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Legal Column

Mette Evans and Woodside, legal counsel for both the Pennsylvania Association of REALTORS® and the Greater Harrisburg Association of REALTORS®, provides a monthly column to our membership.

No good deed…

Ridiculous as it may be, some buyers and sellers hook-up without a REALTOR®’s involvement. It may be then that you get a call for help. What would you charge to put a simple agreement of sale together covering all the terms the buyer and seller have already negotiated?  Maybe it’s because you can pick-up a few dollars… Read On

Shared driveways

A shared driveway may be an impasse or an obstacle to the sale of property. Why? To a lender the reason is the same as that behind its demand that the title be marketable.  The mortgaged real estate is collateral for the loan and the lender wants to assure that the collateral may be easily sold at no less than the amount due on the mortgage… Read On

Mediation – sound guidance for you and your clients

Most of you have had some experience with the mediation program established by the Pennsylvania Association of REALTORS® and invoked in the agreement of sale, most likely from working with a client who initiates mediation or upon whom a request for mediation has been served. REALTORS® too are named respondents in a mediation, usually by an aggrieved buyer. Here are some helpful tips for you and your clients to consider when attending a mediation conference… Read On

Observations upon the reopening of the real estate industry in Pennsylvania

My contacts with the real estate community more often are with those who practice in the residential market…where the dam seems to have broken. The pent-up frustration has led to a flood of activity in some of our counties and cities. Consumers caught in the pinch are relieved as are licensees are now out and about… Read On

Old issues – New times

Social Media Remember being inundated with solicitations for courses on the essentials of social networking, the rules of media etiquette and the like? Everyone was all over that stuff. Today, when the Commonwealth’s response to the pandemic evokes such vitriol and division it is hard to imagine that the message from those lessons stuck.  As a lawyer working from home… Read On

Forms for the pandemic

Realtors® are reliant on standard forms for many good reasons. The forms have established a somewhat uniform transaction, particularly for resale homes.  A standard and familiar path reduces mistakes and liability. Unfortunately, the physical distancing required by our Governor and personal desire to protect our families, ourselves and others has taken us far afield from the standard path. … Read On

Yet More on the COVID-19 Pandemic and How It Impacts Your Business

I would imagine that you are focused on little more than a single issue these days. I will therefore keep this short. There are more questions than answers. This will change and I suggest that you continue to monitor the Pennsylvania Association of Realtors®’ online publication JustListed. PAR is working tirelessly to provide you with the latest… Read On

Pre-Settlement Walkthrough Report

A recent spat between brokers brings focus to this standard form. There is a broker who, like others, requires that all settled transactions undergo a review before the salesperson’s commission is paid. The review assures that management is supervising its affiliates and that glaring errors can be rectified with the appropriate education or other measures. At issue is the broker’s demand that the closed file include a copy of the Pre- Settlement Walkthrough Report signed by the buyers and sellers… Read On

Once Again, It Depends!

It’s my mantra. I’ve uttered it hundreds of thousands of times, and mostly to REALTORS®. It is never wrong, but it may not be as helpful an answer as can be given. Whether an act is legal depends upon the specific setting, the facts and the reason one is asking. Let’s start with the reason one is asking… Read On

A Matter of Discrimination

An article that appeared in the New York Times in November cited study results showing housing discrimination by real estate licensees. Investigators posing as white buyers received different treatment than buyers of color and of other minority classifications. Among the allegations was steering. Licensees directed buyers to properties that, in the opinions of the licensees… Read On