Lending and California’s Usury Laws

Lending and California’s Usury Laws

California usury laws add a layer of complexity to doing business in the state. Usury laws limit the amount of interest that can be charged by various parties, and usury is the charging of interest in excess of the amounts permitted by those laws. The California Constitution characterizes “interest” as fees, bonuses, commissions, discount, or other compensations received from a borrower. Before brushing aside usury laws, it is important to know that any lender that originates a usurious loan in California will be subject to tough civil penalties. Unfortunately,...
Duties Under the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice of the National Association of Realtors

Duties Under the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice of the National Association of Realtors

The Preamble to the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice begins with: Under all is the land. Upon its wise utilization and widely allocated ownership depend the survival and growth of free institutions and of our civilization. [Realtors] should recognize that the interests of the nation and its citizens require the highest and best use of the land and the widest distribution of land ownership. They require the creation of adequate housing, the building of functioning cities, the development of productive industries and...
Open House Best Practices

Open House Best Practices

Done properly, open houses can be a powerful selling tool for real estate agents and clients. To generate interest and quality leads through an open house, there are some best practices that real estate agents can and should following leading up to and during an open house. Advertising  Getting the word out about an open house is vitally important. Here are a few tips for successful open house advertising campaigns: Combine the open house with other listings in the area. Consider advertising the open house with listings from other brokers to increase visibility....
Open House Incidents

Open House Incidents

It was late on a Saturday afternoon. The day before, Susan, a real estate agent, had confirmed the Saturday afternoon open house for one of her clients. When Susan arrived, she let herself into the home, as instructed, and saw that the house was a little messy. Wanting to present the home in the best light to potential buyers, Susan washed the dishes in the sink, folded some laundry, and tidied up rooms. The time for the open house came, a few people arrived, and Susan showed them the property. About 45 minutes into the open house, another real estate agent...