Loyalty; A Fiduciary Responsibility

Real estate agents from across the country prompted me to write this article. If we step back in time 50-60 years, people

were loyal to each other. They were loyal to the people they did business with. The giving and receiving of loyalty was expected. It was almost like an unwritten law of conduct. In many cases, deals were made with a handshake. No written contract was required. What happened to it?

Then came prosperity

[Read more…]

Special Town Hall Meeting

June 13, 2017 9-11 am

Orange Beach Community Center
Orange Beach, Al. 36561

What do we really know?

Knowing the letter of the law is not anyone’s favorite part of selling real estate, but it is arguably one of the most important parts of our job. Though we all work and act in ways that we believe to be appropriate and within the legal guidelines, too often agents are unknowingly breaking laws.

Creatures of habit

We are creatures of habit. We do things a certain way because that’s the way we have always done it. We may not even know why we do things a certain way but we certainly don’t want to change. To change would get us out of our comfort zone.

A Town Hall style meeting

Alabama Real Estate Institute is always trying to provide the best quality information available. We strive to stay abreast of the most current laws affecting the real estate industry and then we pass that knowledge on to our students. This is the reason we decided to have this “town hall” style meeting. Politicians use this type venue to get their message out and to gain support. So I decided to try it.

Attorney General speaks out

The main speaker for our meeting is Mr. Chris Booth. He is an Attorney General, appointed by the Governor of Alabama. He is also the senior counsel for the Alabama Real Estate Commission. I view him as the person that will prosecute us if we violate the state licensing law, and he is the one that will defend us when we’re in the right. Therefore, when he speaks, we should listen. During this meeting we will learn things that are not printed in articles.

Some of the topics discussed

Topics that will be covered in this town hall meeting are listed below; plus questions that you may want answers to.

  • Complaints received by the legal department of the real estate commission
  • What cost should be included in an estimated closing statement
  • Recovery fund verses E & O Insurance
  • Disclosure of caveat emptor and agency at initial contact
  • Power of Code of Ethics compared to the law
  • Property management issues and agent rentals
  • Disclosure of earnest money not collected
  • Real estate signs on non-listed property
  • RECAD and estimated closing statements as they relate to commercial property
  • Receipt of commissions bypassing the broker
  • Concessions and compensation as an inducement to purchase

It cost nothing for you to attend with the exception of your time. Breakfast type food will be provided at not cost to you. We do, however, ask that you RSVP me so I can save you a seat and make sure we have something for you to eat.

Please make sure you thank these sponsors for helping make this meeting possible.

Anchor Title and Excrow

Gold Star Realty

ACOPIA Home Loans

 

 

 

 

                       

 

 

Getting the Most from Mold Remediation

 

 Controlling Moisture   Fix leaks.  Under sinks, in air conditioning condensate lines, ice machines.   Make sure windows and doors close tightly and don’t leak damp air inside We have seen big mold problems develop in locations where the outside damp air was pulled into the structure for a week because a sliding glass door or window was not completely closed.   Quickly (24-48 hours or less) get moving on correcting water damages caused by water intrusions from the above leaks. Associations need to have the ability to begin mitigating water damages in a condo because they often affect others in the same building.   Keep it dry,  Make sure the air conditioning system is working correctly and RUNS.  Remember mold can grow at 60% relative humidity and around here that’s most of the year.  In beach front condos your unit is  insulated by your neighbors condos and how hot or cold they keep their unit can have and effect on yours, and whether your thermostat ever senses it’s hot enough to turn on the unit and cool and dehumidify the condo

Can’t be seen with the necked eye

Since we are located in a coastal area, moisture and mold is a real problem. I asked a friend of mine, Michael Conroy with “Expert Dry” for the rights to publish the article below. I think you will find it most interesting and helpful.

 

Getting the most out of mold remediation is like telling someone how to enjoy a root canal.  Professionals should do both processes, as painlessly and efficiently as possible and at a fair price but who wants to go there anyway?

