The first and foremost way to get into Trouble: The Almighty dollar or the misuse of it. What I mean to say is escrow deposits. When any licensee gets a deposit for any piece of real estate you have 24 hours, not 25 hours, not 36 hours, and definitely not 52 hours to give it to your Broker. The Broker is then responsible and he/she must, notice I said “must” deposit it into an escrow account, attorney’s trust account or title company account, whichever is chosen, within 3 business days. If you hold a check or cash longer than any of the above, you have failed to account and deliver. The worst case scenerio is you lose your license, lesser penalty it could cost you up to $5000 in a fine. Make a copy of the check or the receipt and keep it in the file. That’s called CYA. I am sure you all know what that means.
The second way to get into Trouble: Not getting everything signed, initialed and dated. You would be surprised how many agents forget initials, dates and even signatures, until all that is done: YOU DO NOT HAVE AN EXECUTED CONTRACT!
The third, but by no means the lesser of the three ways, to get into Trouble: Not getting all the disclosures such as the lead base paint, filled out, signed and dated. Never fill out a form that the Seller/Buyer must fill out. Somehow they (Buyer/Seller) will, as my sons say, “Throw you under the bus” or for those of you that need translation: They will tell on you when asked or just voluntarily tell.
These are the three most common mistakes that can not only get you into Trouble, but can also be the most expensive mistakes we can make. Lead base paint violations alone can cost thousands of dollars in fines if you are audited. Be careful in your business dealings. Remember: buying/selling a home is the Buyer’s/Seller’s biggest transaction in their lifetime. Take your time to do it right.
To all my Readers, have a wonderful Holiday Season and let’s be good to each other, let’s be Realtors!
Until Next Monday…our last Monday of 2011,