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Posts Tagged ‘realtors’

2011 December Home Sales Report – Wisconsin REALTORS® Association.

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Recently, a number of REALTORs in Wisconsin received emails to inform them of Better Business Bureau complaints. The emails may include official logos and request that the REALTOR open the complaint report. The emails often take the following form:

 

Good afternoon,

Here with the Better Business Bureau would like to notify you that we have been sent a complaint (ID 44265713) from your customer related to their dealership with you. Please open the COMPLAINT REPORT {WEBLINK OMMITTED} below to find the details on this case and suggest us about your point of view as soon as possible. We are looking forward to hearing from you.

 

Sincerely,

 

Fernando Grodhaus

Dispute Counselor

Better Business Bureau

 

This is NOT a real complaint and you should NOT open the link.

In all likelihood, this is a phishing scam or a virus. Most scams can be identified by the poor grammar or deplorably bad writing. The Better Business Bureau, for instance, is unlikely to request that you “Suggest us about your point of view” or state that your customer has a complaint about their “dealership with you.”

Whenever you receive a questionable email like this, the easiest tool to discover a scam is Google or another search engine. Try a Google search of portions of the email or of the author’s name. In this case, we discovered this to be a scam.

Google Search

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I’m a Realtor and my buyers just got married after closing and want to know if they need to change anything on the title of the house. What should I tell them?

This is a dangerous question to answer without treading into the realm of legal advice. The simple answer is: your buyers don’t need to do anything — marriage doesn’t change the fact that they jointly own the property.  But, the deeper question likely being asked is, “How should I hold title now that I’m married.”  This is a legal question and should only be answered by an attorney.

When two or more people acquire title to real estate, their rights can be established by important language on the deed. For instance, unmarried individuals could designate their rights as Joint Tenants or Tenants in Common. Similarly, married individuals may want to own the property with survivorship rights so that the property will automatically transfer to the surviving spouse when one spouse passes away.

These designations have very significant legal meanings and can determine who has ownership rights upon a sale or at death. These choices are not simple, require an analysis of a number of factors, and most importantly, constitute legal advice.

Many lenders, Realtors, and title professionals tell all married buyers, “You should take the property as survivorship marital property – everyone does that.” This may be good advice for the majority of people. But, for the few married individuals who have good reason not to make this choice, this is not only bad advice, it could constitute legal malpractice.

Indeed, there are a multitude of reasons that married individuals might not want survivorship rights, including:

  • They have a premarital agreement,
  • They may be using funds for the purchase that they wish to keep separate,
  • One or the other of the spouses has children from another marriage
  • There is a will or estate plan in place
  • They have or will soon have inheritance
  • Many other factors

The analysis of these and other facts is a purely legal function that should not be undertaken by non-attorneys. The majority of married couples do opt for survivorship marital property, after consulting with an attorney. Nevertheless, this does not mean that non-attorneys should assume that this choice is right for everyone.

The Realtor, lender, or title company that is asked the question, “how should the buyer take title” should answer:

The buyer should consult an attorney to determine what is best for their given facts and circumstances. I am not an attorney and cannot provide that kind of advice.


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The deadline for accepting a “binding contract” and qualifying for the home buyer tax credits expired on Friday April 30th.  For those who signed an offer on or before April 30th, they can still get the credit if they close by June 30th.

But the big question on the minds of Realtors and those in the real estate industry is:  Will buyers stop buying? 

 Will buyers jump back on the fence?  Will the market slow down?  Many expected a sharp decline in activity after the credit expired.  Others feel that the influence of tax credits and incentives is overstated. 

 We are curious to see what you are experiencing?  Post a comment and let us know.

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