In U.S. v. Graham Mortgage Corp., a 1984 case, the Sixth Circuit addressed alleged violations of 12 U.S.C. section 2607(a) (section 8(a) of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act of 1974 (RESPA)). The court reversed the criminal conviction of the appellants, as it found that the plain language and legislative history of RESPA did not indicate an intent to include the making of a mortgage loan within the definition of "settlement services."
Easton v. Strassburger: California Court of Appeals Reviews Applicability of Article 2 NAR Code of Ethics
Article 2: REALTORS® shall avoid exaggeration, misrepresentation, or concealment of pertinent facts relating to the property or the transaction. REALTORS® shall not, however, be obligated to discover latent defects in the property, to advise on matters outside the scope of their real estate license, or to disclose facts which are confidential under the scope of agency duties owed to their clients.
Ballo v. James S. Black: Washington Court Finds That Developers Involved in Joint Venture Did Not Violate Antitrust Laws
In Ballo v. James S. Black Co., the Court of Appeals of Washington addressed tying arrangements and price-fixing in the context of joint ventures. The court held that developers who set the sale price of lots in a subdivision, and who required a six percent sales commission, did not violate antitrust law where the land they owned was part of a joint venture and occupied a small portion of the relevant market.
In Zoda v. Eckert, the Court of Appeals of Washington addressed questions regarding MLS errors, "As Is Move-in agreements," and whether a real estate salesperson purchasing a house for personal use was an agent of the seller. The court held that a real estate agent who purchases a home for her own use did not have an independent duty to inspect information in a MLS and was not an agent of the seller.
U-Haul of W.Georgia v. Dillard Paper: Georgia Supreme Court Holds Broker's Statements Regarding Property Condition to Be Expressions of Opnion and Sales Puffing
Broker was not liable for representing warehouse building as in excellent condition, well-maintained, and sound, where three years after sale, building was discovered to have bowed walls in danger of collapse. Broker's statements were expressions of opinion and sales puffing, and buyer could have discovered defects by exercising ordinary diligence and having professional inspection performed.
U-Haul Co. of Western Georgia v. Dillard Paper Co., 169 Ga. App. 280, 312 S.E.2d 618 (Ga. Ct. App. 1983).
Virginia Beach BOR v. Goodman Segar Hogan: Virginia Supreme Court Outlines Standard of Review for Confirmation/Vacation of Arbitration Awards
In Virginia Beach Board of REALTORS®, Inc. v. Goodman Segar Hogan, Inc., the Supreme Court of Virginia reviewed the trial court's decision to vacate a Board arbitration award. The supreme court noted the limited circumstances under which an award may be vacated, reversed the trial court, and upheld the award.
Reed v. King: California Appellate Court Compares Duty to Dislose Facts About Stigmatized Property and Elements of Fraud
In Reed v. King, the California Court of Appeal addressed whether a seller has a duty to disclose a multiple murder in a house that occurred ten years prior to sale. The court found a duty to disclose facts that materially affect the value or desirability of property which facts are known to the seller and are not readily apparent to the buyer. The court remanded for trial on the issue of value.
George D. Thomas Builder v. Timmons: Texas Purchaser Uses Consumer Protection Act to Recover Damages From Broker and Seller for Misrepresentation/MLS Error
In George D. Thomas Builder v. Timmons, the Court of Appeals of Texas addressed an alleged MLS error regarding square footage under the Texas Deceptive Trade Practice Act (DPTA). The court found that the seller had not misrepresented the square footage and was not negligent regarding the error. The court found that the agent was liable under the DPTA and assessed treble damages. The court also held that the seller was jointly liable.
Note: This case is not published in an official reporter and may not be cited as authority.
Consult with counsel before relying on this case.
Adams v. Kerr: Missouri Court of Appeals Holds That Dual Agent Must Act With Knowledge and Consent of the Principal(s).
In Adams v. Kerr, the Missouri Court of Appeals addressed the duty of loyalty owed by an agent to its principal. The court held that where, at the time of execution of a sales contract, a seller is not informed that his broker also represents the purchaser, the broker has breached his duty of undivided loyalty.