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Breaking the Plane

I am in the planning stages of a real estate seminar for the spring, and the colleague coordinating with me proposed  adding “hold ups” to the list of topic.  I asked in what sense he meant it, and he replied, “When one party threatens not to close in order to extract payment for something that they are not entitled to.”

 

He added, “I think this ‘hold up’ phenomena borders on the unethical. Alternatively, it may be seen as advocacy. What do you think?”

 

My answer was that “I think it’s a very fine line.” If I suggest that my clients might consider calling the town about an illegal structure that the sellers refuse to address for the agreed-upon price, I'm probably an advocate/responsible citizen. “However, if I urge my clients to shake the homeowners down for more because I know the sellers are in a precarious spot, or I advise my clients to squeeze buyers before their interest rate expires, I believe I am firmly on the wrong side of my license.”

 

My colleague agreed, offering his good-practice philosophy. “I am of the school of thought that a residential real estate matter is a collaborative effort at problem solving and that any foreseeable problems ought to be taken care of before closing.”

 

I wish all real estate practitioners counseled their clients on collaboration! I tell my buyers or sellers that while I will protect only their interests, ultimately we are all playing on the same team. Buyers, sellers, and their attorneys are jointly moving across the field, driving towards a mutual end zone, because our only goal is a successful closing.

 


Photo by SD Dirk

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
(Anonymous)
Nov. 3rd, 2011 01:19 pm (UTC)
Nice!
Only you could find a way to get football into an ethics discussion!
real_lawyer
Nov. 3rd, 2011 01:55 pm (UTC)
Thanks!
How my mind works: ethics... don't cross the line... teamwork... same goal... break the plane & score!
oswalkeba
Nov. 4th, 2011 04:20 am (UTC)
Great read! I wish you could follow up to this topic

real_lawyer
Nov. 4th, 2011 10:15 am (UTC)
Thanks. What more would you like to know?
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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