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Working Outside Your Area of Expertise Could Result in Legal Exposure If you’re skilled in one area of real estate, you may think you’ll automatically excel in other types of property transactions too. But the truth is that different real estate dealings come with different regulations, and if you aren’t an expert in the type of transaction you’re conducting, you may end up in legal jeopardy. Here’s a real-world scenario where an agent well-versed in residential sales decided to venture into commercial sales and ended up being sued. SITUATION A real estate agent with a successful background in residential sales received a request from ...
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Identifying Proper Parties to Avoid Forgery Throughout your career, you may be involved in transactions on properties that have more than one owner. Though it may be easier to deal with only one person, it’s imperative to make sure everyone with a legal stake in the property is included in the negotiations. Here’s a real-world scenario where working with only one of two owners on a property sale resulted in a lawsuit. SITUATION A real estate broker listed a commercial property on behalf of its owner, who planned to relocate his manufacturing business across town to accommodate future growth.  Several months passed before a buyer emerged and ...
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Missouri REALTORS ® , Today is the effective date of all legislation enacted without a specific effective date. That said, "The REALTORS ® Immunity Bill" (SB 36) amended Chapter 339 to provide protections to licensees dealing with issues of area or square footage. A copy of the relevant portions of the bill can be found below. In addition, an amendment to Chapter 442, Titles and Conveyance of Real Estate, has been included. That verbiage is also shown below. It is important to remember that in order to gain the protection of this act, you must have obtained the information on the area or square footage from a third party, and you must disclose the information ...
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How Proper Documentation Can Help You Avoid Claims of Negligence and Misrepresentation Maintaining a written record of your work is an integral way to protect yourself form litigation. If a claim is ever filed against you, proper documentation can help clear you of any wrongdoing. Unfortunately, not all real estate agents are in the habit of creating a thorough papertrail. Here’s a real-world scenario where failure to obtain written approval resulted in a lawsuit.   SITUATION A real estate agent entered into an exclusive listing agreement with a builder of custom homes to market a thirty-lot subdivision. As part of his responsibilities, ...
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Missouri REALTORS®, As your CEO, nothing has made me more proud than the relief we have been able to provide families throughout Missouri over the past two months. And, as you may be aware, we have had a Missouri REALTORS ® Relief Foundation for many years which has allowed us to do so. This fund is specifically there to help REALTORS® in our state who have suffered from man-made or natural disaster to their home or office; the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Relief Foundation (RRF), however, is a 501 (c)(3) that was created to help the public. After the May 22 tornadoes ripped through Missouri, and the flooding that has plagued our state ...
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Missouri REALTORS®, I attended the initial meeting of the Senate Interim Committee on Tax Credit Efficiency and Reform y esterday, July 30, which convened at 1:00 pm in Senate Committee Room 2. Committee Chairwoman, Senator Cindy O’Laughlin, discussed the purpose of the committee and included essential background information on current tax credits offered in Missouri. Her remarks are covered in this very informative PowerPoint presentation . After Senator O’Laughlin’s remarks, the committee adjourned. Their next meeting will be September 10, 2019. Sam Licklider Chief Lobbyist, Missouri REALTORS®
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Beware the Perils of Land Contracts A land contract is an agreement in which the seller of a property agrees to personally finance the sale for the buyer instead of going through a third-party entity (such as a bank). The buyer pays periodic installments directly to the seller and typically does not gain the title’s property until the final payment is made. This process lets a buyer who is unable to secure traditional financing purchase real estate by giving them time to work on any credit issues they may have, including lowering their debt-to-income ratio and saving for the down payment on a traditional loan. But while land contracts can have their ...
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REALTORS ® work hard to support the American Dream, so use the Fourth of July to share information about homeownership with your clients. Write an email or a note to let them know how excited you are to be working with them and how happy you are that they value the American Dream as well. They’re sure to appreciate your kind words – especially if they come attached to a red, white and blue treat! Whip up one of these festive desserts to give to clients along with your patriotic message. The best part of baking these red, white and blue treats is that you can use the leftovers for your family get-together as well! Patriotic Puppy Chow . Puppy chow, ...
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Subjective Opinion vs Objective Standard Everyone has an opinion, but is every opinion correct? Topics as meaningless as grape or cherry can spawn fierce, if good-natured arguments. If you’re discussing popsicle flavors, opinions are fine. But subjective opinions don’t have any place in housing management and decision-making. Fair housing and anti-discrimination laws provide the objective standard with which to judge housing issues and complaints. A recent fair housing complaint provides a context for the challenges real estate professionals face in leaving their personal opinions out of clients’ housing decisions. Problem A couple with two children ...
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Missouri REALTORS ® , I’d like to start by saying, it was a great ending to the First Regular Session of the 100th General Assembly. At 4:03 p.m. on Friday, May 17, the House took up the Conference Committee Substitute for Senate Bill 36, or as it was referred to on the House floor, “the REALTORS ® Immunity Bill.” The bill was Truly Agreed to and Finally passed with a vote of 136 to 6. Assuming the Governor signs the bill, it will have an effective date of August 28, 2019. To gain the protection of the act, you must have obtained the information on the area or square footage from a third party, and you must disclose that the information came from the third ...
