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Every day, we do little things to protect ourselves and our loved ones. From buckling up before driving to locking doors before going to bed, the smallest of actions can go a long way towards keeping safe. Insurance provides similar protection – it’s why we invest money in auto and health...

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When you’re a party to a commercial real estate transaction, whether buying or selling, it’s crucial to perform environmental due diligence on the property. Properties can have any number of hidden environmental liabilities that can cost a fortune, devalue the property, or turn into a legal...

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That perfect dream home or promising investment property you’ve purchased can turn into a nightmare if a property dispute arises. Real estate disputes can cover a range of issues and have devastating consequences if not handled quickly and skillfully. Here are three common property disputes and...

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On our last blog post we covered “cloudy” titles, or clouds on title, and some effective ways to avoid or cure them. In this post we’re going to cover one of those potential solutions: the scrivener’s affidavit.

A scrivener’s affidavit is a common method of “curing” a sick or cloudy title....

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Cloudy, clouded, or the more common term, cloud on title is a colloquialism for a defect on a title (or an apparent defect) that can have short or long-term ramifications on the property and its owner. This article will give you a brief overview of cloudy titles, some real-world...

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Here’s a run-down to keep in your back pocket for your clients: Government Conservation Easements and how they work for your client. Knowledge is power, and a savvy Realtor has answers to even the most mundane questions.

So, What’s a Conservation Easement?

A...

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Involving minors in real estate transactions can be a tricky business, and it’s a common enough practice that more often than not, you’ll need a title agency and a lawyer to clear the title. In our real-world example this week, we’ll show how you can...

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Inspections are so ingrained in the process of buying and selling Real Estate that at times they are taken for granted. It’s important to remember the purpose of the inspection is not to put an extra step between a buyer and their prospective property – it’s to prevent the buyer from acquiring a...

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What is a General Power of Attorney?

A power of attorney is a delegation of authority by one person (usually called the principal) to another person (usually called the attorney-in-fact or agent). The attorney-in-fact is...

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Subdivisions, Property Owners Associations (POAs), and Home Owners Associations (HOAs) exist for many reasons, whether a neighborhood is trying to maintain property value, safety, or uniformity. If you’re moving or working in one of these areas, here are a few examples of what type of...

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Chances are, Realtors already understand disclosure, and what it means for all parties involved. This article is for educational purposes, and for those that want to up their game in their real estate communications. This blog piece will cover the basics of our Principal Instructor, Scott...

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Selling a home can be a simple process, or a tricky minefield. Just when an agent thinks they know everything about the property, the title work comes back with a left hook. One such unpleasant surprise can come in the form of liens on a property.

Imagine you’re the selling agent and...

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We’re entering the season where continuing education (CE) grinds to a halt in favor of summertime client relationship management. Buyers spend the warm months browsing for homes, and so Agents spend their time showing houses, networking, and hoofing it around town for work, not trapped inside...

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Not every close call is a difficult one, but when problems arise it helps to have a fleet of attorneys at your back during crucial transactions like the purchase of property.

Some years ago, a seller and buyer came to us about a piece of rural property. The survey on the 5 acres came back,...

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When it comes to closing a property, there are a lot of moving parts (Realtors, buyers, sellers, lawyers, closing companies, lenders, etc.). With so many parties, effective cooperation becomes paramount. This week we share three qualities in a Realtor that make our job as title agents...

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Each year, approximately 20% of homebuyers fail to protect themselves by not getting owner’s title insurance. Unfortunately, this leaves them exposed to serious financial risk—causing endless worry and regret.

If you’re thinking of buying a home, here’s what you need to know to protect...

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Whether you’re looking for a “wow factor” or added value, repairing a home before it’s sold is a tricky business. The end goal when making repairs and modifications to a for-sale home is usually to shorten the time of the sale and/or maximize the return on investment for the homeowner....

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Homebuyers with intent to move in are often buying at some key point in their life, whether they’re starting a family or are downsizing for space (or they won the lottery and need a house to prove it). Each type of homebuyer will have their own priorities when moving, and each person will have...

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The difference between joint tenancy and tenants in common is very important for partners buying real estate to learn, and therefore for its Realtors to learn. These two terms are similar, but very different ways that two or more parties can buy property...

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If you’re in the business of buying and selling commercial property, you’re likely very familiar with zoning, and the issues that can crop up with the process. If you’re not familiar, zoning is the process of categorizing the uses for a piece of real estate. The most common distinguishable zones...

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These companies are mentioned so much in the Real Estate Industry, sometimes we take for granted that not everyone knows what they do and why they do it. Here’s a brief overview to fill in the gaps.

A considerable number of homebuyers don’t have the money outright to buy a house in cash,...

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Buying a house doesn’t always have to mean getting the property as is. When a buyer finds a fault or concern with the real estate, they have the ability to negotiate repairs before the property trades hands. But where does the buck stop when it comes to checking that repairs have been made, or...

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Pitching a house by the price per square foot is a popular and dangerous habit. While it might provide a close approximation of the market value of the property, it can go disastrously wrong if that approximation is inaccurate, and you’ve already signed a contract.

