The other day I wrote a post about a short sale as a viable solution. The subject has been bandied about as an alternate solution for a homeowner who may be faced with losing the home to foreclosure. It has become the agent listing tool de jour. However, it is complicated and there are tax and legal issues that go beyond the scope of what most agents are qualified to address with most potential short sale candidates.
I view myself as a problem solver, negotiator, and marketing expert, then as a real estate sales person. My logic is simple. I believe that when buying or selling real estate, you need access to as much factual information as possible in order to make an intelligent decision, or rather, the best decision possible for that particular situation. Given that mindset, I set out to provide an unbiased, intelligent overview of the issues surrounding short sales.
I did some homework and found an excellent piece written by the legal eagles at the California Association of Realtors (CAR). I prefaced the post with this:
"Like many things in life, simple definitions and answers for complicated issues and questions are not always the best. This is particularly true with issues that involve legal documents, monetary investments and the IRS. Therefore, instead of posturing with my own opinions, I have requested permission to reprint a legal article from the California Department of Real Estate (C.A.R.) that addresses many issues with regard to short sales, deficiency judgments, trustee sales, deed in lieu of foreclosure, and judicial vs non-judicial foreclosures."
I finally heard back from C.A.R. yesterday and they refused my request to republish the article. To tell you the truth, I asked for permission because it was the right thing to do, but I fully expected it to only be a formality. I was given permission to link to the article, but the article is on a password protected part of the CAR.org site, so that was a rather pointless concession.
An attorney from C.A.R. did call me and offer an explanation. She said that C.A.R. didn't want non-Realtors to have the info, as it was intended to be a benefit for C.A.R. members. They expected that C.A.R. members would disseminate this info to the client directly. I disagree. I want to disseminate this information to those who need to determine whether or not they should call a real estate agent or a lawyer.
I was told that I could provide the document to those who ask, and I can summarize the points. I'm not an attorney, so I don't believe this accomplishes what I set out to do, which was to provide an unbiased overview based on the law. I decided to ask a real estate attorney to review the article and give his opinion and summary of C.A.R.'s article, to which he agreed. I will publish it soon.
NEWS FLASH FOR C.A.R.
Properly educating the public on subjects like these, including the gazillion licensed real estate agents in California, IS A MEMBER BENEFIT. You need to reconsider your position and publish for the consumer any information that will help guide them through the decision making process. Please don't depend on your membership to do this. They are not qualified to do so.