Real estate Q&A: Don’t be tempted to ditch insurance (2/4/2016)
Condo owner has no valuable possessions and lives in Fla. only five months out of the year. Why should he pay for hazard insurance?
FORM UPDATE: Feb. 15 release date for FIRPTA changes (2/4/2016)
Forms will reflect recent FIRPTA changes on Feb. 15
IRS withholding rules under the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act have changed, including a higher 15% for some properties. Click below to preview the forms (changes are in red):
Seattle court unseals evidence in Move v. Zillow (1/26/2016)
NAR: The realtor.com oversight company says departing execs stole confidential info. Zillow denies it. Just-released docs, including texts, depositions and to-do lists, shed some light on the proceedings.
Judge’s ruling could change debt collection game (1/25/2016)
U.S. court judge in N.J.: If a homeowner facing foreclosure tells a debt collector that his data isn’t correct, the collector can’t ignore the owner, move forward and blame the lender later.
Fla.’s RE referral rules official: Effective Feb. 9 (1/22/2016)
What type of title company referral isn’t allowed? Fla. attempts to answer that question with a set of guidelines that officials approved this week.
Living trust best if heirs don’t get along (1/21/2016)
Real estate Q&A: What’s the best way to leave a home to adult children? A life estate deed is inexpensive, but a living trust may cut down on disagreements.
Foreign sellers? FIRPTA withholding increases to 15% (1/19/2016)
On Feb. 17, taxes paid by foreign sellers of U.S. property will increase from 10% to 15% in some transactions.
Drone suit considers issues of trespassing, privacy (1/19/2016)
In Kentucky, a homeowner shot down a drone and the drone owner sued. Courts must now consider drone use rights and responsibilities for the first time.
Real estate Q&A: When the home doesn’t appraise (1/14/2016)
A buyer with a signed contract found out that his bank won’t loan the full amount needed after an appraisal comes in short. What are his options?
What is a title company referral? Fla. creates rules (1/14/2016)
The Dept. of Financial Services created a roster of banned activities it considers a title company referral, such as listing ads or sponsoring an open house.
Fla. man faces up to 5 years for HUD mortgage fraud (1/13/2016)
U.S. Attorney A. Lee Bentley III said that Jason Pond of Spring Hill pleaded guilty to making false statements in a HUD loan application he submitted.
‘Life estate’ sale allows ex-owner to remain in home (1/13/2016)
The Playboy Mansion is for sale but with a “life estate” that allows Huge Hefner to live there until death – a legal move that impacts a home’s selling value.
Luxury buyers will lose their anonymity (1/13/2016)
The U.S. will soon demand the names of luxury cash buyers starting in Miami and New York City. Shell companies must specify ownership and “nominees” don’t count.
Realtor association arbitration award affirmed (1/12/2016)
NAR’s arbitration process is legally sound, according to Maine’s superior court – and it’s not easy to change an arbitration decision after the fact.
Sending safety alerts? There’s a legal risk (1/11/2016)
NAR says some associations and brokers that issued alerts were later sued for defamation of character, interference with a sale or violating the Fair Housing Act.
Real estate Q&A: Renter duped in foreclosure scam (11/25/2015)
Scammer pretended to be the owner of a vacant home, now the renter has gotten a letter saying it’s a bank-owned foreclosure and they have to move. What’s next?
With photos, know before you publish (11/16/2015)
Realtors should understand copyright law basics before contacting a photographer as two current court cases focus on the question: “Who owns the photo rights?”
Supreme Court decision could impact FREC, FREAB (11/5/2015)
The decision has state agencies, such as DBPR, questioning how regulatory boards operate when members are also active participants in the profession.
Fla. sellers lie to buyers, face 20 years in jail (10/12/2015)
An insurer paid $153K for sinkhole damage, but owners made only cosmetic repairs and didn’t disclose it at time of sale. They were arrested on wire fraud charges.
Mortgage disclosure rules' effect on buyers (10/12/2015)
Homebuyers now get easier-to-digest info about their mortgage and new protections, but they must also follow new rules to avoid closing delays.
Court decision: Fla. cities can fund solar energy (10/9/2015)
The Fla. Supreme Court ruled that cities may issue bonds to fund PACE programs, which provide upfront financing for a commercial property’s green-energy upgrades.
TRID: New mortgage disclosure rules debut tomorrow (10/2/2015)
On Sat., buyers have new disclosures and rules if applying for mortgages. For Realtors, it means earlier deadlines and greater communication. Here are the basics.
Contracts updated today, TRID rules change Sat. (9/28/2015)
3 contracts, 3 riders and an addendum are now updated for buyers who will apply for a loan after Oct. 3. What should you know before Sat.? Here’s the breakdown.
Move Inc./NAR lawsuit against Zillow moves forward (9/16/2015)
NAR says the court ordered a Zillow exec to sit for more depositions over destroyed evidence allegations; Zillow, claiming a damaged reputation, has countersued.
A social media policy can limit businesses’ risk (9/10/2015)
It’s almost impossible to avoid social media if you’re selling homes – but business use of social media comes with legal and regulatory implications.
Labor law ruling makes builders nervous (9/3/2015)
The National Labor Relations Board ruled that some subcontractors are “joint employees,” leading builders to worry about their liability for vendor errors.
A residential contract rider changing (11/22/2011)
Comprehensive Rider C (Seller Financing) to the Residential Contract For Sale and Purchase changes slightly on Nov. 29.
Florida Realtors adds or updates forms (3/16/2011)
Four are new; three are updated; one is DBPR, and all are now available through Form Simplicity and other vendors.