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Title to land and possession of land are related, fundamental concepts regarding real estate that overlap considerably, but are not identical. Title is about ownership of land; possession is about, well, possession of land. A person who...

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A plethora of Internet fads are making the rounds in the short time we’ve all migrated to the World Wide Web. Everything from crafts on Etsy, to tutorials on YouTube, all the way to important things like personal taxes with TurboTax, have taken on a very do-it-yourself (DIY) feel. While the...

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We have seen numerous deals over the years hit a snag based on the misconception or miscommunication of what stays with a home and what is leaving with the seller. The answer begins with knowing the difference between real and personal...

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Working around the holidays can be mind-numbing for anyone. Between prepping for family, decorating, and shopping, it’s a wonder we get anything done in December. For an industry as seasonal as real estate, it might be an ideal time for a little holiday break, right? According to expert...

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Last month we crafted an informational piece about proposed Commission Regulation 10.5, the contents of which would impose strict regulations on advertising any brokerage activities in Arkansas. After some deliberation, the Commission has decided to begin training on best advertising practices...

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Halloween is just around the corner, and Realtors want to know: Do I have to tell a potential buyer that a property might be a “haunted house”?

In 2009 this was a legal gray area. Does the Realtor owe a duty to the buyer to make an inquiry about past events in the house? Can a buyer sue a...

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With the recent uptick in email spoofing and wire fraud, we thought it would be a good topic to explain in further detail. In this article we’ll discuss some best practices to avoid being scammed when dealing with real estate transactions.

Good Funds

As Realtors...

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Chances are, Realtors already understand disclosure, and what it means for all parties involved. This article is for educational purposes, and for those that want to up their game in their real estate communications. This blog piece will cover the basics of our Principle Instructor, Scott...

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If you’re new to “The Realty Blog” or just looking to take a stroll down memory lane, this week’s blog is a quick snapshot of some of our most popular posts from the past year. The experts at Attorney’s Title Group write these blogs to bring forward important real estate topics that are not...

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What You Need to Know About Proposed Regulations on Real Estate Advertising

This is a snapshot of what we know about Commission Regulation 10.5 (currently on the Governor’s desk as of September 7, 2018), the contents of which will impose strict regulations on advertising...

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We all know what a bedroom is, right? At first glance it might seem like an obvious, common-sense piece of information for any Realtor or real estate expert. But if you look deeper into state real estate laws, you might find some conflicting opinions.

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Subdivisions, Property Owners Associations (POAs), and Home Owners Associations (HOAs) exist for many reasons, whether a neighborhood is trying to maintain property value, safety, or uniformity. If you’re moving or working in one of these areas, here are a few examples of what type of...

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From ensuring everyone arrives on time to keeping all the paperwork in order, the closing process has always been complex. In 2018 eClosures are a rising trend in the way Realtors handle real estate. EClosures allow for lenders to review questions ahead of time and expediate the closing process...

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Today we’re going to talk about an important, often hidden, part of our team. The man behind the title work, who’s signature ends up on most of the paperwork, but our regulars have not met. Before he was “The Title Guy” he had a hand in several ground-breaking movements in Arkansas real estate...

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Everyone and their grandma has a computer these days, and the instant connectivity has led to the rise of do-it-yourselfers. While For Sale By Owner (FSBOs) has been around for longer than the internet, now it’s even easier to Google “how to sell your house”, and even download and print forms to...

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A reverse mortgage is very much what it sounds like: the lender takes out a mortgage on a house, but instead of giving the owner a lump sum of money for the loan amount, the lender instead makes a monthly fixed payment to the borrower (owner of the property). It’s a relatively recent tool for...

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This week we explore the last three decades and how amenities handled the boom and recessions that followed:

1990’s

In the 1990’s the economy started to improve under the Clinton administration, leaving the developmental dark of the 80’s behind Interest rates were...

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1950’s — 1990’s: The Evolution of Housing in Little Rock

HGTV and new neighborhoods, like Pleasant Valley and Chenal, have changed the perception of housing amenities throughout the years in Little Rock, leading consumers to want bigger and better houses. Before these...

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Whether you’re downsizing, hopping an RV to Florida, or relocating, buying and selling property after retirement requires a lot of planning. Here are some circumstances, best practices, and key terms to be on the lookout for.

Selling After Passing of Spouse

People in...

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This week, ATG answered seven (7) questions that came from Millennials, the market’s future home-buyers. This is our insight into the most common questions you might run into as an agent working with this age group.

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Commercial Closing is “Easier”

Buyers of commercial property are often surprised at how much simpler the closing process is compared to residential. Residential buyers have a stack of papers to sign at closing from their lender, a stack which the law requires to be...

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“Arkansas Taxes are the Simplest in the Nation!”

Said no one, ever.

Have you ever wondered why Arkansas pays taxes in arrears (meaning 2018’s taxes will be paid next year) and why they are so confusing? We can help with that! The current theory is that during Reconstruction, after...

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Selling a home can be a simple process, or a tricky minefield. Just when an agent thinks they know everything about the property, the title work comes back with a left hook. One such unpleasant surprise can come in the form of liens on a property.

