legaltopics: To Deed or not to Deed, That is the Question! - 01/08/07 09:45 AM
I sometimes get questions at closing from both REALTORS and clients about deeds when they learn my background, so I decided to devote a brief post to it.  Though it is doubtful that you will ever use any type of deed other than a general warranty deed, knowledge is always useful..and reading this is a lot less tedious than sitting through a law school class on Real Estate Transactions (trust me, bbooorrrriiinnngg).
To begin with, a deed is the actual legal written document that conveys an interest in, or legal title to, property, when properly executed and delivered.  Do not confuse the contract for sale … (11 comments)

legaltopics: Is it Time to Cull the Herd? - 01/05/07 04:50 AM
Born and raised in the great state of Texas, I thought this analogy fitting for this particular topic.  Though I am definitely not a true cowboy, I have several family members and friends who have owned cattle and I have even worked on a ranch a few times helping them with their livestock.  Culling the herd involves separating the sickly or weaker animals from the rest of the stronger and healthier animals so as to increase the overall quality of the herd.  Several recent events and conversations have led me to believe that this same concept is necessary among REALTORS (normally … (1 comments)

legaltopics: How to Turn Apples Into Oranges - 01/03/07 06:44 AM
We've all heard the saying "Apples to Apples" and "Oranges to Oranges", indicating that when comparing two things they need to be similar in order to be able to properly evaluate them.  This is a very common principal in real estate used when evaluating a property's market value in a CMA.  When dealing with investors or business property, however, we have the ability to exchange our apples for a group of oranges, and yet many agents fail to properly inform their clients of this wonderful opportunity...the 1031 Like-Kind Exchange.
A 1031 Exchange is a tax deferral rule that allows an investor to exchange … (16 comments)

legaltopics: Walking the Tightrope Between Practicing Law and Protecting Your Clients!!! - 10/19/06 04:04 PM
One difficulty that every agent has to face is the balance between using your knowledge and experience with real estate contracts to protect your clients without crossing the line into actually practicing law.  For newer agents, this may help you avoid a few pitfalls while more experienced agents may want to stop and review their current practice.
For starters, an accusation of practicing law usually occurs in a law suit or investigation by a state real estate authority.  Either way, you are in a position you don't want to be in.  The funny thing, however, is that many agents are so scared … (1 comments)

legaltopics: Riparian Rights in Real Estate - 10/14/06 10:25 AM
I know what you're thinking.  Riparian...that's a term used in sword fighting, right?  Or is it a new gang terminology for sexual assault?  Or maybe its a term used when you separate or "rip apart" lands or acreage.  Okay so it's not a very common term, but if you guessed water rights in land, you win the prize.
Why, you might ask, should real estate agents or even home owners need to know about riparian rights.  Unfortunately, land owners often do not know about the issue and their ignorance (or their agent's ignorance) could lead to big legal problems.  In Texas people are … (15 comments)

legaltopics: Breaking and Entering...A Big Oops from Show Homes - Part II - 10/13/06 01:23 PM
If you have not first read part I of this blog, please read part I before continuing...
After learning more about the story, I agreed to represent the tenants who had been placed by Showhomes into the home of a person that never contracted with show homes and did not want the tenants there.  My first action was to call the Showhomes office in Dallas.  I really thought that because it was a misunderstanding and an obvious mistake by Showhomes in Dallas that we could simply discuss the problem, cancel my clients' contract as tenants for Showhomes, get their money returned with a … (3 comments)

legaltopics: Breaking and Entering...A Big Oops from Show Homes - 10/11/06 03:30 PM
I am still relatively new to ActiveRain and the blogosphere in general, but wanted to share a story with the network that still dumbfounds me.  I received a call today from a renter who contracted with Show Homes (a company that manages vacant listings and arranges for tenants to help stage the home while listed) seeking my legal help because of a huge error by Show Homes.
Basically, Show Homes contracted with an individual who claimed to be the owner of a home that a friend of mine had recently listed.  They were to provide a tenant to help in staging and furnishing … (6 comments)

legaltopics: Why AGENCY is a big deal in Real Estate - 10/11/06 01:28 PM
One of the best and worst problems with my background as an attorney is the occasional listings I get from consumers who have been taken advantage of by their previous agent in a real estate transaction.  I occasionally farm expired listings and was recently contacted by a couple who lost thousands of dollars because their agent decided that closing a sale and receiving a commission was more important than serving them and protecting their interests.
When we sat down with these clients I could tell by their hesitancy that they had been burned, but even I was shocked to discover the level of … (9 comments)


Steven Holcomb

Esq. - BBA, JD, GRI

Plano, TX

More about me…

Keller Williams Realty

Address: 3600 Preston Rd. #100, Plano, TX, 75093

Office: (972) 599-7000

Mobile: (214) 334-6454

Email Me

A place to learn, laugh and just plain marvel at the trials and travails of various real estate professionals and their clients. Brought to you by a Realtor and sometimes Attorney serving the Dallas area real estate market.



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