Office update (my apologies for lengthiness but hope you will read in it's entirety)..

posted Jul 16, 2018, 4:55 PM by Brian G. Walsh   [ updated Jul 16, 2018, 4:55 PM ]

Good day All:

Barb's last day was last Thursday.  The front desk will be handled like normal with business hours of Mon-Fri 11a-4p.  Please keep things going to the front desk email address and don't send to me as I have much to do on both fronts and need to keep separate.  If you happen to know that you will be listing a property and can forward the address to the front desk in advance it will help in staying ahead of the curve.  I have set up my hiring machine and will be placing some ads pointing toward it this week.  There will be two positions available to fill.  While working the front desk I plan on cleaning up our systems and streamlining as much as I can so when I find the proper hires it will make it that much easier to get them trained and up and running.

Contingent vs Pending.  At our last meeting I mentioned doing away with using the contingent status and just using pending to simplify our systems and take unnecessary steps out of the process and there did not seem to be any resistance.  I contacted the MLS and we are not required to use contingent.  When the listing is in contingent status it continues to accrue market time while when pending the clock stops.  Under contingent we are required to state what the contingencies are which I honestly feel is our business and not that of outside agents.  Also, when the listing is contingent if it happens to expire it goes in to expired status while when pending it goes in to pending/expired status and we can still mark as sold once it closes.  Lastly, in my experience there really is no difference in how the listing is viewed in the MLS, it seems whether it is pending or contingent showings stop and if there is genuine interest a call will be made under both statuses to see if there is a chance of it being available again.  I am not insisting that we do this just suggesting in an effort to continue to simplify our processes.  I have not used contingent for a few years and it is nice to put it in pending and forget about it.  If I don't hear from you I will assume you are okay with using pending status only moving forward and if not I am happy to hear your thoughts.

One of our agents was recently approached by an out of state buyer who wanted to make a cash offer on one of their listings sight unseen.  Without getting in to all of the details it was discovered that it was more than likely a fraudulent attempt to purchase and while I don't have a clear understanding of what they were trying to accomplish because it never got that far I am putting you on notice.  Should you receive an inquiry to this effect please contact me to discuss.  It is not unheard of that someone would do this, especially in todays market, but it is rare and so it is deserving of special attention.

Escalation clauses and language in contracts to this effect.  I have made mention of escalation clauses in the past and my discontent with them and asking that you please contact me should you be presented with one that your seller is considering.  I recently attended the OAR Legal Update and they discussed them and the problems involved with them along with potential litigation issues.  Please get with me should you receive an offer with these terms so we can put our heads together and amend the counter-offer and remove it.  Nothing needs to be said to agents prior to offers being submitted as the escalation clauses are telling but we are best not entering in to agreements with these terms included.

As you are well aware, I am way behind on getting our new purchase agreement in to circulation.  My apologies.  It will be a time before I get to it but it is on my to do list and eventually will get done. 

As always, please let me know if you need anything.

Thank you,


Our next office meeting is Tuesday, July 3rd at 10:00am..

posted Jun 25, 2018, 8:59 AM by Brian G. Walsh   [ updated Jun 25, 2018, 8:59 AM ]

As usual we will discuss wins and challenges and a program that Zillow is piloting..  Hope you can make it. 



The week of June 25th - July 1st and July 4th..

posted Jun 19, 2018, 12:42 PM by Brian G. Walsh   [ updated Jun 19, 2018, 12:42 PM ]

Good afternoon:

I will be taking next week off but will be available if you need me.  It would be best to call since I won't be as accessible via email.

Lastly, our office will be closed on July 4th in observance of Independence Day.

Thanks very much,


The most common license law violations recently reported..

posted Jun 15, 2018, 12:59 PM by Brian G. Walsh   [ updated Jun 15, 2018, 1:00 PM ]

   10 licensees either gained unauthorized access to property, or granted access via the lockbox to others without the seller or listing agent’s consent.
   10 violated agency law by not providing the Consumer Guide to Agency Relationships or the Agency Disclosure Statement to the buyer or seller, failing to note that the party refused to sign the form, or failing to maintain a copy of the form.

