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








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


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…]

How Much Earnest Money Is Acceptable?

When is enough, enough?

When it comes to selling real estate there is no standard, acceptable amount of earnest money to accompany an offer. First let’s examine what earnest money is. Earnest money is also referred to as “good faith” money. In other words, it is a payment made by the buyer at the time an offer to purchase is written that demonstrates to the seller, they fully intend to close on the sale of the property. The buyer is saying, “I’m really interested and if I change my mind and decide not to close this transaction, for any reason other than certain contingencies specified within the purchase agreement, I understand I will forfeit my earnest money.” Earnest money, or good faith money, is held in escrow until closing, at which time is applied to the total purchase price.

In Alabama, an offer to purchase is not binding on either party (the buyer nor seller) until the offer has been accepted by the other party. For practical purposes let’s assume the buyer is making an offer to purchase. EXAMPLE; A potential buyer and their agent views a property listed for sale at $225,000. The buyers want to write an offer for $200,000. The agent representing the buyer asks them for $1,000 earnest money. Is this a sufficient amount?

[Read more…]