Terry Weaver has joined SCCAOR as our new Membership Coordinator. Terry will help new members join SCCAOR and assist current members with any questions or issues about their Association membership.

“I am ecstatic to join the SCCAOR Team,” said Weaver. “I look forward to sharing my diverse experience and enthusiasm to all SCCAOR members and affiliates.”

Terry was born and raised in Connecticut and lived in Raleigh, North Carolina for 19 years. She is familiar with the real estate industry, having worked as a REALTOR® in North Carolina. She is also an Air Force Veteran and has a masters in Human Resource Management from DeVry University’s Keller Graduate School of Management, and studied Business Management for her undergrad.

“Terry is a great addition to our Membership team,” said Tracey Lee, Member Services Manager. “She brings many years of customer service experience and she will add another layer of success to our team.”

Terry is a skilled cosmetologist, having done makeup design for Comic Con. She is also interested in fashion consulting and she has organized fashion shows for her sister’s church. In her free time, she enjoys taking trips to the beach and line dancing.

“My two favorite mottos are ‘Dress for Success’ and ‘Work smarter, not harder’,” she said.


You can reach our Membership Services team by phone (408-445-8500), email (membership@sccaor.com), and also via live chat on our website.

This ongoing series explores the NAR Code of Ethics through various case interpretations. Please read through the following case and try to decide if there was any Code of Ethics violations. Then click the box at the bottom to find out the answer. (These cases have been provided by the National Association of REALTORS®.)


Case #3-10: Disclose Accepted Offers with Unresolved Contingenci​es

REALTOR® A listed Seller S’s house and entered the listing in the MLS. Within a matter of days, REALTOR® X procured a full price offer from Buyer B. The offer specified that Buyer B’s offer was contingent on the sale of Buyer B’s current home. Seller S, anxious to sell, accepted Buyer B’s offer but instructed REALTOR® A to continue marketing the property in hope that an offer that was not contingent on the sale of an existing home would be made.

A week later, REALTOR® Q, another cooperating broker working with an out-of-state transferee on a company-paid visit, contacted REALTOR® A to arrange a showing of Seller S’s house for Buyer T. REALTOR® A contacted Seller S to advise him of the showing and then called REALTOR® Q to confirm that he and Buyer T could visit the property that evening. REALTOR® A said nothing about the previously-accepted purchase offer.

REALTOR® Q showed the property to Buyer T that evening and Buyer T signed a purchase offer for the full listed price. REALTOR® Q sent the purchase to REALTOR® A.

REALTOR® A informed Seller S about this second offer. At Seller S’s instruction, Buyer B was informed of the second offer, and Buyer B waived the contingency in his purchase offer. REALTOR® A then informed REALTOR® Q that Seller S and Buyer B intended to close on their contract and the property was not available for purchase by Buyer T.

REALTOR® Q, believing that REALTOR® A’s failure to disclose the existence of the accepted offer between Seller S and Buyer B at the time REALTOR® Q contacted REALTOR® A was in violation of Article 3 of the Code of Ethics, as interpreted by Standard of Practice 3-6, filed an ethics complaint with the association of REALTORS®.

At the hearing called to consider the complaint, REALTOR® A defended his actions noting that while Buyer B’s offer had been accepted by Seller S, it had been contingent on the sale of Buyer B’s current home. It was possible that Buyer B, if faced with a second offer, could have elected to withdraw from the contract. REALTOR® A argued that continuing to market the property and not making other brokers aware that the property was under contract promoted his client’s best interests by continuing to attract potential buyers.

The Hearing Panel disagreed with REALTOR® A’s justification, pointing to the specific wording of Standard of Practice 3-6 which requires disclosure of accepted offers, including those with unresolved contingencies. REALTOR® A was found in violation of Article 3.

This ongoing series explores the NAR Code of Ethics through various case interpretations. Please read through the following case and try to decide if there was any Code of Ethics violations. Then click the box at the bottom to find out the answer. (These cases have been provided by the National Association of REALTORS®.)


Case #2-6: Misrepresentation

REALTOR® A, a cooperating broker, had shown four houses to Buyer B, and Buyer B’s wife had asked to see one of them a second time. There was a third inspection, and a fourth. They seemed at the point of decision but said they would like to “sleep on it.” When there was no word the next day, REALTOR® A called. Buyer B said he was a bit hesitant on the price; that some transfers of executives in his company had been rumored; that this could affect him within the year; that he hesitated to buy at a price that might mean taking a loss if he should be transferred within a year.