Rather than first discuss the blissful benefits of mold remediation lets discuss how to avoid them if possible first.

Mold Needs Moisture, proper temperature and a food source to grow and develop.

Of these three above requirements we can only really control one

1.All of the built structures are constructed of organic materials.  Wood, natural fabrics, drywall,  particle board and even the “bio-film” that sticks to concrete and glass or tile are mold food. [Read more…]

Requirements For and How to Get Alabama Real Estate License

IN THE COMFORT OF HOME

IN THE COMFORT OF HOME

I have been asked to simplify the licensing requirements and explain the process so I will give you a bullet point explanation of the basic requirements. For a complete list of all the requirements, contact me or refer to the Alabama License Law.

  • A person must be 19 years of age.
  • A citizen of the United States or have documentation from the federal government establishing a permanent resident status.
  • A resident of the State of Alabama or agree to other provisions; which can be explained upon request.
  • Must not have been convicted of or pleaded guilty or nolo contendere to a felony or a crime involving moral turpitude. Note: Criminal records are checked.
  • Must be a high school graduate or the equivalent.
  • Must complete a 60-Hour Salesperson Prelicense Course (your choice of online or classroom) prior to making application for a temporary license.

Next is the process for completing the requirements that are controlled by state law. I will address the educational requirements from the point of view that benefits our school which is Alabama Real Estate Institute so put www.AlabamaRealEstateInstitute.com into your browser so you can quickly follow my directions. [Read more…]

What You Need to Know About Molds

Which Molds are Good Molds?

As discussed in my last post, mold is one of the nationally accepted and notable concerns affecting human health and safety issues as related to buying or selling real estate. Not all molds are bad so I told you I would discuss it in more detail. I have researched a lot of material and time will not permit me to disclose every source. The following information is published by the EPA and will help up draw a better conclusion about molds.

Introduction to Molds

Molds produce tiny spores to reproduce. Mold spores waft through the indoor and outdoor air continually. When mold spores land on a damp spot indoors, they may begin growing and digesting whatever they are growing on in order to survive. There are molds that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, and foods. When excessive moisture or water accumulates indoors, mold growth will often occur, particularly if the moisture problem remains undiscovered or un-addressed. There is no practical way to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment; the way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture.

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Proven Health & Safety Issues

Pay Attention to Warnings

When buying real estate, health and safety issues are a major concern. Under Agency law that exists in Alabama, many agents prefer working with buyers of real estate as a Transaction Broker rather than a Single Agent in an attempt to lessen their liability. Without realizing it, they are actually increasing their liability but that’s a discussion for another day. In Alabama, the seller is not forced by law to disclose information to a potential buyer unless Health and Safety issues exist and then federal law trumps in and mandates all Health and Safety issues must be disclosed to any potential buyer. You can easily see how agents might quickly justify disclosing a particular issue claiming it to deal with one’s health or safety. Some of those claims will not hold up in a court of law and that could bring on additional problems for the agent and for the consumer.

Today I want to discuss some of the health and safety issues that have been confirmed and are accepted nationally as health and safety issues. Due to the difficulty of the rule-making process (which is governed by the Administrative Procedure Act), OSHA has focused on basic mechanical and chemical hazards rather than procedures. Major areas which its standards currently cover are: Toxic substances, harmful physical agents, electrical hazards, fall hazards, hazards associated with trenches and digging, hazardous waste, infectious disease, fire and explosion dangers, dangerous atmospheres, machine hazards, and confined spaces. Let’s look at them individually and define them so we can understand what they are.

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Pros & Cons of Seller Disclosures

Which Way Are You Leaning?

