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

 

 

 

 

                       

 

 

Continuing Education Classes for 2018

CE Classes in Orange Beach

            CE Classes in Orange Beach

CE Classes at the beach in 2018

Alabama License Law requires all licensees to renew their license prior to August 31 of the renewal year. Since licenses are renewed every other year, on even years, 2018 is our license renewal year.

Continuing Education (CE) Deadlines

Additionally, all licensees are required to complete a minimum of 15-hours continuing education between Oct. 1, 2016 and Sept. 30, 2018. If a licensee does not complete the continuing education requirements by Sept. 30, 2018, their license will automatically [Read more…]

Understanding Caveat Emptor

 Alabama is Different than most other States…. I can’t say for sure but based on my research, the only states that are still caveat emptor states are Virginia, Arkansas, and Alabama. When a person buys real estate in these three states, they need to fully understand it is their responsibility to make sure they know what they’re getting, that it’s in good condition and works properly. When the buyer does his due diligence to have the property inspected, their legal rights remain in place after closing should some latent structural defect appear. If a buyer elects not to have the proper inspection done, closes on the transaction and then a latent structural defect appears and the buyer sues for damages; numerous Supreme Court cases have ruled in favor of the seller and stated caveat emptor; the buyer is responsibility to inspect the property prior to purchase.

BUYER BEWARE

This is a topic I try to talk about in every class I teach because it is the most important and the least understood law. I intentionally try to scare real estate agents to get them to understand the importance of the law and the effects it has on people buying real estate in Alabama. Today I will tell you how to see the law as it is written, disclose the other states that have the same law, and explain the dangers and remedies associated with caveat emptor.

Caveat Emptor is the law in Alabama…..

The Alabama Supreme Court has held caveat emptor to be the law in a consistent line of cases. Everyone should be on notice that there is no warranty which comes with the sale of a used home.

Real estate agents were taught when completing their educational requirements to get their license that caveat emptor is a Latin [Read more…]

Meaningful Conversation for Alabama Realtors

Alabama Realtors--Warn Your Buyers

2012 is license renewal year for Realtors® in Alabama and each agent must complete 15 hours of Continuing Education which is required by the Alabama Real Estate Commission. I have been holding CE classes all across the state and have noticed so many agents experiencing difficulties with the delicate balance between our RECAD requirements and having a meaningful conversation when contacting a prospective buyer for the first time. Since I encourage classroom participation, I have heard some of the most experienced, most successful real estate role play their RECAD process. I am shocked at their omission of the most important information we can share. Omitting this type information could affect the financial wellbeing for someone buying real estate in Alabama. Sharing this type information would definitely qualify as having a meaningful conversation. I’m sure you have already figured out that I am referring to the fact that Alabama is a Caveat Emptor state. For those outside the boundaries of Alabama, I will explain the importance of this statutory law.

[Read more…]

Just Tell It Like It Is

Disclose RECAD & Caveat Emptor in first conversation

The most important fact

an Alabama real estate agent can share with prospective buyers and sellers of real property in Alabama is that Alabama laws are different than most other states. Especially those states adjacent to Alabama because industry standards tend to spread across state lines. Alabama is a “Caveat Emptor” state. This simply means “buyer beware!”  To be more precise, Alabama is a modified Caveat Emptor state; because it exempts “New Homes” from Caveat Emptor. New homes are warranted by the builder while secondary (pre-existing) or used homes are not warranted by anyone. The purpose of “Caveat Emptor” is to notify the buyer that it is his responsibility to have the proper inspections performed on a home before they actually close on the sale. The buyer is not to rely on the seller to disclose all imperfections of a property, when making a decision whether to buy or not to buy.

Due to influence of markets in other states, some brokerage firms require their seller to complete a “Sellers Disclosure” form at the point of listing. [Read more…]

This Is CE Year—What’s That?

This Is CE Year—What’s That?