REALTOR® A tried to reassure the prospect by telephone. Then he dictated a letter stating that the house was an exceptional bargain at the asking price and “our office guarantees to get your money out of it for you any time in the next year if you should need to sell.” Buyer B came in and signed the contract.

Six months later, Buyer B came to REALTOR® A as a seller. He was being transferred. He would need to get his equity out of the house to be able to afford a purchase in the new community. REALTOR® A listed the house at the price Buyer B had paid for it. After a month there had been no offers. Buyer B reminded REALTOR® A of his written assurance that his office had guaranteed he would get his money out of the house within the year.

REALTOR® A explained that the market had become much less active and that Buyer B might have to reduce his price by $10,000 to $15,000 to attract a buyer. Whereupon, Buyer B filed a complaint with the Board of REALTORS® charging REALTOR® A with misrepresentation, exaggeration, and failure to make good a commitment. After examination of the complaint, the Grievance Committee referred it to the Professional Standards Committee for a hearing.

In response to questioning by the Hearing Panel, REALTOR® A admitted that he had written the letter to Buyer B in good faith and, at the time the letter was written, he had been certain that his office could obtain a price for the property that would ensure Buyer B was “getting his money out of the house.” However, REALTOR® A explained that although he had held such an opinion in good faith, the market had softened and now the circumstances were different.

The Hearing Panel reminded REALTOR® A that the pertinent fact being considered was not his opinion at the time of the previous sale as compared to his opinion now, but rather his written “guarantee” to Buyer B and his current failure to make good his written commitment. It was the conclusion of the Hearing Panel that REALTOR® A had engaged in misrepresentation and was in violation of Article 2.

Code of Ethics Case Interpretations

This ongoing series explores the NAR Code of Ethics through various case interpretations. Please read through the following case and try to decide if there was any Code of Ethics violations. Then click the box at the bottom to find out the answer. (These cases have been provided by the National Association of REALTORS®.)


Case #2-4: Obligation to Ascertain Pertinent Facts

Shortly after REALTOR® A, the listing broker, closed the sale of a home to Buyer B, a complaint was received by the Board charging REALTOR® A with an alleged violation of Article 2 in that he had failed to disclose a substantial fact concerning the property. The charge indicated that the house was not connected to the city sanitary sewage system, but rather had a septic tank.

In a statement to the Board’s Grievance Committee, Buyer B stated that the subject was not discussed during his various conversations with REALTOR® A about the house. However, he pointed out that his own independent inquiries had revealed that the street on which the house was located was “sewered” and he naturally assumed the house was connected. He had since determined that every other house on the street for several blocks in both directions was connected. He stated that REALTOR® A, in not having disclosed this exceptional situation, had failed to disclose a pertinent fact.

REALTOR® A’s defense in a hearing before a Hearing Panel of the Professional Standards Committee was:

  1. that he did not know this particular house was not connected with the sewer;
  2. that in advertising the house, he had not represented it as being connected;
  3. that at no time, as Buyer B conceded, had he orally stated that the house was connected;
  4. that it was common knowledge that most, if not all, of the houses in the area were connected to the sewer; and
  5. that the seller, in response to REALTOR® A’s questions at the time the listing was entered into, had stated that the house was connected to the sewer.

The panel determined that the absence of a sewer connection in an area where other houses were connected was a substantial and pertinent fact in the transaction; but that the fact that the house was not connected to the sewer was not possible to determine in the course of a visual inspection and, further, that REALTOR® A had made appropriate inquiries of the seller and was entitled to rely on the representations of the seller. The panel concluded that REALTOR® A was not in violation of Article 2.

The Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS® (SCCAOR) awarded five prestigious awards during its Installation Ceremony at Villa Ragusa in Campbell last month.

2018 REALTOR® of the Year was awarded to Frank Cancilla of eXp Realty. This award recognizes individuals who demonstrate the principles of good real estate practice, promote home ownership, and provide distinguished service to all SCCAOR Members.

“It was a very humbling experience to be chosen by my peers as the recipient of this distinguished award,” said Cancilla. “I was completely shocked and overwhelmed with emotions after they announced my name. It was an amazing feeling.”

