Blog Archives

When does a person become your real estate agent?

Specific laws and duties govern the relationship between a person looking to buy or sell real property and their real estate agent/broker.  Only an agent can act on behalf of the party to negotiate the contract for the purchase or sale of the property.  Of course, lawyers can do this too as long as they do not charge a commission but instead bill hourly.  The person who engages the broker to act on their behalf is called the “principal”, while the actor is called the “agent.” An agency relationship forms when the principal authorizes the agent to act on their behalf.  An agency can only form when there is evidence (like a written contract) that the principal intended to designate the actor as his agent.

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Posted in Brokers, Real Estate, Real Estate Agent

California Civil Code § 2079.13 After Horiike v. Coldwell Banker Residential Company

  California Civil Code § 2079.13 After Horiike v. Coldwell Banker Residential Company, et al. Horiike v. Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Company (Cal., Nov. 21, 2016, No. S218734) 2016 WL 6833005 (“Horiike”) presents an interesting judicial interpretation of Civ. Code, § 2079.13. In Horiike, a Coldwell Banker agent listed a Malibu, California property for sale. After receiving an offer, the listing agent made a number of disclosures and recommendations regarding the square footage of the Malibu home. That sale fell through. The listing agent then received a second offer from a buyer represented by a fellow Coldwell Banker agent. During the course of this sale, the listing agent failed to make the same disclosures and recommendation regarding the square footage. This buyer purchased the property

Posted in Disclosures, Purchase and Sale, Real Estate, Real Estate Attorney Los Angeles

The Rams Effect in Los Angeles

The Rams coming back to Los Angeles was one of 2016’s trending topics, as Angelinos were excited to have an LA football team once again. With the return of the Rams, and a new stadium being underway, came a big impact in Los Angeles real estate. Just last month in October, there was an apartment complex in Hawthorne (an area near Inglewood) that sold for a breaking $25.8M! The price per square feet for that apartment complex was a whopping $305. Commercial properties in the area are selling from $300 up to $2,400 per square feet. Some of these commercial properties are even being advertised as being “next to Rams Stadium!” There are a lot of small business scattered near and around the area where

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Posted in Commercial Lease, Purchase and Sale, Real Estate, Real Estate Attorney Los Angeles

Seller’s Broker’s Duty to Be Factually Accurate

The California Court of Appeals in Saffie v. Scheming (2014) 224 Cal.App. 4th 563, recently held that a seller’s broker has a duty to be factually accurate and not much more.  The Court of Appeals determined that the seller’s broker had fulfilled his duties to the buyer by simply ensuring the accuracy of the information in the MLS listing including providing details of a report the seller had obtained.   The seller’s broker,  in Saffie, did not disclose that the information in the report (about whether a property was buildable) may no longer be accurate given that years had passed since seller’s expert had prepared a fault zone report  and the law had changed.  The Court of Appeals held that it was enough that the seller’s broker

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Posted in Broker Liability, Real Estate

Insurance Company’s Duty to Defend in Real Estate Cases

Insurance coverage exists for so many areas of every day life—for example, medical insurance, automobile insurance, and title insurance.  We typically come across the duty to defend in real estate cases in the context of general liability policies, title insurance policies in the context of cases involving easements, general premises liability, title disputes and some landlord tenant matters.  In each of these cases, the insurance company (“the insurer”) provides the insured party (“the insured”) coverage based on the terms of the insurance contract. As part of these contracts, the insurer may include a provision that if the insured becomes party to a lawsuit involving the covered risks of the insurance policy, the insurer may defend the insured throughout the course of that lawsuit. These provisions

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Posted in Insurance Company, Real Estate

When A Property Manager is Required to Have a Real Estate License

The California Business and Professional Code requires a real estate license to perform most acts related to real estate.  However, the State has carved out some exceptions for property managers.  Below, we have outlined the basic rules for when the Code requires a property manager to have a real estate license and when the Code provides them with an exemption. California Business and Professional Code section 10130 sets forth the acts that only a real estate licensee may perform.  The list includes a property manager who solicits tenants, negotiates leases or collects rents. (Bus. & Prof. C. § 10131.)  This means that most activities that an owner would hire a property manager to carry out would require a real estate license.  However, the Code sets

