Sunday, 24 March 2019
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This Old House - Do-it-Yourself

Property Disclosure and Liability

Written by Posted On Friday, 19 October 2018 06:00

Duty to Disclose?

Is a real estate broker, who is employed by the seller or buyer, under a duty to disclose? (Could be variations from one state or provincial jurisdiction to another).

"Facts materially affecting the value of the property" known to the agent.

Facts the agent should know based on standards of practice in their locale

Facts that could have been determined by a reasonable and diligent inspection of the property by the agent?

Must agents, in the sale of residential real estate, identify any "red flags?"

Yes.

The Landmark Case - Easton Vs Strassburger (1984), greatly expanded agent and broker liability and placed new disclosure requirements upon licensees involved in residential sales. Licensees were now liable for not only what they knew about a property, but also what they "should have known."

As a result of the Easton Case, California real estate licensees must conduct a "reasonably competent and diligent inspection of properties sold," and fill out the disclosure form.

Possible Short List of Red Flags

Stains and discoloration on ceilings and walls

Unusual odors

Bowing foundation walls

Grading sloping toward the house

Multiple layers of roofing; dirty or missing gutters

Push button light switches/knob and tube wiring/no GFCI

BUGS (or evidence of them) in the house (I'm bug-phobic!)

Uneven settling - walls or floors

Peeling paint

Cracked slab

Additions added on illegally

Front yard issues, culverts or utility boxes that affect the value

Front, side or rear set back issues

Can you think of any other red flags?

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Saul Klein

In 1948, doctors told my father that his life aboard submarines on war patrol in the South Pacific and the depth charging he experienced had rendered him sterile. Although controversial and not widely applied, he was treated with an Ayurvedic therapy called “shivambu.” If you are unfamiliar with this term, I recommend you Google it because against all odds, I came to exist.

That was a loony segue into my life but is a fitting precursor to a career that would be just as incredible.

Like my father, I joined the Navy. However, due to a medical inconvenience, I was honorably discharged after 6 years of commissioned service, all on Sea Duty. This was an opportune misfortune that led me down the path to a successful career in real estate. Both my father and grandfather flirted in real estate brokering and flipping part-time, and I followed suit but making a lifelong career out of it.

With over 40 years in real estate, it is impossible to talk about my experiences in this small window. But I can proudly say that I am well-recognized as an industry pioneer, especially in real estate syndication and education, and one of the few luminaries that paved the way for real estate’s transition to the online world.

Some highlights of my life’s work:
● Co-created ePRO, technology certification course that certified 70,000 students
● Created the first online communities for real estate professionals to network, learn, and sell
● Created "Opt Out" Listing Syndication, aggregating over 1.4 Million Listings in 18 months
● Built the #2 National Listing Syndication Service, Point2 Technologies, sold to Yardi in 2010
● Founder of the California Association of Buyer’s Agents
● Member of the first REALTOR.com Team, pre-IPO, responsible for obtaining first 500,000 listings
● Helped Zillow and Trulia build up their MLS data inventory

Today I continue to lead efforts that bring new technologies to the real estate industry. Feel free to reach out and learn more.

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