Imagine you’re the selling agent and...

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We often get the question, “What does the Realtor do at the closing?” We try to clean up those questions in this post.

Contract

The first thing the Realtor does is send the contract to the closing company. The contract lets the closing company know what the purchase...

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What is a General Power of Attorney?

A power of attorney is a delegation of authority by one person (usually called the principal) to another person (usually called the attorney-in-fact or agent). The attorney-in-fact is...

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Closing a sale on a property is a complicated, many-headed beast. What works for one Realtor may not always be the best-case scenario with another. And when it comes to commission checks, you want to lock down specifics on as soon as possible.

...

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Recently there’s been a bit of buzz online about “Coming Soon” listings, and where they fall legally (and ethically) in a Realtor’s toolbox. While this topic has been an issue for numerous years, with the increased use of social media, they’re becoming more prevalent, raising difficult questions...

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There’s no doubt technology has simplified many aspects of our lives, and while fads come and go, the pre-internet era is a abstract concept to the younger generations. Luckily, some of us are still here to reminisce about being a Realtor some 40+ years ago. Here are 5 things Realtors managed...

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Here’s a run-down to keep in your back pocket for your clients: Government Conservation Easements and how they work for your client. Knowledge is power, and a savvy Realtor has answers to even the most mundane questions.

So, What’s a Conservation Easement?

A...

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How Uncle Sam can help your duck season!

Duck hunters know about government programs that preserves and creates habitat. They know they need a federal stamp in addition to their state license to legally harvest waterfowl in designated seasons. But how many know there are programs to...

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Meet Scott Jones – Realtor Turned Lawyer

Being a Realtor can be a very satisfying job. We hear it all the time: the people make the job worthwhile. Scott Jones loved working with people as a Realtor, and from 2002 until 2008 he did just that. Something bothered...

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As you well know, buying and selling a house involves a lot of moving parts and communication, especially when it comes to the closing. While most Realtors bring their own process and experience to the table, they also have to take into account the wide range of priorities the buyer, seller,...

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Realtors – Learn How a Bad Marriage Can Impact a Closing

Title issues with married (and divorced) couples are some of the most common problems we run into in this business. What most people don’t know about property ownership is that even though a couple can buy a house in...

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Get owner’s title insurance and buy your home with confidence

Your long home-buying journey is almost over. You found the home you love, the seller agreed to your offer and now it’s time for closing. Of course, there’s a lot to think about right now, and the last thing you...

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Buying a home is an exciting and emotional time for many people. To help you buy your home with more confidence, make sure you get owner’s title insurance. Here’s why it’s so important for you.

1. Owner’s Title Insurance Protects Your Largest Investment

A home is...

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As the world turns and the digital age evolves past the need for paper documents, a common question arises from our brokers: Do I have to keep paper records?

AREC regulation 10.7 requires brokers to maintain records for at least three years. Fortunately, Regulation 10.7(b)(3)...

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Ownership of land by two or more persons is called a co-tenancy. There are two basic kinds of co-tenancies. One is a tenancy in common. A tenancy in common consists of two or more tenants in common. Unless the deed vesting title in the tenants in common provides otherwise, each tenant in common...

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What you need to know about Contracts for Deeds:

  • A contract for deed is a way property can be purchased by a buyer who doesn’t qualify for more conventional mortgage financing.
  • With a contract for deed the buyer pays the purchase price to the seller in monthly installments of...
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The law that requires certain contracts to be in writing in order to be enforceable is called the:

(a) Written Instrument Law

(b) Parole Evidence Law

(c) Statute of Limitations

(d) Statute of Frauds

Answer: (d)

The Statute of...

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If I sign an Exclusive Buyer’s Agreement with a buyer client and show a home listed by another agent in my office am I a Dual Agent?

Yes, you are a Dual Agent. The buyer and the seller are both clients of your Broker, thus as a sub-agent of your Broker you represent both the...

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Riparian rights concern properties abutting moving water such as streams and rivers. If a property abuts a stream or river, the owner’s riparian rights are determined by whether the water is navigable or not navigable.

If the property abuts a non-navigable stream, the...

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  • A living trust allows the trustor, during his or her lifetime, to convey title to a trustee for the benefit of a third party. The trust charges the trustee with all necessary responsibility for managing the property, protecting its value, and securing whatever...
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Warren Buffet lives in the same house he purchased in 1958. He bought it for $31,500.

In Scotland homeowners...

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We have seen numerous deals over the years hit a snag based on the misconception or miscommunication of what stays with a home and what is leaving with the seller. The answer begins with knowing the difference between real and personal property. In the broadest since, real property is...

more
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My client has mistakenly violated the setback requirement on their new home; what can they do?

We have all had the situation arise in our careers when a client calls and says they accidentally built a permanent structure on their property too close to the property. Now...

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Client vs. Customer: What duties are owed to an open house visitor?

We have all faced this situation: a couple comes into our open house and begins to ask questions about the property and real estate in general. We politely answer their questions and gather information....

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