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Posted in Property Managers

Homeowner’s Rights When Removing a Lodger

Recently, Schorr Law’s lead attorney Zachary Schorr was asked to appear on ABC’s Nightline to speak about a recent news story involving a live-in nanny who, upon being fired, refused to vacate the room that she had been allowed to live in as part of her employment.  Zachary Schorr’s appearance on Nightline can be viewed at http://www.schorr-law.com/zachary-schorrs-appearance-on-abcs-nightline.   In that story, the live-in nanny held the position that she was entitled to the right’s of a tenant and, therefore, the homeowners would have to go through formal eviction procedures to get her out of their home.    The story raised some interesting issues regarding some of the dangers that homeowners risk by allowing third parties prolonged access to their property. Interestingly, in some instances, homeowners who allow

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Posted in Homeowners, Lodgers, Real Estate, Residential Lease Unlawful Detainer

Mortgage Brokers and Real Estate Brokers – One Set of Laws

According to the California Department of Real Estate, a mortgage broker is a real estate broker and performs loan-related services under the real estate broker license.   “California does not issue a “mortgage broker” license. A majority of those engaged in  mortgage loan brokering do so with a real estate broker  license. To the surprise of some, the  license that allows the listing and sale of real property (the traditional activities associated  with a real estate broker license) is the same license that allows the solicitation of borrowers  or lenders, the negotiation of loans secured by real property. . . . [and] . . . . As a licensed real estate broker, you may engage in mortgage brokering without any additional license. A real estate broker

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Posted in Brokers, Real Estate

Picking The Top Los Angeles Real Estate Lawyer

In our real estate litigation practice we are frequently asked how to determine the Top Los Angeles Real Estate Lawyer.  This is an interesting question that we try to answer every day through the work we produce. Here are 3 factors we consider important in evaluating the top Los Angeles Real Estate Lawyer, and quite frankly, the factors that differentiate the good from the rest: 1.  The types of cases they handle.  It is hard to be good at everything.  Many firms are generalist law firms in that they claim to be experts at everything when they are really just generalists and perhaps experts at nothing.  Pay attention to how many of the particular types of real estate cases the firm handles on average, historically

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Posted in Real Estate, Real Estate Attorney

Title Insurance and What it Means to the Average Home Buyer

Today in California, title insurance is required in almost every real estate transaction.  The standardized forms used by real estate brokers include express provisions for the issuance of title insurance as a condition of the purchase. Title insurance, unlike other forms of insurance that protect against future events (i.e. automobile insurance, health insurance, and home insurance), protects against a loss arising from conditions effecting the title that exist as of the date of the issuance of the policy.  Title insurance is not issued for a set term, but instead generally continues for as long as the insured owns the property.  Title insurance does not insure the value of the property, only the condition of its legal title.   Title insurance is not a guarantee or representation

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Posted in Ownership, Purchase and Sale, Real Estate, Title Insurance

Zachary D. Schorr’s Expert Appearance on the Dr. Phil Show

Zachary D. Schorr’s Expert Appearance on ABC’s Nightline

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Zachary Schorr Superlawyers

Zachary D. Schorr has been named to the Southern California Super Lawyers (Rising Stars) list for attorneys in Real Estate for 5 straight years - 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. Each year, no more than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in the state receive this honor. In 2016 he was also included as one of the top 100 lawyers in Southern California in this category. The selection for this respected list is made by the research team at Super Lawyers.

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If you are currently involved in a real estate dispute, either commercial real estate or residential, and are looking for a Real Estate Attorney in Los Angeles with a cost-effective, results oriented approach designed to meet your case's specific needs, contact the attorneys at Schorr Law. Our real estate firm has the specific knowledge and experience necessary to get you the best possible results.

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