Pat Kennedy - Your Washington, DC Real Estate Connection

head_left_image

The Latest Wrinkle In Limited Service Companies

 Yesterday, I sat down to write an offer on a house in northern Virginia.  There was an unfamiliar For Sale sign in the front yard, and I figured it was a local mom & pop I hadn't run across before.  

Wrong!

When I pulled up the MLS listing to fill in the broker's name and address, it was a firm in Hackensack, New Jersey, and its web site shows them operating in about 12 states and DC.

I called to request the disclosures and after several minutes in voice-mail hell, reached a person.  I asked to talk to the listing agent, and a very polite woman on the other end said that she was his helper.  She gave me the listing agent's Virginia license number to put on the offer and said she would email the disclosure information we needed to submit with the offer. At the same time, I asked if they could get me information about the sellers' time frame and how they wanted things handled.

Meantime, the seller called to follow up Sunday's showing.  He instructed me to deal with him directly, and I sent emailed all of the paperwork to him.  

A few minutes ago, I got a call from Hackensack.  It was the "helper" I spoke to yesterday.  I explained what I had done at the seller's request, and she told me that she handled he negotiations and would give him a call.

Now wait a minute!  In the Commonwealth of Virginia, that is committing an act of real estate that I think requires her to have a license.  Now I'm getting curious about how these guys work. 

My guess is, they have a broker for each of the states where they are licensed, then have assistants who, while perhaps licensed in New Jersey, may not be licensed in the states where the broker is licensed.

Shuttling papers back and forth between Hackensack and Virginia or DC (or any other state for that matter) probably doesn't require a real estate license.  That would fall under what we call "ministerial acts", and that is permitted. 

But negotiating on behalf of a client is a serious act of real estate, at least in these parts!

And who knows, maybe all of their people are licensed in every state and are totally pulled together.  If so, wow!  What a bunch of continuing educations requirements they must have to fill!  

There is plenty of room in the real estate market place for new and innovative services.  And so far, I have to give these guys credit for being responsive and getting me what I needed to prepare an offer.  And after checking their web site, I will also commend them on doing a great job of informing clients about what is or isn't included in their services.   

If they have addressed the license issues, this is even a pretty interesting business model! 

 

Comment balloon 30 commentsPatricia Kennedy • January 30 2008 12:04PM
The Latest Wrinkle In Limited Service Companies
share
Yesterday, I sat down to write an offer on a house in northern Virginia. There was an unfamiliar For Sale sign in the front yard, and I figured it was a local mom & pop I hadn't run across before. Wrong! When I pulled up the MLS… more
When The Only Good Tenant Is A Gone Tenant
share
Like many cities, Washington, DC has landlord-tenant laws that really do protect a tenant's rights. It is extremely difficult to get rid of a tenant who is paying rent, even after the lease expires. If the tenant is a total deadbeat, it is very… more
It's the Apple And I Feel Like Eve!
share
The first time I saw an email announcing your birth, I had to have you. I watched the video and wanted to hold you - to see what just under three pounds would feel like in my shoulder bag. I wanted to edit my photos on your big, clear screen… more
A Buyer's Finances: How Much Disclosure Do We Need?
share
I have an offer in counter, and one of the sticking points involves financial disclosure of the purchaser's assets to the seller and his agent (who happens to live in the building where my buyer is making the offer). We sent over an excellent… more
"So, did you sell a house today? "
share
This is to all of the spouses and sweeties of real estate agents out there. Once upon a time, I had a very nice ex-husband who greeted me at the end of each day as I walked in the door, totally pooped from a hard day on the streets, with a… more
Is 'You Snooze, You Lose" Returning To The DC Area?
share
Earlier this week, I got a call from an agent who showed a listing I have last week. His people loved it, he said, but the husband was out of town until the end of the week. They planned to make an offer Friday or Saturday. This afternoon,… more
Stone And Perma-Stone
share
There is something beautiful and amazing about many of this areas old stone homes. The one at the right is a 20's vintage craftsman bungalow here in Washington. The wall are thick. The house is solid. The stone exterior is virtually… more
Are You A House Wimp?
share
Once I dumped a perfectly nice man because he gave me a blank stare when I asked him if he knew how to fix my leaking kitchen faucet. "My people call plumbers, " was his response. When, like me, you are a single woman living in… more
When The Settlement's Over, Is The Party Over, Too?
share
Last Friday, I had two settlements with buyers who were referred to me by good friends, and both of these transactions were pretty typical. Both sets of clients were fun and wonderful to work with. And they’re both totally psyched about starting… more
Move: It's A Four-Letter Word
share
It's been 25 years since my last move. And I can't even imagine what it would be like to whip my house into showing condition, live like a total compulsive neat freak for however long it would take to get the place sold, then have my home invaded… more