is no response. No acceptance, no counter-offer, no rejection, nothing. There is no word from…

The Race to Build Canada’s Best Real Estate Website

A seven-year legal battle about what data can be displayed on real estate agents’ websites has concluded. Now everyone from Zillow to your local sales rep is racing to create the listing site that will attract the most potential buyers. The race to build the best real estate listing website in Canada is now entering…

New and Revised California Forms are in the Works

The Standard Forms Advisory Committee of the California Association of Realtors® (CAR) releases new and revised forms twice a year. (It is a never-ending process.) The next scheduled release will be in December of this year. What interested and involved agents ought to know is that (a) drafts of the new forms are currently available…

Has Your Marketing Content Become Stale?

How do you ensure your marketing content remains fresh, on-point, andstrategic to attract target prospects and clients, buyers or sellers? Does your marketing receive regular complete overhauls? Or, do timepressures only allow for the periodic makeover of one or two contentsections? On the other hand, you may simply rearrange existing contentwith little more than headline…

“Cite and Fine” Policy is at Work in California

A recent forum of the Orange County [California] Association of Realtors® focused on enforcement actions by the California Department of Real Estate (DRE). Chief among the topics was the department’s “cite and fine” policy. The presenter, Ms. Summer Goralik, is a former DRE investigator who now acts as a consultant to brokers on matters relating…

Making Ethics Important

In last week’s column we emphasized the distinction between ethics as a body of rules and principles and being ethical as a disposition to conform to those rules and principles. We noted that it is certainly possible to teach someone ethics, but it is a different task to lead someone to be ethical — to…

Ethics Can Be Taught, But That’s Not All There Is To It

The current issue of California Real Estate, official magazine of the California Association of REALTORS® (CAR), contains a transcript of an interesting panel discussion titled, “Best Practices, Pet Peeves, and Challenges.” “Moderated by C.A.R. CEO Joel Singer, the panelists exchanged ideas about the market and shared their best practices as well as the pet peeves…

REALTOR Duty To Cooperate Is A Narrow One

Real estate professionals who are members of the National Association of REALTORS® are, for the most part, rightfully proud of NAR’s Code of Ethics. They have all agreed to abide by it, and when a fellow Realtor® appears to be acting contrary to the Code, most react with consternation. Article 3 of the Code enjoins…

Code Of Ethics: It’s Not The Boy Scout Oath

Some years ago, I participated in a meeting of NAR (National Association of REALTORS®) directors from our state. To put it mildly, we — a sizeable group — were being admonished with respect to what had become a common problem. That is, too many directors were guilty of leaving meetings early, having made travel arrangements…