Do YOU have a durable power of attorney?

So, I haven’t been on RCG for a while because I am gone from Seattle to Wichita, KS where I and my siblings are on hospital watch. My parents were hit by a drunk driver on Monday night and so I caught a flight here immediately since both of them were in the hospital with injuries. My dad has a brain injury and has been unconscious for several days now. For anyone that is interested in reading my blogs about the experience feel free to do so at this link:
When I’m working with clients there are always situations that come up where we have to deal with difficult circumstances. My partner, Michael, and I frequently ask our clients if they have a durable power of attorney. Typically we make it for a specific property based on the transaction and usually the title company has to approve the POA to insure the purchase. Sometimes the POA is put in place under in the context of just making sure we are able to get signatures if there is a spouse or partner that travels a lot or an out of country trip is planned that would make it difficult to get notices or addendums signed. I’ve used these when I have siblings in multiple states as well who are buying or selling property.

Thankfully my parents did put together POA’s about 4 years ago. My mother is a REALTOR(R) in Wichita and my dad works with her as a licensed agent. They also own several rental properties and they had just received mutual acceptance on an offer for one the day they got in the accident.  My mother is conscious, although on pain medication for her broken bones, and she is aware enough that she knows what is going on and can sign things for herself. However, while I am my dad’s medical POA one of my siblings is his financial POA.  I’ll likely have my sister sign for my dad just so there is no question about mental faculties with my mom when the additional paperwork for this transaction is turned in.

It’s been a relief for me (and I think my mom too) to be able to come in and help out with her business while she and dad are in the hospital. I can’t practice real estate agency in Kansas but I have contacted some other agents that know my mom (she’s been an agent 20 years) and they’ll help with any items that require licensing and I’ll be a knowledgeable “gopher”. This also relieves stress from my siblings who may not know what they should do for her contracts and listings. I hadn’t really considered I’d have to help out in this way, but I sure am glad that I can.  It helps to also give me something else to think about rather than my dad in ICU.

My comments to all that read RCG is that if you don’t have a durable power of attorney for your personal affairs you really should do it and the sooner the better. You never know when a truck will slam into you and render you unconscious and you’ll need help with your medical and personal affairs such as paying bills. We stress this kind of long term planning to pretty much all of our clients and we host a client event every year that covers things like this to prevent more cases like Terry Schiavo. I hope you’ll consider it and go do it soon yourself.

Licensed to Loan

This New Year brought significant changes to the mortgage industry. Loan Originators who provide residential loans in Washington State are now required to be licensed. This legislature applies primarily to Mortgage Brokers and not LOs who are employed by banks or credit unions. As I am employed by a Mortgage Broker (technically, we are a Correspondent Lender…I’ll save that for a later article), I thought I would share some tidbits of what I’ve found so far during the first two weeks into the licensing period.

I completed my online application with DFI, submitted my MU4 forms and 2 sets of fingerprints all prior to the due dates so that my background check to determine that I am not a felon and do not have any gross-misdemeanors can be performed. DFI is inundated with applications and they are posting the list of licensed loan originators on line. I’ve been checking the list daily for my name and license number. As of Tuesday, DFI is showing 9,913 licensees from 123 Cash to Zippy Cash. Loan Originators must display their license number on their business cards, loan applications, marketing and websites. This seems kind of odd to me. Realtors and Escrow Officer’s (L.P.O.) do not have to attach their number to their name for the public to see…don’t they trust us?

Currently, Loan Originators who have completed the required steps of the online application, MU4 and fingerprints are operating under an “interim license

Here’s a question only the Governor can answer

[photopress:gregoirepicture2.jpg,thumb,alignright] Why does the law say “a licensee who works with a BUYER represents that BUYER unless…”

Aren’t SELLER constituents deemed worthy of “equal protections under the law”? Why doesn’t the law say “consumer” generically, so that unrepresented sellers have the same protections, and not just a consumer when a BUYER? Why doesn’t it cover a little old lady owner when a licensee knocks on the door trying to buy the place, for less than fair market value? Why isn’t she represented at first contact?

Here’s a little FSBO trivia. Did you know that agents who bring For Sale By Owners a contract on an mls form, when representing a buyer, are breaching mls rules? Did you know that there is no place in that contract for an agent NOT to represent a seller in some capacity? Only two options: Agent represents the seller or agent represents both the buyer and the seller (dual agent). There is NO place in the contract for the seller to be NOT reperesented as in No For Sale By Owners allowed. A completely different contract must be drafted by an attorney if an agent wants to write an offer on a For Sale By Owner.

Lots of things need to be changed that are leftover loose ends from the days when every agent represented sellers. I’m hoping all of these new business models are going to force all of the trains that are off the track to finally get so derailed that someone has to fix them. Train 1. State Laws of Agency Train 2. MLS Rules Train 3. NAR and Code of Ethics They all need to fit tomorrow’s reality for the new business models to function properly. Tomorrow’s reality is happening as we speak, as these new business models come up and as For Sale By Owner companies spring up. Someone needs to “get on the stick” pretty fast to catch up, because “the times they are achangin'”.

The Law of Real Estate Agency needs to clearly define all of these new business models, so that the consumers, including the For Sale By Owners, are aware of when they are NOT represented, and when they are being offered “limited reperesentation” and what that means to them. That is part of the DOJ “stuff”, at least with regard to Exclusive Buyer Agency. Hopefully with regard to For Sale By Owner companies as well, though I haven’t read anything yet to suggest that is the case.

Where’s that “Food for Fodder” tag? Lots to chew on today.