    7 violations involved earnest money, including failure to deposit, returning earnest money without written consent, and failing to collect or to notify the seller that earnest money had not been collected.

Recommending inspectors..

posted Jun 10, 2018, 2:09 PM by Brian G. Walsh   [ updated Jun 10, 2018, 2:09 PM ]

I have placed a link in our Toolbox under Due Diligence/Information called Home Inspector Search.  You can forward this link to your buyers as it will take them to the the American Society of Home Inspectors website search which also includes members of the past National Association of Home Inspectors.  There they can search by area and specialty.



Contract questions increase as Ohio housing market heats up..

posted Jun 6, 2018, 12:17 PM by Brian G. Walsh   [ updated Jun 6, 2018, 12:17 PM ]

By Peg Ritenour, Ohio REALTORS Vice President of Legal Services/Administration

Q: If a contract to purchase does not specify a closing date, is the contract void?

A: No. If a contract doesn’t specify a date or time of performance, a reasonable time will be implied.

Q: Is earnest money required to have a legally binding contract?
A: No, earnest money is not required under Ohio law to have a binding contract.

Q: Does a listing agent have to present a verbal offer to purchase to a seller?
A: Yes, a listing agent is obligated to present all offers to purchase to the seller, including verbal offers. The only exception to this is if the seller instructs you not to present a verbal offer. What is important for the parties to understand is that if a verbal offer is accepted, there it is not an enforceable contract until it is reduced to writing and signed.

Q: If a seller rejects an offer to purchase must the seller indicate “rejected” on the face of the offer?
A: No. A seller can verbally reject an offer. However, it is best that the rejection is marked on the offer so there is no question that the offer was presented and that it was rejected.

Q: If the seller doesn’t reject an offer in writing how do I know it was presented?
A: Ohio license law requires the listing agent to provide the seller with the Agency Disclosure form prior to presenting an offer to purchase. Therefore you can ask the listing agent to give you a copy of the Agency Disclosure form signed by the seller to establish that the offer was presented.

Q: If there is a contract to purchase pending do you have to present a subsequent offer to purchase that is received?
A: Yes. Unless you are instructed otherwise by the seller, all offers must be presented until the date of closing. Of course any such subsequent offer should only be accepted by the seller as a back-up contract.

Q: On a listing submitted to the MLS several appliances were checked as staying with the property. A contract to purchase was subsequently negotiated and closed. When the seller moved out, they took the appliances listed in the MLS, claiming that because the purchase contract did not provide that the appliances stayed, they did not have to leave them. The buyers thought they would stay because they were listed in the MLS. Who is right?
A: The sellers are. Although the appliances may have been listed in the MLS, the purchase contract is the legal document that controls the terms of sale between the buyers and sellers. Unless the appliances were listed in the purchase contract, the sellers were free to take them.

Q: Can a “back-up” buyer get out of a back-up contract at any time if they find another property?
A: No. A back-up buyer is bound by the terms of the back-up contract. If the buyer wants the ability to terminate the contract if they find another home they would need to include this provision in the terms of the back-up contract.

Q: A buyer made an offer which the sellers countered. The buyer told the listing agent he was rejecting this counteroffer. The following day, the first buyer changed his mind, and accepted the sellers’ counteroffer and delivered it to the listing agent. Is there a legally binding contract with the first buyer?
A: No. Once the first buyer rejected the sellers’ counteroffer and communicated that to the sellers’ agent, it could only be accepted if the sellers renewed their counteroffer. Absent that, the seller’s counteroffer was no longer open for acceptance by the buyer.

Q: Is a buyer legally entitled to a “walk-through” before closing?
A: No. Ohio law does not provide the buyer with a legal right to a walk-through. If the buyer wants a walk-through prior to closing the buyer should include this in the terms of the purchase contract.

