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…]

Internet is Hurting the Buying Public

Our job is to protect the consumer!

Our job is to protect the consumer!

I’m sure a lot of people will disagree with my topic statement. Hopefully you’ll take time to read it and then I think you’ll agree with me; at least in part. According to the National Association of Realtors most recent studies, close to 95% of real estate buyers search the Internet to find property for sale. In some cases, by doing so, buyers are more familiar with what’s on the market then the agent at the time the buyer contacts the agent. In some cases the buyer tries to buy a property directly from the seller, rather than using the services of a real estate agent, and this is potentially harmful to the buyer. For anyone buying real estate in Alabama, Arkansas and Virginia, it is especially dangerous because of Caveat Emptor. State laws, in these states, place all the responsibility on a buyer could cost the buyer a lot, financially, after the sale has closed. Without talking with an agent in those states, the buyer would never know about the laws that could affect them and it could cause them to have no legal recourse should a serious issue arise. [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…]

Quadrennial Code of Ethics

The National Association of Realtors was formed in 1908. And then in 1913, established the Professional Standards for Conduct. These are standard we refer to as the Code of Ethics. The National Association of Realtors requires all its members to take a special, updated version of the Code of Ethics every four years. These same standards were later the basis for many state laws which govern the representation of consumers as it relates to buying and selling real estate. NAR membership is comprised of state and county boards that cover the entire United States; which is the largest professional association in America.

Most state laws require [Read more…]