It’s Friday, let’s sweep! | The Barristers Battled…


It’s Friday, let’s take a sweep and move right into the weekend ahead in productive work + play! Yes, it might be pouring outside however there is a ton more basketball to watch – I’m a happy gal. Go Husky women in the sweet sixteen vs. Mississippi State in T- 2 minutes. Always love this time of year.

On the real estate front, my head is full after spending the morning with the barristers who battled all things legal. FWL will be my brain dump from this morning to begin bring a few items top of mind for us to hash out at our respective office meetings, resource rooms & in the field…

Topics worth Digesting today…

  • Copyright laws and the practice of real estate (think listing photos & imagery on websites etc…) | Big juicy lawsuit wrapped up recently that got our attention this morning. Let’s go back to what we know – make sure you have obtained a license for use of images used in a listing or on your website. The checks are too large not to! The Copyright Act penalties range from statutory damages of $750 to $30,000 per image for unknowingly violated Copyright Act to $150,000 per image if a court finds a willful violation. Offices may to refer to our 2012 “Is a Picture Worth a Thousand Dollars? Take 2.” legal bulletin, Demco Law Firm.
  • Multiple offers, Escalation Addenda | All barristers had their say in our NWMLS 35E having risks embedded within the Form. The question then becomes how do we isolate such risks. There were discussions of countering to obtain total clarity and of having offers due at noon (mid-day) in general so that there is time to get another set of eyes on the offers, if needed (great idea!)
  • Off market sales | Discussions –  “do you know who you are representing” or better yet, “do all parties clearly know who you are representing?” – Be sure we are coaching to disclaimer language in your files – example from Demco P&S addenda I drummed up this afternoon…

“You have stated that you wish to accept Buyer’s offer even though your property has not yet had a listing published with the NWMLS. As I have explained, you should understand that publication with the NWMLS is essential for maximum exposure to prospective Buyers and to ensure the highest possible price. If you accept this offer, I will assume that you are satisfied that this offer meets your needs and expectations.”

  • Advising a client to seek expert advice | Reminders of the importance of our obligations to advise a client to seek expert advice on matters related to the transaction that are beyond their expertise. Lars Neste pointed out that this is true even when a client doesn’t ask questions – example, if a home is on a steep slope – Lars believes we should be proactively suggesting a goetech company evaluate even if a client doesn’t ask if they should further investigate.
  • Seller provided inspections | Barristers agreed that we still very much advise our clients to seek their independent investigation. Listing brokers that are counseling Sellers in this practice need to be careful they are not setting their Seller’s up for post-closing claim. “Buyer Beware” is still very alive + real – let them have access + let them investigate as a Seller. ***p.s. a solid time to remind us all of our WRE Form 42, “Notice to Buyer: Seller-Procured Inspection Report.”
  • Procuring cause | Basic tail provision discussion derived from our listing agreements – a good brush up on all therein.
  • New NWMLS Form 1S, “Appointment of Subagent.” Review this form first. Be ready to discuss in your offices. This form began a spirited discussion yet again on getting clear in who we represent at any one time. The specific example that had the barristers battling was over holding open houses that are not your listing but in our Firm. Keep in mind, the law speaks to brokers representing the buyer unless a written agreement is in place otherwise. ***p.s. I think this new Form would be good to set the table if you are going on vacation &/or will be unavailable – we now have the vehicle to “Appoint a Subagent.” Keep in mind the listing agreement already authorized us to do so. There could be a case made for us having needed this form for a long long time ago…

Days like today, I’m again so very grateful to have Demco in our corner of the ring & we have a newly renewed E&O policy. I was very much reminded today at this event that my role as DB and the role of our managers is to “supervise” – and that yes, Annie Fitzsimmons reminded us that “supervise” is a verb – a verb being a word to describe action. The best action I can think of is to continue my work in educating. As you bring “the heart of a teacher” to your clients, I and your manager bring “a heart of a teacher” to you. And yes, I should also very much put a disclaimer in-line FWL today that everything I just mapped out was 1. my brain dump from this morning 2. worth further conversations and 3. I’d better check in with Lars with respect to what I heard today I understood correctly. Regardless, great battles – can’t wait for this event next year! Feeling that much smarter than yesterday.

Husky women tip-off in two minutes, must run as my little ballers are expecting me home with hopes we can cheer on the Dawgs to the elite 8! That’s a wrap, we’ll pick up where we left off next week…

Laura Smith, General Manager | Windermere Real Estate Co.

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Ballard + Eastlake + Madison Park + Northgate + Sand Point + Wedgwood

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