Probate & The Realtor

I went to a class a few weeks ago called “Probate & the Realtor®” which caught my interest because I was tasked as Successor Trustee on a rather complicated Trust for a family member who passed away. It involved seven siblings (not all cooperative), a widow (not all widows are gold diggers but this one was),  a commercial property in one state, a residential property in another, three Realtors®, two attorneys, a CPA and of course the IRS. Not to mention a hazardous material removal ordeal, a sizeable insurance claim due to a busted water pipe and lastly a ridiculously costly gas line repair. I could go on and on.

It took years to get it closed because of the way it was written, then modified by someone that didn’t know what they were doing. (That took a court appearance by itself for the correction). There was a Trust A and a Trust B. I learned enough about trusts to say without a doubt that you definitely need an attorney that knows their stuff. I was fortunate and one was recommended to me. Even that turned into a gripe by one of the siblings. jeesh.

Anyway the class was provided by Sherry Olnhausen of Equity Title and was presented by Christopher J Charles, Esq. and Andrew Spitler Esq. of Titus Brueckner & Levine PLC. Christopher is a Real Estate Attorney and Andrew specializes in estate planning and probate/trust administration. It was held at Take Charge America a Non-Profit Credit Counseling service.

I found the information in that class to be informative and helpful as I have run into some of what they covered personally as well professionally.

Below are links to pdf’s of the presentation handouts, Take Charge Americas handout and the attorneys business card.

 Attorneys Handout

Attorneys Business Cards

Take Charge America Handout

If you’re looking for an attorney to handle a real estate problem, to prepare a trust or need help with one give them a call.

If you need to liquidate a property I can assist you with that. I can be reached at 623 344-1003 x3071 I also do nationwide referrals.



Phoenix West Valley Real Estate

Make a selection below by clicking on the city that interests you for a brief video overview of the Phoenix West Valley residential real estate market for a few select cities in the Phoenix West Valley.

For a more in depth report click on “Market Action Reports” on the left menu.

If you’d like a detailed free Comparative Market Analysis on your home to find an approximate value call me direct at 623 344-1003 x3071

Avondale e1412956889437 Phoenix West Valley Real Estate Buckeye e1412957060673 Phoenix West Valley Real Estate Glendale e1412957048585 Phoenix West Valley Real Estate Goodyear e1412957031635 Phoenix West Valley Real Estate
Litchfield Park e1412957016640 Phoenix West Valley Real Estate Phoenix e1412956964439 Phoenix West Valley Real Estate Peoria e1412956950954 Phoenix West Valley Real Estate Surprise e1412956935530 Phoenix West Valley Real Estate

To view properties on line go to

Coldwell Banker Training

Tuesday September 16, 2014 I went to a Coldwell Banker training seminar. This one was good for three hours of credit for contract law. Each license period Arizona Realtors® are required to take 24 hours of continuing education courses. This was free for Coldwell Banker Agents so why not. It started at 9 AM which meant, I for one had to drive across the valley to Scottsdale during rush hour to the Chaparral Suites where the seminar was. Then sit there on a very uncomfortable chair for the entire time, four hours minus a break. It was a real pain in the butt but it was worth it and a good refresher on the real estate contract.

When I was studying at the Graduate Realtor® Institute for my GRI Designation we went through the nine page real estate contract line by line. It took two days. Not only that but when I first started at Coldwell Banker I went to their Fast Start program and they kept pounding it in our heads to read it and read it again. You can take a look at the contract here. Keep in mind that that is just the contract. There are a multitude of other forms that Realtors® have to know about, as well as when and how to use them to protect their clients. There’s a link to some of them under the “Sell A Home/Sample Forms” tab on the left menu.

Why am I posting this you might ask? Well I have heard that some folks compare Realtors® to car sales people. Now I have to take exception to that because of obvious reasons. For one I just leased a new vehicle. It took us about 6 to 7 hours just to get to the finance part. At the end of the negotiating, which by the way I almost got up and walked out on at least twice,  they take us to the friendly finance guy. This was a freaking joke but we really wanted this vehicle and after seven hours of bull shit (sorry I don’t know what else to call it) we were hungry and exhausted. Anyway, the contract was one page 25 inches long with all kinds of different numbers, sections and with the back side all fine print. Not one attempt was made to explain any of it. Just sign here here, and here. I looked at the payment line just to make sure that it was what we agreed on and signed so we could get out of there.

After a day or two we get a call from the dealer and they said, oh we’re sorry but can you come back and re-sign as we made a mistake. None of the terms or amounts changed we just had to move some stuff around they said. So what did I do? Why I pulled out my copy and started studying it. I found buried in there that they have what they call a “Disposition Charge” which means that at the end of lease you have to pay $400 just to turn it in. So I look at my old lease from my old car and dealer and they have a line for that charge too but the amount due was a big FAT ZERO.

So we go back to the dealer as they requested and I ran into our salesman. I said to him that if I had seen that charge I would never had signed. He shined it on as nothing and said flippantly that we can return the vehicle now and then hustled us to the finance department. I brought it up again with them and they said there was nothing they could do about it. The thing that got me was that the Finance Manager wasn’t aware of it either and said that nobody has ever asked about it. (Well excuse me.) After all they are only a paper mill I guess.

Wait it goes on.

A few days later we get a third call this time from the Director of Finance.  He says I have good news for you, your payment is going down. My first thought was woo hoo and I said by how much. He said $7.00 a month but you need to come in and re-sign the lease, again. He said it’s because you had a credit of several hundred dollars and we spread it out over the length of the lease. I asked why not just apply it to the disposition charge? Nope can’t do that. I said OK for some reason and that we’d be in. When we did go back the Director of Finance, the Finance Manager AND the salesman were nowhere to be found. So we hook up with the rookie finance guy and he had it right there in his in basket, at this point I can only chuckle at the entire situation which quite frankly wasn’t at all funny. When I asked him about the disposition charge he said don’t worry about it as it’s factored in with your payment. Yeah right, but I doubt it.

Now if I pulled those kinds of shenanigans as a Realtor® with a client I doubt that I would be holding on to my real estate license for long.

So let me just say that Realtors® are licensed by the state and are bound by ethics and the law. We must be knowledgeable in our jobs in order to protect our clients as well as ourselves.

That is something car sales people could care less about. There may be lax laws for car dealers but their ethics suck. Please note that I left out dealer names as well as models but in order to protect the innocent against shady baloney contact me and I’ll tell you who they are. One guy was really helpful but I’ll leave him out too.