October 14th, 2019 at 11:45 am

Background: Last week’s Legal Tip addressed a listing agent’s compensation when the buyer or tenant is not represented by any agent. Let’s say, for example, a listing agent under a C.A.R. listing agreement is entitled to get a 6% commission to be split 50-50 with a buyer’s agent or tenant’s agent. However, as it turns out, the buyer or tenant does not have nor want any agent representation. In that situation, the listing agent would not be obligated to represent the buyer or tenant, and yet still be entitled to receive the entire 6% commission, because that is what the contract says. Here are some follow-up questions:

Question #1: Does it make a difference if the buyer or tenant is a real estate licensee?  (more…)

October 7th, 2019 at 7:09 pm

Question: I am the listing agent for a lease. Our compensation is 6% of the total rent for the lease term to be split 50-50 with a tenant’s agent. As it turns out, we are now putting together a lease where the tenant is representing himself. There is no tenant’s agent. What is our compensation under these circumstances?  (more…)

September 30th, 2019 at 11:20 am

Last week, a man was arrested in Encino for allegedly attacking a real estate agent who was hosting an Open House. The man apparently shoved the agent to the ground and then groped her. The incident was caught on security video. Authorities said that 4 other women, including another real estate agent, have come forward accusing the same man of assault.

These incidents are a good reminder for real estate agents to be careful when holding Open Houses and engaging in other activities. Here are 10 Open House safety tips to consider:  (more…)

September 23rd, 2019 at 12:00 am

Question: Let’s say that a seller and buyer decide together that, instead of $1 million for the home, the purchase price will be only $800,000. The seller will also sell the seller’s furnishings to the buyer for $200,000 outside of escrow. The furnishings appear to be worth about $10,000. No broker is involved with this arrangement. Will the County Tax Assessor assess the property for $800,000 for purposes of calculating the buyer’s property taxes? (more…)

September 16th, 2019 at 2:24 pm

Multiple Choice Question: Last week you discussed how a seller of a property with one-to-four residential units is required to do a Transfer Disclosure Statement (TDS), even if the property is non-owner occupied. My question involves the reverse situation. What if a seller is a trustee of a trust who is TDS-exempt (i.e., a trustee of a revocable trust who has not personally owned or lived in the property within the last year)? Oftentimes, the trustee lived in the property over a year ago or participated with repairs or other issues with the house. Is the trustee still required to disclose known material facts affecting the value or desirability of the property? Pick the best answer:

A. Yes, use the Transfer Disclosure Statement (TDS).
B. Yes, use the Exempt Seller Disclosure (ESD).
C. No.
D. It depends.  (more…)

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