04-19-2012

Good afternoon,

 

We have another opportunity to open discussions on the challenges that our agents encounter and how to professionally solve these issues. Boy - was that a mouth full?! I might need to reread that. 

 

Let’s get to it. Here are three quick questions for the past week:

 

Question 1:

Jimmy: I represent a buyer who has purchased a home that is in its redemption period. It ends May 12, 2012.  The short sale company that the listing agent is using tells me that we should have full approval of the sale by the end of the month. The buyer wants to file for homestead before April 30, 2012. What can you comment on here?  

 

Answer:

Two quick issues here- first, the buyer cannot file the homestead form without taking an ownership interest prior to April 30, 2012.  It may still be filed as 100% homestead by the seller. Check your title work. This may carry over for the next year.  Secondly, once the redemption period ends, the seller will have no legal title or rights to the property. Your purchase agreement will be null and void. May 12th is 23 days away.  

 

Question 2:

Jim, I was out showing a HUD home last Saturday morning. As my buyer was leaving, another prospective buyer (who had just driven up the driveway) walked up to me and asked if I was an agent? I responded that I was a REALTOR. They asked if they could see the home. I responded yes, but inquired if they were already working with another agent. They responded very honestly that they had a buyer’s agency contract with another agent. I shrugged my shoulders and replied that I would feel uncomfortable in counseling another agent’s client. They were a little upset, but quite frankly I felt uncomfortable with strangers in a vacant home. Was this the correct response?

 

Answer:

Sue- the fast answer is yes, you did the right thing. First, a Prudential agent should never interfere with the client of another agent. Anything that you might do could be construed as damaging to the other agent.  When the buyer discloses agency with another agent, choose your words and actions with care. Secondly, you made the right decision in regards to your safety. Thirdly, you asked the correct questions, they were honest with you, and you were honest with them.  Be professional, offer to contact their agent, thank them for their understanding and offer them your business card. This is the proper response. Opening the door to a possible unqualified stranger just because it's convenient should always be avoided.

 

Question 3:

Jim, do sellers have to disclose if a home is modular?

 

Answer:

There is no law which requires a seller to volunteer the fact that his or her home is a modular home. However, in the seller’s best interest, I would assume that they should disclose this information. A seller’s disclosure statement would provide the opportunity to do so.  They may wish to consult with their legal advisor. Also, if you were acting as a buyer’s agent and suspected the home as not being site built, it would be prudent to invite discussion with your client (the buyer) on the topic. Inspections, title issues and building codes may need to be reviewed prior to close.

 

Talk to your managers on these perspectives.  Ask other agents how they would handle these situations. Feel free to email me back with your comments.

 

Your latest challenges are my bread and butter!  Email me your questions and I’ll be happy to address them and your question may even appear in a future edition!

 

Go list a good one!

 

Jim Fase

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