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REAL ESTATE AGENCY LAW ARTICLES

Must I Pay Commission if the Sale is Canceled?

By Christopher Combs | August 24, 2018

Question: After my husband retired we signed a listing agreement with a real estate broker to sell our Tempe home because we wanted to move to a condominium in east Mesa. Our real estate broker quickly located a buyer, and we executed a purchase contract to sell our Tempe home to that buyer. Our children have been very unhappy about us selling our Tempe home because they were all born in this home. We believe now that we acted too quickly in signing the purchase contract. We contacted our buyer, and our buyer agreed to cancel the purchase contract if we…

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Fair Housing Laws in Cities Can Protect More Classes

By Christopher Combs | October 30, 2017

Fair Housing Laws in Cities Can Protect More Classes   Question: In a recent column you said that age is not a protected class under state and federal fair housing laws, and that senior citizens have no protection under fair housing laws just because they are old, e.g., some senior citizens run marathons. You also said, however, that many senior citizens are “disabled,” which is a protected class under state and federal fair housing laws. You are correct about state and federal fair housing laws, but cities and towns can provide in their fair housing laws for additional protected classes. For…

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Dual Agency Disclosure Must Be Signed By Both Buyer And Seller

By Christopher Combs | September 13, 2017

Dual Agency Disclosure Must Be Signed By Both Buyer And Seller   Question: I am a real estate agent in a brokerage firm in north Phoenix that has more than 300 real estate agents. Today I received an offer to buy one of my listed homes from another real estate agent in my brokerage firm who is representing the buyer. I have never met this real estate agent before, but she says that we are dual agents representing both the seller and the buyer because we are real estate agents in the same brokerage firm. Is that correct?   Answer: Yes. A…

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Employee of LLC needs real estate license

By Christopher Combs | August 6, 2017

Employee of LLC needs real estate license   Question:  Our family’s limited liability company (“LLC”) owns several manufacturing companies, but also owns three small office buildings in Glendale.  My wife and I are the only members of this LLC.  One of our employees is primarily in sales for one of our manufacturing companies, but he also handles the rental of these three small office buildings, including occasional showings to prospective tenants and making arrangements for repairs/maintenance.  Is this employee required to have a real estate license, even though his primary job is manufacturing sales, and he gets very little compensation…

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Listings Belong to the Broker, not the Agent

By Christopher Combs | April 23, 2017

Listings Belong to the Broker, not the Agent   Question:  We recently signed a listing agreement to sell our Chandler home. Although the broker’s name was typed on the listing agreement, only our real estate agent signed the listing agreement. Is our listing agreement with the broker, or with our real estate agent? Or both?   Answer:  Your listing agreement is with the broker only. The real estate agent can only sign on behalf of the broker. The distinction becomes important if the real estate agent goes to a new broker. Although many brokers will let real estate agents transfer…

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Recent Ruling Leaves Agent-Broker Liability Questions

By Christopher Combs | January 23, 2017

Recent Ruling Leaves Agent-Broker Liability Questions    Question: In real estate school we were taught that under Arizona law a real estate agent was an employee of the broker. The reason was that the broker was required to reasonably supervise all real estate agents under the license of the broker. Therefore, the broker as the employer was liable for all wrongful acts of the real estate agent. An Arizona court recently ruled, however, that a real estate agent is legally an independent contractor, and not an employee. Therefore, the broker has no liability for the acts of the real estate agent.…

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Cancellation of Listing Agreement

By Christopher Combs | December 19, 2016

Cancellation of Listing Agreement   Question: Before I signed a six-month listing agreement for the sale of my Peoria home, I had a telephone conversation with my real estate broker. Both of us were in Arizona. In this telephone conversation my real estate broker said that, although his office policy required a written six-month listing agreement, I could verbally cancel this six-month listing agreement after thirty days. I recorded this telephone conversation without my real estate broker’s knowledge. When I decided after thirty days that I really disliked this real estate broker, I told him to cancel the listing agreement.…

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Developer Changed Subdivision Plans

By Christopher Combs | October 7, 2016

Developer Changed Subdivision Plans   Question: When we purchased our Buckeye home we were in Phase one of the subdivision. The developer’s sales agent said that Phase two and Phase three of the subdivision would have larger homes on larger lots. The sales agent said that, therefore, our lower-priced home would have strong appreciation in value. The homes in Phase two and Phase three have recently been completed, and these homes in Phase two and Phase three are smaller homes on smaller lots. The sales agent no longer works for the developer. Do we have a claim against the developer…

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