Cancilla has been a licensed REALTOR® since 2000 and has been a broker for the last 13 years. He is a current member of the SCCAOR Board of Directors and was the 2018 Chair of the Santa Clara County REALTORS® Foundation

Another award given out at the event was Affiliate of the Year, awarded to Don Crozier of Kal Financial. Don has been in the mortgage business for over 30 years and has been a SCCAOR Member since 2000. He currently serves as a member of the SCCAOR Affiliate Committee.

“One of the things I enjoy about this business is the ability to give back,” said Crozier. “It’s been a tremendous privilege to work with the REALTORS® in the community.”

The award for 2018 Volunteer of the Year went to Carl San Miguel of Highland Properties. He has been a REALTOR® for 46 years and he is the only two-time Past President in the history of the Association.

“Volunteering is already rewarding by the people you share your time on committees with,” said San Miguel. “To be chosen by my peers for my commitment to the REALTOR® community is icing on the cake. It is indeed humbling.”

The fourth award of the night, the President’s Choice Award, was given to Helen Chong of Haylen Group. Helen has been a REALTOR® for 14 years and currently serves on the SCCAOR Board of Directors.

“It was a complete surprise,” said Chong. “I am extremely honored and humbled to have been given this award, especially among so many other accomplished REALTORS®!”

In a surprise announcement, the Byron Brawley award was presented to Pam Foley. This award, which is SCCAOR’s highest honor, recognizes a career of exemplary and distinguished service to the members of the Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS®, the real estate industry of California, and the community at large. Foley has been a REALTOR® since 1987 and served as SCCAOR President in 1998.

“I am truly humbled and honored to receive the Byron Brawley Award,” she said. “Having served with this wonderful man when he was SCCAOR president, I know what a truly generous man he was. He was a man of integrity, honesty and a high moral compass. He dedicated his career to supporting and advancing professionalism within the REALTOR® community.”

Click here to see videos of each award presentation

Here is a summary of some new laws passed by the California Legislature that may affect REALTORS® in 2019. You can view an even larger list on C.A.R.’s website and you can read the full text of each law here.

 


Civil Liability: Liability of real estate agents for sexual harassment expanded

Even if a business, service, or professional “relationship” does not presently exist, a real estate agent (and “investor” among other persons) may be liable for sexual harassment when he or she holds himself or herself out as being able to help the plaintiff establish a business, service, or professional relationship with the defendant or a third party. This law eliminates the element that the plaintiff prove there is an inability by the plaintiff to easily terminate the relationship. (Senate Bill 224)


Common Interest Developments: Financial review on a monthly basis and other anti-fraud precautions 

This law requires HOA boards to review on a monthly basis the association’s accounts and reserves; requires fidelity bond coverage for directors, officers, and employees to be maintained equal to three months’ reserves; and requires a manager to obtain written board approval before they may transfer association funds of $10,000 or more. (Assembly Bill 2912)


Employment: Discrimination and harassment

Prohibits an employer from requiring the execution of a release or non-disparagement agreement in exchange for any condition of employment. Broadens the definition of harassment to include any type of harassment, not merely sexual, for which an employer may be responsible when committed by a nonemployee. Explains in detail the legal standards constituting sexual harassment by citing and affirming various court cases. (Senate Bill 1300)


Employment: Sexual harassment training requirements Expanded By January 1, 2020.

Employers who employ 5 or more employees, including temporary or seasonal employees, must provide at least 2 hours of sexual harassment training to all supervisory employees and at least one hour of sexual harassment training to all nonsupervisory employees by January 1, 2020, and once every 2 years thereafter. (Senate Bill 1343)


Financial Disclosures: Foreign language translations for loan modifications

This law requires financial institutions to provide specified mortgage loan modification documents in the same language as the negotiation if the terms of negotiation are conducted in Spanish, Chinese, Tagalog, Vietnamese, or Korean. Currently, these disclosures are required only when a loan is originated. The law is also updated to include the Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure forms in addition to the Good Faith Estimate. (Senate Bill 1201)


Insurance: Fires and other natural disasters: Eight new laws to strengthen the rights of homeowners

With wildfires and other disasters devastating areas across the state, insurers have employed various tactics to avoid paying out on claims and to minimize their losses in the future. This set of eight new laws attempts to ensure that a homeowner who has purchased insurance will realize the benefits of their policy and will not be improperly or unfairly denied coverage presently or in the future.

