Blog

How To Handle A Seller Who Does Not Complete Repairs

neighbor peering over fence

Buyer requests repairs. Seller doesn’t do all the repairs. Closing is in a few days. What to do? I recently reviewed a file that had just this situation. The buyer’s agent created a second repair addendum reiterating the repairs still to be done. Not the right thing at all. Addenda are intended to modify the terms of a contract. In …

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Can You Withdraw A Counteroffer?

cartoon figures fighting over real estate

This week, a buyer’s broker emailed me about her buyer’s counteroffer. Buyer offered, seller countered, buyer wanted to accept all of the terms of the counteroffer with a minor addition. Buyer counters the seller’s counteroffer. I am sure you can see this one coming. The seller gets a better offer. The buyer’s agent asked me if the buyer could withdraw …

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Proper Language For Property Appraisals

property value chalkboard

Do you mean what it says? “Buyer to order appraisal within three business days.” Buyers don’t order appraisals, lenders do. Buyers don’t necessarily control when the lender orders the appraisal. If you are the selling agent, do your clients really want the seller to terminate the transaction because the appraisal wasn’t ordered in the first three business days? And, if …

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Termination Of Real Estate Contracts

signing a contract

A buyer decides to terminate a transaction and you prepare a termination, secure your client’s signature and deliver it to the listing agent. The seller doesn’t accept or reject the termination. Can the buyer then withdraw it and enforce the contract? Only if the seller agrees. Unlike other contract amendments or addenda, the termination of a contract can be unilateral. …

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When Realtors Should Not Call Lawyers

woman on phone

Agents call me all the time looking for advice for their clients. If the advice is generic (this is what the law says), I’m usually ok with giving it but, if the law is related to a particular set of facts, I won’t. Your client will have to call me or their own attorney directly. Even if you are just …

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Don’t Complete Tax Forms For Out Of State Sellers

woman filling out tax form

As you know, both FIRPTA and the State of Oregon may require tax withholding on the proceeds of a property sale if the seller is someone who does not live in the US (legally-speaking) or in Oregon. The forms are messy, as most governmental forms are, and they can be hard to fill out. This is especially true if the …

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Be Careful What You Discuss With Title Companies & Mortgage Brokers

woman shhh

The prohibition on disclosing your client’s confidential information applies to title company employees and mortgage brokers as well as to opposing parties, your work colleagues, and your friends and family members. I have had two situations in the last few weeks in which brokers, faced with late developing issues (e.g., financing failure, late-blooming condition issue), talked too much to the …

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Out Of State Escrow: Don’t Lose Your Earnest Money!

stacks of coins with the word escrow isolated on white background

I have seen a rash of out of state escrow companies closing Oregon property transactions. If the escrow company proposed by the other side isn’t one of the usual suspects, check the OREA website to see if the escrow company is licensed in Oregon. If not, advise buyers or sellers to object to using the unlicensed escrow company.  Even more  importantly, don’t …

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The Right Way For Real Estate Brokers To Handle Commission Sharing

business handshake, the deal is finalized between two enterprises. man in black suit and woman in white one have signed the agreement.

A transaction falls apart and the real estate brokers (listing and selling) agree to pay some part of the money it takes to keep the sale alive. The listing broker asks me to draft a release. A release is a contract.  Party one agrees to pay party two if party two agrees to waive its claims against party one.  To …

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One Reason To Use Tenants-In-Common Agreement

rear view of young couple looking at their new house

Tenants in Common. If you are representing unmarried buyers purchasing a house together, please advise them to enter into a tenants-in-common agreement so that the rights and obligations of each buyer is set out — particularly if the couple breaks up rather than marries, one buyer becomes disabled and can’t pay his/her share or a joint child enters the picture. …

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