CE is an acronym for Continuing Education. You choose the term you want to use for it but don’t forget about it. To a Realtor® CE is of most importance. In Alabama, every licensee that has an active license is required to take a minimum of 15-hour CE during a two year period prior to renewing their real estate license. I’ll explain it for it. In Alabama, real estate agents renew their license every even year; 2010, 2012, 2014, etc. The deadline for license renewal is September 30 every even year. For example; all agents must renew their license by midnight September 30, 2012. If they aren’t renewed, license will automatically be placed inactive by the Alabama Real Estate Commission. Therefore, every active licensee has to complete 15-hours of CE beginning October 1, 2010 and ending midnight September 30, 2012. If this deadline is not met, their license will automatically be placed inactive and can no longer participate in normal real estate practices until certain requirements are met. Do you now see how important CE is?

To confuse the issue just a little more, [Read more…]

“Caveat Emptor” Buyer Beware

Don't be afraid--Be aware

If you understand the title of this blog, chances are you are in a real estate related business. When buying real estate in Alabama the words “Caveat Emptor” is of utmost importance.  Let’s take a look at the meaning of the term and how it affects Alabama real estate buyers.

Caveat emptor (ˌkæviːɑːt ˈɛmptɔr) is Latin for “Let the buyer beware.”Generally, caveat emptor is the property law doctrine that controls the sale of real property after the date of closing. Under the doctrine of caveat emptor, the buyer could not recover from the seller for defects on the property that rendered the property unfit for ordinary purposes. The only exception was if the seller actively concealed latent defects or otherwise made material misrepresentations amounting to fraud.

Before statutory law, the buyer had no warranty of the quality of goods. In many jurisdictions now, the law requires that goods must be of “merchantable quality.” However, this implied warranty can be difficult to enforce and may not apply to all products. Hence, buyers are still advised to be cautious.

Not all states are Caveat Emptor states. [Read more…]

Creating A Business Plan (Part Three)

How's Your Business Plan Progressing

Today we will continue building our business plan by honestly evaluating our past work habits, personalities, and job performance during the last year so we can realize the things we need to improve upon in the coming year. For those reading this article that reside outside Alabama, please keep in mind that Alabama law differs from surrounding states because Alabama is a “Caveat Emptor” state which places responsibilities on the purchaser to research all aspects of a property before purchasing.  This article is written specific to Alabama even though most parts of the business plan will apply to anyone, regardless where you live and work.

When working with buyers or sellers in Alabama, it is mandated by Alabama License Law, and regulated by the Alabama Real Estate Commission , that upon initial contact with a prospective buyer or seller, the agent must disclose and explain the various possible agency relationships available through their agency. This is referred to as RECAD which is an acronym for Real Estate Consumers Agency and Disclosure Act. The law states this disclosure is to take place upon initial contact, as soon as reasonably possible, and before any confidential information is exchanged. [Read more…]

Classroom vs. Online Comparison

Typical Real Estate Class

IS THIS THE TYPE CLASS YOU LIKE?

Hardly a day goes by that I don’t get a phone call or an email concerning some type of Prelicense class. Alabama License Law requires anyone desiring to get license to sell real estate in Alabama, must take a 60-hour Sales Prelicense course. This course can be taken in a typical classroom setting or it may be taken via the internet; commonly referred to as an online class.

The question commonly asked is which one is the most effective. On the other hand some people will say, “I need to sit in a classroom to learn.” I truly understand their feelings. I like the camaraderie I have with other students. It gives me someone to talk to.  We are such creatures of habit. We don’t like getting out of our comfort zone. We are accustomed to a classroom and learning from the internet is a new concept for us. We don’t understand how it works nor what to expect. Think about this; if we never got out of our comfort zones, we’d never learn new things. [Read more…]

Misrepresentation by Real Estate Agents

The Law is the Law

Alabama real estate licensees are governed by the Alabama Real Estate Commission; which specifically enforces the Alabama License Law. Over the next few weeks I will cover various topics of the Alabama License Law where violations occur that ends by disciplinary action taken by the Commission. Today we are focusing on Section §34-27-36 (a) (2) of the Alabama License Law which states: “Engaging in misrepresentation or dishonest or fraudulent acts when selling, buying, trading, or renting real property of his or her own or of a spouse or child or parent.” You will quickly see that this violation is specific to a licensed real estate agent selling, buying trading or renting their own property or property that is owned by a close family member.

Section §34-27-2 (b) of the license law states, [Read more…]