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LEGAL Q&A: How to honor agreements with agents who have left a brokerage

LegalScale2.jpgQ:  I recently had an agent leave my brokerage with pending transactions still in escrow.  Are they still due a commission even if I have significant work left to do? 

A:  Yes.  You are still required to compensate an agent pursuant to your independent contractor agreement.  As a broker you should have an agreement with each of your agents spelling out the terms of the relationship as well as how and when your agent will be paid.  If you still have “significant” work on a property and that requires another agent to complete then the former agent may only be entitled to the portion of the transaction they worked on.  What happens if you don’t have a written agreement with your agent?  You would look at the course of how you paid them in the past.  Do you offer every agent that “closes” a flat rate?  Is it a percentage based off commission structure?  Again you look at your own policies and procedures and the agent would most likely be entitled to the portion they earned.  

Read more agent-broker questions here.


States where your tax dollars go the furthest

Nevada one of seven states with no state income tax, still didn't make Top 5

Tax reform is now dominating headlines as President Trump and Republicans in Congress turn their attention from their failed Obamacare repeal to overhauling the tax code.

Not surprisingly, most Americans think their federal income taxes are too high. But your own viewpoint is probably heavily skewed by where you live in the country.

WalletHub released a report last month, ranking states by where taxpayers get the most bang for their buck when it comes to state and local taxes. Read more here.

CNBC: This is what's behind the severe housing drought

WEB-HousingStarts.jpgThe supply of homes for sale is now at the lowest level since the National Association of Realtors began tracking inventory 18 years ago.

While all real estate is local, the problem is national. From coast to coast, buyers shopping in this spring market are finding less and less. What is listed is going fast — and selling at a premium.

Housing starts are still only about 75 percent of their historical average, and what the builders are putting up is in the pricier, move-up category. The biggest problem is starter homes — the severe lack of them. Builders say their costs for land, labor and materials are too high right now, and starter homes squeeze their margins. Read the entire story here.


Americans are taking out the largest mortgages on record

Bigger homes, more expensive inventory, and lower down payments all add up

Graph2.jpgFor the past few years, the housing market has been unbalanced. Strong demand and lean supply keep pushing prices higher and higher.

On Wednesday, a fresh piece of data confirmed that trend. The Mortgage Bankers Association’s weekly purchase loan data showed that the average size of a home loan was the largest in the history of its survey, which goes back to 1990.

Higher prices have a few different effects on the market. Buyers have to make tradeoffs on the kinds of homes they can afford, or may be shut out of ownership altogether. Click here to read the complete story.

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