How can FL real estate professionals keep themselves and their clients safe in the face of a massive land grab?
In Part 1 of this series we uncovered a highly controversial Florida waterfront land grab in which the State and local authorities are battling over deeds and income rights, while some investors have been secretly scooping up prime waterfront property from under homeowners, and selling it for over a 2,000% profit. In Part 2 we discovered the rising issue of eminent domain in Florida and how it is being used to seize and control property use.
While FL homeowners, buyers, and sellers may face the brunt of this issue, there is no question that these are challenges which can severely impact all real estate professionals from mortgage lenders to insurance agents and more. However, this can really all come down on the FL Realtors involved in listing homes, and representing buyers and renters.
This is a massive risk and challenge for real estate agents and their brokers. If you misrepresent a listing to buyers or expose sellers to big lawsuits there can be severe financial consequences. Errors & Omissions Insurance only goes so far. It doesn’t absolve Realtors from their duties. It’s your responsibility to know what you are selling, check the client has the right to sell the property, and the rights you are advertising, or that are assumed to be a part of the deal. Failure in this area doesn’t just mean lost deals, but big legal costs, board complaints, getting sued, and losing your reputation and future business.
Fortunately identifying, preventing, and squashing these issues doesn’t have to be that difficult. Before taking a listing it is smart to obtain a title search to spot or clear a property of title, deed, usage, and fraud issues. Buyers agents, and even rental agents may suggest this to listing agents or their clients too. It is just a part of doing business today.
In a sale the buyer should always obtain an Owner’s Policy from a title company. This not only confirms clean title on acquisition, but provides insurance, and covered legal defense incase these issues arise later due to fraud, eminent domain, or other land grab attempts.
Of course not just any real estate attorney or title insurance company will do. There is a massive difference between them, just like between Realtors and brokerages. Some have been involved in fraud and title issues as much as investors and scam artists. Others have been building up referrals and long term clients for years. Choose a Florida title insurance company who digs deep, is thorough, and proactive about crushing potential issues, and who prizes sustainability. Then you can be confident your clients are safe and your strategic partner will help you build your business for years to come.
Want to learn more about the land grab, title insurance, and Florida waterfront property? Get out to one of these engaging upcoming events…