RE Business News

Lenox Housing Trust Grant First-Time Homebuyers

Do you know of a first-time home buyer looking for a home in Lenox?  Households that earn a modest income may qualify for housing grants up to $10,000.  The Town of Lenox Housing Trust has initiative grants in the amount of 5% of the purchase price (maximum of $10,000 per grant) for those qualifying with

You must be clear about who you represent

So many complaints… Buyers request info on a home they’ve see online and boom, inundated by unidentified Realtors setting up showing appointments… many times agents are so hungry to “capture the lead” they are not doing a proper job of explaining who they are and actually getting HIRED.  A reminder in this world of online,

Words Matter. A Lot.

[Great Office Meeting Topic] Scary stuff, negotiations via email and text.  We’ve heard a few stories where agents have made simple, thoughtless statements during negotiations via text or email that they don’t realize obligates their client to perform.  Even texts can and will be held against you… and your client.  In 2016, MA Land Court ruled that a series of text messages between agents satisfied the Statute of Frauds and bound the parties to a real estate transaction. Yup, you heard that right.  Here is a summary of what went down:

During real estate negotiations, two real estate agents exchanged several emails and texts about a large, complicated deal.  An email indicated that the seller was “ready to do this,” then a text that said…  “[the seller] wants you to sign first, with a check, and then he will sign. Normally, the seller signs last or second. Not trying to be stupid or to the contrary, but that’s the way it normally works. Can Rick sign today and get it to me today? Tim”.  The buyer did what the seller’s agent advised, and the buyer’s broker gave the seller’s agent the signed offer and deposit check as expected.

The problem? Earlier that day, the seller had signed a different offer on the property – and therefore didn’t execute the documents as the agent promised.  The buyer sued and the court determined that the agent had created a binding agreement to sell.  In fact, the judge emphasized that when the seller’s agent signed his name “Tim” at the end of the critical text message, he sufficiently “signed” under the Statute of Frauds to constitute a binding agreement at the culmination of a series of communications.

Please remember that what you say is directly tied to your client – you are their fiduciary representative and as such, hold a very, very important position in the transaction.  Protect them, and use your words wisely.  Disclaimers in your email signature help for sure, but the best protection is to stop making blanket statements on behalf of your client without their express permission.  Now you know that text and emails can be considered written instruments that are many times court enforceable – chose your words wisely.  Thank you.

Article by MAR Legal Counsel Mike McDonaugh with signature suggestions.


Let me explain… Presenting Offers to the Seller

As the market gets more competitive, some buyers are trying to make their offers appealing in different ways – and after watching how HGTV handles it, buyers want their agent to go in and “sell” their offer to the seller. Is that acceptable?  According to the MLS Regulations, yes.  The buyer’s broker has a right

As inventory gets tight, homes may face multiple offers

Presenting and negotiating multiple offers can be fraught with the potential for misunderstanding and missed opportunities. Although there is not a single, standard approach to dealing with multiple offers, there are fundamental principles to guide REALTORS®.  When first taking a listing, explain to sellers that receiving multiple, competing offers is a possibility. Remember that the

Redact, Redact, Redact!

With the busy selling season coming upon us, just a quick reminder that WISP regulations require you to redact any personal, confidential information prior to transmission to others.  In short, before you deliver (via email or fax) a copy of a deposit check to another broker make sure you white out the account information!  After
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