(View links to all 8 laws on C.A.R.’s website)


Real Estate Law Clean-up: Updates the real estate law to make it clearer and conform it to existing practice.

This C.A.R. sponsored “clean-up” legislation updates the real estate law to conform it to existing practice, eliminates antiquated or confusing laws, clarifies existing law, and introduces plain language where appropriate.

Among the more important changes: This law reiterates that existing law permits agents and brokers to establish their working relationship as one of either independent contractor or employment: it consolidates real estate definitions across a range of laws; and it resolves a variety of specific issues caused by confusing and antiquated laws. (Assembly Bill 1289)


Real Estate Law Clean-up: Independent Contractor Relationship Reaffirmed: New Private Transfer Fees Outlawed

This C.A.R. sponsored law prohibits developers from creating new property covenants, conditions, or restrictions that force subsequent owners to pay specially designated fees every time the property is transferred, unless the fee provides a “direct benefit” to the property, as defined in federal law. (Assembly Bill 2884)


Sexual Harassment: Liability for real estate agents expanded

Even if a business, service, or professional “relationship” does not presently exist, a real estate agent (and “investor” among other persons) may be liable for sexual harassment when he or she holds himself or herself out as being able to help the plaintiff establish a business, service, or professional relationship with the defendant or a third party. This law eliminates the element that the plaintiff must prove there is an inability by the plaintiff to easily terminate the relationship. (Senate Bill 224)

Code of Ethics Case Interpretations

This ongoing series explores the NAR Code of Ethics through various case interpretations. Please read through the following case and try to decide if there was any Code of Ethics violations. Then click the box at the bottom to find out the answer. (These cases have been provided by the National Association of REALTORS®.)


Case #1-9: Ex​clusive Listing During Term of Open Listing

During a Board of REALTORS® luncheon, REALTOR® A described to those at the table an old house in a commercial area which was open listed with him and invited the others to cooperate with him in selling the property. REALTORS® X and Y said they also had the property open listed but had found very little interest in it. REALTOR® B made no comment, but feeling he could find a buyer for it, went to the owner and discussed the advantages of an exclusive listing. The owner was persuaded and signed an exclusive listing agreement with REALTOR® B, telling him at the time that he had listed the property on an “open” basis for 30 more days with REALTORS® A, X, and Y. REALTOR® B’s comment was, “Just don’t renew those open listings when they expire.”

A few days later, REALTOR® A brought the owner a signed offer to purchase the property at the asking price. The owner told REALTOR® A that he now had the property exclusively listed with REALTOR® B, and asked him to submit the offer through REALTOR® B. Before REALTOR® A could contact REALTOR® B, REALTOR® B had taken another offer to purchase the property at the asking price to the owner. Confronted with two identical offers, the owner found both REALTOR® A and REALTOR® B expected full commissions for performance under their respective existing listing agreements. The owner filed an ethics complaint with the Board of REALTORS® alleging violations of Article 1 of the Code of Ethics because of the difficult position he had been placed in by REALTOR® A and REALTOR® B. The owner alleged neither of them had warned him that he might be liable for payment of more than one commission.

In reviewing the actions of REALTOR® A, the Hearing Panel found that he was not at fault; that he had performed as requested under his listing agreement. On the other hand, it was the conclusion of the Hearing Panel that REALTOR® B had violated Article 1 by failing to advise the owner of his potential commission obligation to the other listing brokers when the client told him other listing agreements were in force.

The Hearing Panel pointed out that because of REALTOR® B’s omission his client, through no fault of his own, may have incurred legal liability to pay two commissions; that REALTOR® B should have advised the owner of his potential liability for multiple commissions; and that by not doing so REALTOR® B had failed to protect his client’s interests as required by Article 1.

Gen Mem Banner

Thank you to all our members who came out to our first General Membership Meeting of 2019. We were welcomed by our 2019 President, Gustavo Gonzalez, who shared some SCCAOR updates and information on all the SCCAOR Committees. This meeting featured a special presentation from Carl Guardino, CEO of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group. We also heard a C.A.R. update from Rick Smith, a local government affairs update from Chrissy Garavaglia, an MLSListings update from Karl Lee, and a Commercial Council update from William Chea.

Click here to download a copy of Carl Guardino’s presentation.

Click here to download a copy of the MLSListings update.

Watch a copy of the Facebook Live Stream below: