Social Networks

Which Network Do You Use?

Which Network Do You Use?

Social Networks seem to be a main topic of discussion anywhere two or more real estate agents are gathered. Almost everyone uses Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or one of the many networks in an attempt to find prospective clients. Can you really find clients on Social Networks? If so, which ones are best served for finding people that want to buy or sell real estate? [Read more…]

e-Signatures

Our job is to protect the consumer!

SAFE or UNSAFE?

Last week we had a Summit for the Distinguished Real Estate Instructors in St. Louis, Mo. In attendance were the most outstanding real estate educators across the county; from Florida to Canada, Maine to California and all states between. One of the topics discussed was judicial rulings and legal discussions concerning the legalities surrounding the use of e-signature programs. It appears that this is a much larger issue than I initially thought.

Since my mission is to educate, train and protect real estate agents while at the same time protecting the consumer’s best interest, I feel it necessary to make everyone aware that e-signatures are [Read more…]

A Day In Court Rated AAA+ by Realtors

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New CE Requirements

All licensees must complete Risk Management Avoiding Violations and either Risk Management for Salespersons or Risk Management for Brokers. All brokers must complete Risk Management Avoiding Violations and Risk Management for Brokers.

Since most people want to complete all their CE requirements at the same time, we have made that possible by offering all required courses on the same day.

We are very excited about the one-of-kind elective course “A Day In Court.” It promises to be fun, exciting, educational and one that will form memories for a lifetime.

Day One A Day In Court 9am-4pm 6 Hrs. CE Credits $60  
Day Two Risk Management…. Avoiding Violations 8am11pm 3 Hrs. CE Credits $30  
Day Two Risk Management for Salesperson 11am-3pm 3 Hrs. CE Credits $30  
Day Two Risk Management for Brokers 3pm-6pm 3 Hrs. CE Credits $30  

10 Minute Break Each Hour and One Hour Lunch Break Both Days

Special Note: Salespeople taking Risk Management for Brokers will help a salesperson realize the legal liabilities that are placed on the qualifying broker. Additionally, by taking three different Risk Management classes, the salesperson should be well prepared to limit their liabilities while protecting their clients best financial interests.

Class Dates

July 9-10 July 23-24 Aug. 6-7 Aug. 20-21 Sept. 3-4  Sept. 17-18

To register for these classes send an email to Jame@AlabamaRealEstateInstitute.com and give the name, date your cell phone number. You can pay and register the day of class.

NOTE: Make sure you bring your real estate license number to class because I can’t issue your CE credits without it.

 

Location: Class will be held at the Orange Beach Community Center, 27235 Canal Rd. 36561

For additional information call James Anderson (251) 979-2530. I look forward to seeing you in class.

Alabama Real Estate Institute–PO Box 2115, 416 E. Laruel Ave., Foley, Al. 36535

 

 

Insulating Against A Law Suit

Generally most of my posts are adaptable to sales in any industry. Today I am specifically addressing real estate sales. If someone practices real estate very long, they will face legal issues; especially if they sell a lot of real estate. There is a very simple explanation for it too. It’s impossible to please everyone, and especially, if you represent both the buyer and the seller. In this type situation the buyer feels like the seller took advantage of them, while the seller feels like the buyer took advantage of them. As a Realtor® who is wedged between both parties thinking the agent showed partiality to the other party in the transaction. To complicate matters worse, in a typical real estate sales transaction there are numerous entities that have specific requirements and guidelines that must be followed.

Managing Your Risks

Generally most of my posts are adaptable to sales in any industry. Today I am specifically addressing real estate sales. If someone practices real estate very long, they will face legal issues; especially if they sell a lot of real estate. There is a very simple explanation for it too. It’s impossible to please everyone, and especially, if you represent both the buyer and the seller. In this type situation the buyer feels like the seller took advantage of them, while the seller feels like the buyer took advantage of them. As a Realtor® who is wedged between both parties thinking the agent showed partiality to the other party in the transaction. To complicate matters worse, in a typical real estate sales transaction there are numerous entities that have specific requirements and guidelines that must be followed.

In most real estate sale transactions there are two separate agencies involved. 

