Perhaps It’s Time for Some RESPA Reminders

Recently, I was reminded that, lately, neither in this column nor in many of the usual places had there been much discussion of the need for real estate agents to be observant of activities that fall under the scope of the Real Estate Settlement and Procedures Act (RESPA). It was a good reminder. There has…

Don’t Let Winter Freeze Your Assets

Is winter the “off season” for your real estate plans? PJ Wade explains why waiting for the spring market may be the more expensive thing to do. Real estate may be the furthest thing from your mind at this time of year, but keep three key real estate realities uppermost in your thinking, or 2019 could be an…

What Do You Own When You Own an Own-Your-Own?

Both real estate licensees and members of the general public are liable to think of all forms of common interest subdivisions as being condominiums. For the most part, this is a common and harmless mistake. On occasion, though, it may turn out that the differences among these types of ownership is quite important. California law,…

Lessons Are More Important Than Skills

I started in real estate as the project manager for a large condominium community in Florida. I had no real estate experience. No real estate license. On my first day I went to my sales manager and asked him what I had to learn to be successful in real estate. His name was Chet Vanscoy…

Some Referral Fees Are Ok, but Caution Is Called for

Last week we discussed the Real Estate Settlement and Procedures Act (RESPA). It is almost inevitable that such a discussion will call for further discussion regarding the payment of referral fees. More than a few real estate agents are confused about the laws governing referral fees. Some don’t even know that there are any laws…

2018 NAR Profile Can Help Agents to Find Buyers and Sellers

We have noted that the 2018 National Association of Realtors® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers contains valuable information for sellers and their agents as to how buyers find the homes that they ultimately buy. The profile also contains valuable and interesting information as to how both buyers and sellers find the agents that they ultimately…

The Best Mobile Plans for Real Estate Agents

As a real estate agent, you’re always on the go, and it’s important that your clients can reach you wherever you may be. If your old mobile plan just doesn’t cut it anymore, how can you find the perfect plan for your business? From by-the-gig and unlimited plans, to utilizing WiFi hotspots, we’ll cover all…

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…