Buying a new house is probably the largest investment most people make during their lifetime. Naturally they want to make sure they do everything correctly to ensure a quality and profitable, financial investment. Questions begin dancing around in their head.  How can I do that? Who can I trust to help me? I can contact a Realtor® but how can they help me? What do they know about this house? I’ve got it. I need to talk to the owner because he knows more about this property than anyone. Hum mm, I wonder if the owner will tell me the truth or will they lie to me? If the shoe was on my foot, would I be totally honest and tell a prospective buyer every little thing that’s wrong with my house? I’m a good person and I’m honest but I want to sell this house and if I tell them every little bad thing I know, they might not buy it. Common sense tells me that I need to get some advice from someone who has the proper training; who has been educated in handling such matters. I need a professional I need to call a Realtor®.

Realtors Are Best Qualified To Represent You

That is a very smart buyer, isn’t it? Real estate agents have to go to school to learn their trade. It is required by state law. They must learn state and federal laws governing the sale of real estate nationally. They also learn state and federal laws protecting consumer rights, environmental issues, prohibition of Americans with disabilities, and discrimination of all peoples rights. They have been schooled in establishing market values, material and labor cost, insurance related issues, obtaining financing from lenders, as well as learning basic knowledge in all fields of the real estate industry. After they have completed the required levels of education, they are tested and licensed by the state in which they live and work. [Read more…]

Caveat Emptor….An Actual Case

Caveat Emptor–Respect and Embrace it

I have spent a great deal of time teaching and lecturing regarding Alabama being a Caveat Emptor state. Buying real estate in Alabama is different from most all other states. It is not a law that should be feared but respected. Caveat Emptor should be embraced because it gives advance notice to buyers what they must do to provide future legal recourse. Not everyone is aware of the law until they learn of its affects; sadly too late to take precautionary measures. Below is a reprinted copy of an email that was directed to me for which I sought and received permission to share with my followers. The names have been omitted as requested by the consumer.

Consumer’s situation stated

 Mr.Anderson:

My name is Could BE Anybody and I write to you from Huntsville. I work at a law firm as a civil litigation paralegal (doing primarily municipal defense work) but this message is personal and has nothing to do with my job. I’m using this account to avoid a spam filter.

My husband and I had a crisis of sorts over the weekend which led me to your articles and I just wanted to say thank you not only for writing them but for writing them to be of dual benefit to realtors and buyers.  The short version is that we were interested in a house in Any City, Al. (Any County), [Read more…]

What Consumer’s Need To Know

Questions Need Answering

This information is specific to what consumer’s need to know when buying or selling real estate in Alabama. Even more specifically, what consumers need to know when working with a real estate broker? Especially since Alabama is a Caveat Emptor state which places total responsibility on the buyer to do their due diligence in inspecting every aspect involved with a property prior to closing on a sale.

For years the seller has known who represents him when selling real estate but who represents the buyer? Who looks out for the buyers best financial interests? Some agents think the liability is too great when representing a buyer, largely due to the Caveat Emptor law; therefore they want to assist the buyer as a transaction broker to limit their liability. That being the case, many times, the poor buyer is left to fend for themselves without being told what they need to do prior to closing so they can protect their legal recourse options. The State of Alabama understands the precarious situation the buyer  is in when buying in Alabama so they provide

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CLIENTS FOR LIFE

How Are Your Communication Skills

It sounds too good to be true doesn’t it? You can actually have clients that will stay with you for the rest of their life. Not only will they stay with you but they’ll also send you referrals. I will share with you six easy steps that will ensure that happens for you.

Step One

Have a sit-down consultation with them. I often refer to this as a meaningful conversation. Some people might call this a “Come to Jesus” meeting. Regardless what you call it, you need to converse with your prospect in such a way that the prospect understands that your main interest is in them and their best financial interests rather than your main interest being in selling them a property.

The best way to accomplish this is to explain to them that since you don’t know anything about them, or they you, that you would like to put the transaction aside for a moment to allow you to get to know each other. Direct your questions about them personally. These are people that you want to establish a relationship with and hopefully will become your best friends. Find out such things like

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