Legal Minutes – Multiple Offer Situations from the Buyer’s Side

 

In the newest installment of our Legal Minutes video series, Betsy Urbance, Director of Legal Services at Illinois REALTORS®, takes you through the many legal and ethical issues REALTORS® face when representing a buyer in a multiple offer situation.

Click here, or on the picture to view the video (login required).

Challenge of Chicago’s Shared Housing Ordinance one of 5 legal case studies

Hartzler

Illinois REALTORS® can learn from the analysis of five legal case studies, including a failed challenge to Chicago’s Shared Housing Ordinance.

Lisa Harms Hartzler, Sorling Northrup Attorneys, provides the analysis of all five cases in the May issue of Designated REALTOR® Legal News.

In the case regarding the Shared Housing Ordinance, federal court declined to issue a preliminary injunction against Chicago’s ordinance because plaintiffs (Airbnb, VRBO, HomeAway and city residents) failed to show their First Amendment free speech rights were violated and that the ordinance was void for vagueness under the Due Process Clause, wrote Hartzler.

For more information on the case studies, real estate disciplines and information about non-real estate business sales, read the May DR Legal News.

Type and frequency of non-real estate business sales could require more of REALTORS®

If REALTORS® assist with the sale of businesses that fit the parameters of the Illinois Business Brokers Act of 1995 (IBBA), they may need to register with the Illinois Secretary of State’s office to ensure compliance, says Christine Self, Sorling Northrup Attorneys.

This registration is in addition to real estate licensing, Self writes in the May edition of Designated REALTOR® Legal News.

Self

The IBBA requires those who broker the sales of non-securities type of businesses to register with the Illinois Secretary of State, pay annual fees, and meet disclosure and record-keeping requirements. A key question to answer about individual transactions, she states, is whether real estate interests are the dominant element. The frequency of non-real estate transactions and the ratio to the number of real estate transactions can make a difference in whether REALTORS® are judged to handle non-real estate transactions on an “incidental basis.” But since the IBBA doesn’t define “incidental basis,” REALTORS® who occasionally handle non-real estate business sales leave themselves exposed to potential liability if they do not comply with registration, disclosure and record-keeping requirements.

For more information on this issue, in addition to legal case studies, real estate disciplines and more, read the May DR Legal News.

Sellers and REALTORS® to benefit from format change to residential disclosure reports

Betsy Urbance

A format change to the Illinois REALTORS® version of the Residential Real Property Disclosure Report will help seller clients and their REALTORS® better document when disclosures are presented to buyers.

The change follows the regular forms review process by the Illinois REALTORS®’ Legal Team. Members can sign in and see the report here.

“We gave serious consideration to the format change that might change or add another step to the completion process,” says Betsy Urbance, Illinois REALTORS® Director of Legal Services. “Please note the Illinois Residential Real Property Act has not been amended and brokerages may opt to not use the REALTORS®’ version of the form. Only the format for our form, which is available for our members’ use, has changed.”

Urbance explains the change:

“We purposely changed page 4 to give sellers proof they met their obligation to give the disclosure report and show relevant portions of the statute to the buyers prior to the buyers becoming bound by the contract. We acknowledge this might change the process a bit. However, based on real life experience in seller disclosure litigation, the inability of sellers to prove disclosures were given is problematic. Although the statute does not require buyers to sign disclosures, sellers are required to give the disclosures and statute in a timely manner. So, the change gives sellers a better way to prove their duties were met.

“Sellers should sign and date the form on the date it is provided to the buyers (or the buyers’ agents),” she says. “Sellers are required to provide this form/portion of the statute before buyers become obligated on the purchase contract. In other words, sellers should sign and date reports some time before contracts are agreed to by the parties.

“As a result, if buyers initially download forms from the MLS some time prior to making offers, once buyers make offers, sellers should ‘circle back’ and sign and date the forms on or at the time contracts are entered. Also, this provides sellers a chance to review initial disclosure reports for any needed changes. This is always recommended when properties have been on the market for some time. After all, what if between the time the buyer’s agent downloaded the report and the time of contract, the seller’s basement flooded after the second ‘100-year-rain’ in the last year?

“This change is our model, and we believe it puts our members (and their seller-clients) in the best position to reduce their risk … and help sellers prove they met their statutory obligations. Whether or not associations and/or brokerages take up this model is a matter of their business discretion.”

Fair Housing Video Series

In recognition of April being National Fair Housing Month, Illinois REALTORS® recently conducted a series of interviews on the different ways housing law affects landlords and tenants.

In the first video of our Fair Housing series, REALTORS® Mike Rickert and Annette Akey Panzek talk about the types of modifications property owners can make to better accommodate seniors and disabled tenants. Additionally, Garland and Heather Armstrong, a married couple living in Chicago, tell of their experiences in what considerations property owners and REALTORS® should keep in mind.

Further installments in the video series will include a closer look on how landlords can meet obligations under the Fair Housing Act, as well as a look at what are known as “hidden disabilities” and the types of accommodations necessary for people with such conditions.

Click here to view the first video, and be sure to check back for future installments.