Real Estate Lawyer and Family Law Lawyer Blog(Vol I.2)
by Craig Franklin Chambers, Esq. The Littleton Lawyer.
In my job as a family law lawyer, real estate lawyer and real estate broker servicing Littleton and Denver, I sometimes run across issues that are too complex--like tax and estate planning issues--and require someone who specializes in them--or simply handles them less expensively.
The trend for real estate brokers used to be to give three names of potential vendors to assist in a real estate transaction. Three lenders, for example; three accountants; or three home inspectors. The broker's concern is being sued for "Negligent Referral."
The current trend is to give no assistance to a buyer or a seller in areas outside of the competence of the real estate broker. Some real estate pundits have gone so far as to state that a real estate broker should not even attend the buyer's home inspection to prevent the real estate broker from giving improper advice or negligent referrals..
I disagree with the this trend. A good real estate broker sells enough houses to repeatedly come upon incarnations of various problems with taxes issues, easements and encroachments, mold or sewer scope concerns, for example. A seasoned real estate broker has past experiences with local professionals, many of whom have performed well for similar problems in the past.
Unless the real estate broker refers the contractor in bad faith, or does not use reasonable care in the referral, the duty is on the referred vender to fulfill his obligations to the client. A real estate broker is more than a chauffeur. It is part of my job to be a resource to clients, and to pass those trusted names on to clients who may need more arcane advice.
A real estate transaction needs to be transparent. The buyer and seller need to go into the transaction eyes open, knowing all the risks of the transaction including the range of value of the home, the terms of the loan, and the condition of the property. The more people to help with this the better.
And of course, as with any financial transaction, every material financial term for the transaction needs to be fully disclosed on the settlement statement or the HUD.