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Greenlee v. Rainbow Auction/Realty Co., Inc.: Broker Liable for Damages Resulting From Contract to Split Commission With Unlicensed Individual

August 1, 1999: 

In 1998 the Court of Appeals of Wisconsin ruled on the potential liability of a real estate firm and broker who knowingly attempted to avoid that state’s statutory prohibitions on splitting a commission with a nonlicensed party. Greenlee v. Rainbow Auction/Realty Co., Inc. In this case, Farmer & Merchants Bank (“Bank”) gave Rainbow Auction/Realty Company, Inc. (“Brokerage”), the exclusive right to sell a truck stop in the Bank’s possession. Rainbow broker Jon Schuster (“Broker”) was the listing broker.

East Kendall Investments, Inc. v. Bankers Real Estate Partners: Broker Entitled to Commission Where Seller Refused to Complete Transaction

August 1, 1999: 

A case from the District Court of Appeal of Florida addressed the issue of whether a listing broker is entitled to a brokerage commission where the seller refused to complete the transaction. East Kendall Investments, Inc. v. Bankers Real Estate Partners. In this case, East Kendall Investments, Inc. (the "Seller") entered into an exclusive right-to-sell listing agreement (the "Agreement") with Bankers Real Estate Partners, Inc. (the "Broker") in connection with an apartment complex.

Monterey v. Del Monte Dunes: U.S. Supreme Court Decides Takings Case in Favor of Developer

July 1, 1999: 

A May 1999 U.S. Supreme Court decision, Monterey v. Del Monte Dunes, involved a proposed development project by Del Monte Dunes Corp. in the city of Monterey, California (the “City”). The City rejected a series of development proposals by Del Monte, each time imposing more rigorous demands on the proposed project. Del Monte ultimately brought a lawsuit claiming that denial of the opportunity to pursue any development constituted a regulatory taking of its property without compensation.

Lee Hawkins Realty, Inc. v. Moss: Buyer Representative Breached Duty to Buyer by Failing to Confirm Existence of Home Warranty in Mississippi Case

July 1, 1999: 

A case from the Court of Appeals of Mississippi, Lee Hawkins Realty, Inc. v. Moss, involved the duty to ascertain for a buyer the existence of a home warranty. In this case, Philip Moss (the "Buyer") and his wife were moving to Mississippi. He contacted the real estate brokerage firm Lee Hawkins Realty, Inc. (the "Brokerage"), and met with one of its sales associates, David Anderson (the "Buyer Representative".) The Buyer explained that he only was interested in a home with a "2-10" homeowner's warranty policy.

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.

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