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Failure to Supervise Agents Can be a Critical Omission Allowing an agent to conduct business under your license comes with the responsibility of oversight and supervision. Being aware of an agent’s activities and making inquiries when appropriate are necessary tasks to help ensure good management. Keep in mind that you can be held accountable for the actions of your agents. Signing an agreement outlining the specific parameters of the agent/broker relationship may offer the most thorough protection against possible claims. Here’s a real-world scenario where general oversight was waived with troubling consequences. Situation A real estate agent, representing ...
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Missouri REALTORS ® , I have a file on my bill service program called “Crisis Issues 2019." Being said, I’d like to touch on the below issues regarding actions on bills relevant to the industry. Low-Income Housing Tax Credits: The House recently adopted an amendment to clarify language on the sale of tax credits. Senate Bill 28 passed 143 to 7. To aid in further discussion, a conference committee will be formed. Immunity dealing with square footage: Senate Bill 36 has passed the House with a vote of 123 to 28. The problem; Rep. Billington of Poplar Bluff has offered an amendment which makes a change in actions for rent and possession. Currently, a judgment ...
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Missouri REALTORS ® , This coming Monday kicks off the last two weeks of the First Regular Session of the 100th General Assembly. At this point, the House and Senate are irritated with each other. Fourteen bills have been Truly Agreed and Finally Passed. In addition, the Senate has passed 76 bills; the House 184. Including joint resolutions, concurrent resolutions, and bills, a total of 285 proposals have passed one house and are awaiting action in the second house. All things considered, it’s been a relatively low drama session. Missouri REALTORS ® legislative issues: Low-Income Housing Tax Credits: The House Committee on General Laws heard testimony ...
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The Top 5 Must-Haves for Your Dream Home If you could design the home of your dreams, what would it look like?  While everyone has their own unique taste and style, there are several common themes that reflect the latest home trends. This year is all about the modern, open floor plan with a bright, airy vibe.  1.        A modern kitchen Modern or farmhouse kitchens take the lead this year, with many homeowners opting for statement vein marble and wood accents. Hidden appliances are also becoming more desirable as they make a kitchen appear more streamlined and less cluttered. And, long gone are the days of sticking to stainless steel; ...
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What makes Missouri REALTORS ® so great are the members that we have. Not only do we care about real estate, but we care about each other as well. We know that by investing in our fellow REALTORS ®  we are making our community, and the industry as a whole, stronger. That’s why we created Missouri REALTORS ® Leadership Academy , a program that trains emerging leaders so that they may exert a positive influence on the future of the real estate industry. Our new Leadership Academy Alumni Member Spotlight series highlights the graduates of the program. We want to introduce some of our wonderful REALTOR ® leaders and showcase how Leadership Academy helped ...
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Missouri REALTORS ® , What a great Capitol Conference/April Business Conference week! We will be sharing photos soon highlighting the reception for the General Assembly held in Carnahan Memorial Garden, but they don’t do it justice. In addition, the General Assembly worked late on Wednesday, but as soon as they were released, a large group of legislators made their way to the reception and were blown away. Multiple House and Senate members stayed and enjoyed conversation well past closing time. To the REALTORS ® who drove themselves and stuck around while we entertained General Assembly members, thanks! Stand by for next year! Regarding legislation; here’s ...
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Missouri REALTORS ® , Missouri’s legislative session ends in 33 days (counting all days, not just those in session). With tracking and reading amendments, substitutes and preparing for the April Business Conference, I need every one of the days. On Wednesday, April 10, the House Economic Development Committee voted to pass out a substitute for HB 665, Low-Income Housing Tax Credits. It is substantially similar to the Senate Committee Substitute for SB 28, however, it includes the following in 135.352: 9. To aid in awarding credits under this section, the commission shall establish an evaluation rubric and score applications for qualified Missouri projects ...
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Missouri REALTORS ® , The House Committee on Economic Development did not hold an executive session on HB 665 (Low-Income Housing Tax Credits). There is a chance they will not hold one this Monday as well. Rep. Derek Grier, who has done extensive research on the issue, most notably through review of most, if not all of the reports from the State Auditor relating to those credits, is approaching the issue in a very deliberative manner. The major issue is proposed change in the tax credit stream from 10 years, consistent with the federal credit, to six years. According to the Auditor’s reports that would make the credits more efficient, that is put more money ...
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Assumptions vs Facts: Which Do You Want on Your Side? Assumptions may be helpful as you embark on a research project, but in a sales transaction, not so much. Assumptions will ultimately be proved or disproved by your research or study results, but are highly likely to increase your level of risk in a sales transaction. Confusing the two by mistake, or due to time constraints or poor business practices, is ill-advised. Here’s a real-world scenario that demonstrates how easily a situation can slide from assumption to “fact” in a blink of an eye. Problem  A real estate agent has obtained a listing from an estate of a recently deceased elderly woman. The ...
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Missouri REALTORS ® , The issue of Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) will come to a resolution of some sorts tonight, Monday, April 1, in the House Committee on Economic Development. There is a proposed House Committee substitute for HB 665 that, if passed, will place severe stress on the program. The Senate has already passed a significant change to the program by setting the credit availability at seventy-two and one-half percent of the federal credit. Note, the current federal credit is $160 million, making the Missouri credit $116 million.  We are sending a Call for Action to oppose the House Committee Substitute. This is such an important ...
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