“Go to hell, relo company”

That’s the title I found on Jim Duncan’s Real Central VA site this morning.  I thought the post was eloquent and well-stated.  Well, the title at least.

Relocation companies are in some cases a necessary evil, and I thought Jim did an excellent job of explaining his frustration.  Specifically, he’s wondering why the requirement that a buyer use the same closing attorney as the seller (the relocation company) is using is not a violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act.  And he’s right.  He should be asking.  It’s a question we’ve been asking for a while, and no one can explain why it’s not.  Which says to me that it is.

Yet relocation companies continue to set the requirement, and often the language appears right in front of Paragraph 19 of the RVAR Purchase Agreement, which reads:

"You have the right to select a settlement agent to handle the closing of the transaction.  … No settlement agent can provide legal advice to any party to the transaction except a settlement agent who is engaged in the private practice of law in Virginia and who has been retained or engaged by a party to the transaction for the purpose of providing legal services to that party."

So how can a settlement agent provide legal services in an environment in which their services have been "retained or engaged" by both parties?  They can’t.  Jim’s stance is that a buyer’s agent ought to be wary of placing their clients in that situation.  Also, check out his post at the bottom of the page on transparency in real estate commissions.  It’s a very forthright look at how a real estate fee is taken apart in a reloChester2763840cation transaction … and his readers comments are very insightful as well.   Real estate is a great business to be in, for a number of reasons, but not everyone can pull off the cheesy REALTOR … Nice job, Chester.  You win.

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