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Snider v. Oklahoma Real Estate Commission: Oklahoma Supreme Court Reverses Real Estate Commission Order That Certain Statements in “The Buyer’s Agent” Advertising Brochure Are False and Misleading

June 1, 1999: 

A June 1999 Supreme Court of Oklahoma decision set aside decisions from the Oklahoma Real Estate Commission (the “Commission”) and two lower courts that certain statements contained in an advertising brochure are false and misleading. Snider v. Oklahoma Real Estate Commission.

Brown v. Roth: In North Carolina, Providing Appraiser's Square Footage Measurement to Buyer May Not Be Enough

June 1, 1999: 

Brown v. Roth, a North Carolina Court of Appeals decision, involved communication of incorrect square footage information to a home buyer. In 1993, Charles Brown (the “Buyer”) purchased a home located in Huntersville, North Carolina from the Roths (the “Sellers”). The house was listed with a real estate brokerage firm (the “Brokerage”), whose sales associate (the “Listing Agent”) took property information from the Sellers and prepared the multiple listing form.

Ileka v. Lyons: Federal Court Finds No Evidence of Discrimination by Practitioners

June 1, 1999: 

An unreported 1999 decision from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Ileka v. Lyons, involved the sale of a property in Chicago, owned by an elderly white woman (the “Seller”). In July 1997, she listed her home for sale with the real estate brokerage firm Erickson Realty and Management Co. (the “Brokerage”). Mary Small, a licensee affiliated with the Brokerage, was the listing agent (the “Listing Agent”).

Aranki v. RKP Investments, Inc.: Contract Clauses Releasing Brokers from Liability Found Unenforceable by Arizona Court

June 1, 1999: 

A decision from the Court of Appeals of Arizona found the broker exculpatory clauses in a form purchase contract were unenforceable and also clearly distinguished between the disclosure duties owed to a home buyer by the listing brokerage and those owed by the brokerage representing the buyers.

Bortz v. Noon: Listing Broker Not Liable for Sales Associate’s Misrepresentation to Buyer

May 1, 1999: 

An April, 1999 decision of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, Bortz v. Noon, addressed the issue of misrepresentation in the context of a licensee acting as an innocent conduit of information from a third party.

Darby v. The Furman Company, Inc.: Commission Must Be Disgorged Where Licensee Did Not Disclose His Interest in Transaction

May 1, 1999: 

In 1999 the Supreme Court of South Carolina decided the case Darby v. The Furman Company, Inc. In this case, Gwendolyn Darby (the “Seller”) owned a large tract of land located in Greenville County, South Carolina. She contacted a real estate brokerage, The Furman Company, Inc. (the “Brokerage”), spoke with Bill Fogleman, one of its salespeople, and listed a 53 acre parcel for sale with the Brokerage.

Telluride Real Estate Company v. Penthouse Affiliates, LLC: Colorado Statute Governing Brokerage Relationships Does Not Abrogate Colorado Common Law of Procuring Cause

May 1, 1999: 

A Colorado procuring cause case, Telluride Real Estate Company v. Penthouse Associates, LLC, addressed the claim that state statute governing real estate brokerage relationships abrogated Colorado common law (case law) of procuring cause. In this case, Steve Hilbert, a licensee affiliated with Telluride Real Estate Company, showed the Revenue Penthouse, a condominium located in Telluride, Colorado (the “Penthouse Unit”) to Mr. and Mrs. Furland (the “Buyers”). They were interested in the unit and had Hilbert show it to them a second time.

Hilbert v. Hough: Specific Performance Denied Where Land Description Too Ambiguous

April 1, 1999: 

A 1998 case from the Court of Appeals of Idaho, Hilbert v. Hough, addressed the important element of certainty in a contract. In this case, the Hilberts (the “Buyers”) entered into an agreement (the “Agreement”) to purchase a parcel of land located in Bannock County, Idaho from the Houghs (the “Sellers”).

Cantrell-Waind & Associates, Inc. v. Guillaume Mortorsports, Inc.: Property Owner Cannot Deliberately Hinder Closing to Avoid Owing a Commission

April 1, 1999: 

A 1998 case from the Court of Appeals of Arkansas, Cantrell-Waind & Associates, Inc. v. Guillaume Mortorsports, Inc., addressed a real estate broker’s right to a commission in the context of an option to purchase and the property owner’s duty of good faith and fair dealing.

Field v. Century 21 Klowden-Forness Realty: California Court Distinguishes Between Limited Inspection Duties Owed to Buyer by Seller’s Broker and Fiduciary Duties Owed by Buyer Broker

March 1, 1999: 

The California case, Field v. Century 21 Klowden-Forness Realty, found that a broker in a fiduciary relationship with the buyer may be required to examine such things as public records and title documents for the buyer, as opposed to a seller’s broker, who has no such duty.