Should you hire a lawyer when buying or selling a home? Depends – do you want to reduce your risk?

Example-of-Encroachment

[Updated 3/2016] Buying or selling a home is a legal transaction. Real estate brokers are able to engage in the limited practice of law needed to put together contracts for real property. But brokers certainly aren’t lawyers. And buying or selling a house is usually one of the biggest financial transactions in someone’s life. So “forward thinking” […]

An Open Letter to Glenn Kelman, Redfin CEO, on the “Discount Real Estate Broker” Model

Glenn Kelman

Post Updated 5/20/15: P.S. Glenn, more than a year has gone by. I’ve busted my you-know-what trying to build a better Redfin-style mousetrap. And a couple of months ago, I said to myself: Wait a sec. I don’t think that sort of mousetrap is EVER going to work. I think technology and modern business practices […]

Have you ever heard, “Don’t worry, it’s just paperwork” from your Real Estate Agent?

Paperwork

Recently some good friends of mine decided to buy a home.  Such good friends, in fact, that we mutually agreed to keep business and friendship apart so as to not create any problems on either end.  So they didn’t use my services.  Instead, they first used a “discount” agent affiliated with a large, local real […]

Real Estate Negotiation Skills: What Are They And Who Has Them?

The Negotiator

It’s not hard to find real estate agents who hold themselves out as “expert negotiators.”  There is even a certification – Certified Negotiation Expert, or CNE – that agents can obtain to further enhance their skills and reputation.  But really, what makes for a great negotiator when buying or selling real estate?  And who has […]

BofA HAMP Loan Mod Program: A Giant Fraud at Homeowner’s Expense

HAMP

Earlier this morning, I came across a very interesting statement made by a BofA employee in a lawsuit against the bank regarding its “participation” in the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP).  A “declaration” is a statement made under penalty of perjury and is commonly used in litigation to give facts (typically from a witness) to […]

How to Strengthen Your Offer when there are Multiple Potential Buyers

Money in a Jar

This is not legal advice, and you should not rely upon it.  For legal advice, consult an attorney, not a blog. In today’s low-interest-rate, low-inventory, recovering-from-the-bubble housing market, there are more buyers than there are sellers.  This leads to routine instances of multiple offers, where only one buyer will get the home under contract and […]

Impact of Fiscal Cliff Agreement on Homeowners?

housing and fiscal cliff

There was so much fear mongering going on about “The Fiscal Cliff” it was starting to feel like being tied to a chair and being forced to watch The Shower Scene from Psycho. The stock market rallied up in response to it just being OVER WITH! But should we just be happy that it’s over […]

Hope for Short Sales in 2013 – Congress is Working to Extend COD Income Tax Exemption

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This is not legal advice.  For legal advice, consult an attorney, not a blog.  Furthermore, the post below addresses some BUT NOT ALL issues relating to foreclosure, short sale, etc., and the following analysis is cursory and not complete.  If you face a foreclosure or are considering some alternative, you should obtain legal advice. The Senate Finance Committee […]