Legal articles provided on the Ohio REALTORS Buzz are intended to provide broad, general information about the law and is not intended to be legal advice. Before applying this information to a specific legal problem, readers are urged to seek advice from an attorney.


posted Jun 6, 2018, 6:02 AM by Brian G. Walsh   [ updated Jun 6, 2018, 6:02 AM ]

Good day, If you know you have a new listing coming up, please send the address to the front desk along with a note stating upcoming listing and staff can get it started in the PP and the MLS.  Thanks! BGW

Real Estate & Professional Licensing Spring 2018 Newsletter

posted Jun 1, 2018, 10:11 AM by Brian G. Walsh   [ updated Jun 1, 2018, 10:12 AM ]

Please click HERE for above.  Thanks, BGW

Cyber fraud in Ohio on the rise -- How to protect your clients and yourself!

posted May 30, 2018, 1:19 PM by Brian G. Walsh   [ updated May 30, 2018, 1:20 PM ]

By Peg Ritenour, Ohio REALTORS Vice President of Legal Services/Administration

In the last few weeks we have received several calls on the Ohio REALTORS Legal Hotline from brokers who have had clients lose funds as a result of cyber fraud. Others were lucky to catch the phony wiring instructions before it went through. And if you think this is something that only happens in larger Ohio cities you are wrong. All of the recent calls have involved transactions in small towns and rural counties in Ohio. So, if you think cyber fraud is going away or that it can’t happen to you or your agents, you are seriously mistaken.

So how does this happen? It begins with a breach of an email account, giving the hacker access to vital information regarding the transaction. After figuring out the closing dates, the hacker sends an email, posing as either the real estate professional, the title company representative or one of the parties with last minute changes in wiring instructions that result in funds being diverted to the hacker's account. The hacker may pose as the title company or REALTOR, emailing the purchaser that the account to which the purchaser should wire the funds has changed. Or the hacker will pose as the seller in an email to the title company changing the account to which the seller's proceeds are to be wired.

These phony emails mimic the wording and style used by the REALTORS, lender, title company, and clients, making them look legitimate to those involved. Of course once the funds have been diverted to the hacker's account they are quickly withdrawn and the account is closed, with recovery of the funds unlikely. How are hackers able to do this? In many cases it is because of lax security steps taken to protect email accounts. While it may be difficult to ever fully protect yourself from cyber fraud, there are steps you can take to minimize the risk of your emails and transaction information being compromised.

The most important thing you can do is to educate your clients about the dangers of this type of fraud and instruct them to always call an independently verified phone number prior to wiring any funds. To document this instruction, it is recommended that buyers and sellers sign a form acknowledge this disclosure. Click here to access a sample disclosure form NAR created that can be given to clients warning of this danger. A tag to your email on this issue can also be included.

In addition, here are some other risk reduction practices recommended by the National Association of REALTORS:

  • Use email encryption;
  • Make sure your security software is up-to-date;
  • Use strong email passwords and change them routinely;
  • Clean out your email frequently and store any ones you need to maintain on your hard drive;
  • Avoid sending wire instructions and any sensitive financial information via email;
  • Don't trust contact information on emails unless you can verify it's legitimate.

If you believe you or your clients are the victim of cyber fraud it is important to take immediate steps. First, if the wire has already gone out, try to stop it by contacting the lender immediately. Secondly, if you are an agent, involve your broker or manager right away. All parties should be notified as soon as possible, as well as the FBI Internet Complaint Center and your local law enforcement. Finally, change all of your passwords and user names right away.

While you may not be able to completely insulate yourself from cyber fraud, but it is crucial that you take the necessary steps to minimize the risk of it occurring. It is highly recommended that brokers contact their E&O insurance carrier to make sure you have coverage for loss of data and funds resulting from cyber fraud.

Legal articles provided in Ohio REALTORS Buzz are intended to provide broad, general information about the law and is not intended to be legal advice. Before applying this information to a specific legal problem, readers are urged to seek advice from an attorney.

Office meeting: Tuesday, 6/5 @ 10:00am..

posted May 28, 2018, 6:05 PM by Brian G. Walsh   [ updated May 28, 2018, 6:05 PM ]

Hope you can make it.



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