More times than not one agency will have the listing and represent the seller while the other agency will represent the buyer. [Read more…]

What Consumers Need to Know When Buying Real Estate in Alabama

Don’t Be Afraid–Be Aware

Representation

First and foremost the consumer needs to know for sure that they have a qualified Realtor® to represent them whether they are buying or selling. Don’t take this relationship for granted; know for certain. Agency relationships that establish representation cannot be assumed or implied. They must be in writing. Let me explain a few reasons why the consumer needs to be represented by someone.

First, buying and selling real estate is very technical in the sense that certain processes must be completed and in a particular order. Buying and selling real estate is also very legalistic. Most real estate transactions close without any major complications either prior to, or after closing. It is the exceptions to that rule when the consumer finds out just how technical and legalistic real estate sales can be. After- market conflicts are seldom settled between buyers and sellers. Tempers flare, distrust and disbelief sets in, accusations are made toward everyone involved in the transaction. Finally law suits are filed to settle the dispute.

Law suits create a need for both parties to hire legal counsel. In preparation of the case it is determined that you the consumer, was not represented by the Realtor® that you worked with. At the time you began looking at homes you didn’t want to sign any type of contractual agreements. In this situation, according to Alabama law, the Realtor® was working as a Transaction Broker and was limited to the duties they could perform for you. A Transaction Broker is a licensee who assists one or more parties in a contemplated real estate transaction without being an agent or fiduciary or advocate for the interest of that party to a transaction. In order to have been represented in Alabama you would have had to sign a Single Agency Agreement with a brokerage firm. Remember, agency relationships can’t be assumed or implied. They must be in writing. After the fact is a bad time to learn that your best interest was not represented when you made the largest investment of a life-time.

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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…]

The Process for Buyers to Work with Real Estate Agents

Real Agents are for Your Protection

There’s a right and wrong way to do almost everything. Buying real estate is not difficult but it can be very costly if you don’t take the right steps. I would like to share this simple process in a way that you can understand it and hopefully realize the importance of each step.

Step one is to hire a Realtor® to represent your best financial interest.

Don’t let the word “hire” scare you. Hiring someone to represent you will seldom cost you anything because the seller pays a commission to the Realtor® to professionally market their property for them. This commission is generally divided between the listing agency and the selling agency unless both sides of the transaction are performed within the same agency. Therefore let’s eliminate the thought of you having to pay to have someone represent you.

Buyer’s need to be cautious [Read more…]

What Buyer’s Want and Need to Know

It's Alabama Law

It seems I’ve opened a can of worms already talking about the dangers a buyer of real estate in Alabama faces. You might want to review some of my previous blogs such as “Meaningful Conversations for Alabama Realtors,” or “Establishing Relationships,” or “Just Tell it like it is.”  In all these blogs I explained the importance of disclosing the fact that Alabama is a Caveat Emptor state which places all the responsibility for detecting possible deficiencies in a property prior to closing. All real estate practitioners know the meaning but many don’t seem to understand the impact it has on their clients.

For many years consumers who are buying real estate have asked the question, “Who represents us, and who represents the seller?”  The National Association of Realtors has surveyed thousands of buyers and sellers to determine their satisfaction with representation by a Realtor. By far, buyers are most dissatisfied because it seems everybody represents the seller and no one wants to represent the buyer. Representation can’t be mandated on the National level due to variances in state laws. Since my job is educating people about real estate, primarily in Alabama, and since I live and work in Alabama, this article will be specific to our state.

Alabama law requires….

[Read more…]

The Internet in Real Estate

Realtors Most Valuable Tool

I think we can all agree that the Internet has changed the way we do business. In fact it has changed the way everything works world-wide. This didn’t happen overnight. The migratory process in development of the Internet, as we know it today, has been over thirty years in the making. Today we see Internet use change almost daily. That is more advanced programs are offered daily to improve the way various programs work. There are no limits to the advancements that will come in the near future.

Many of us have procrastinated in learning how to successfully use the Internet to grow and sustain our business. The basic knowledge of so many people is limited to sending and receiving e-mails. Some people know far more about using social networks (Facebook, Twitter,Linkedin) than they have in using Internet based programs that will make their lives much better. The longer we wait to learn how to use the computer and the Internet, the harder it is to learn, because of the magnitude of things they offer.

[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…]