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2 On Bruss: Seller, Buyer Beg to Differ

June 02, 1996

On May 12 you published two angry letters responding to advice by "Real Estate Q&A" columnist Robert Bruss about settling lawsuits. I, too, find his advice questionable.

Bruss has, for some time, promoted seller financing as a way for retirees who own their own homes to receive profitable income by becoming mortgage bankers.

I am against such financing because (1) the seller is locked in without the ability to get emergency cash, if needed, from this arrangement and (2) an institution can afford to plan long term; an individual cannot.

My home is now on the market, and further investigation convinces me that seller financing really benefits buyers with no or shaky credit history who might be inclined to put payments to the individual seller (perhaps a hapless senior citizen, without the force a bank, or even an experienced lawyer and broker like Bruss, can exert) on the "back burner."

I suggest a "Seller Beware" warning on seller financing.



When Robert Bruss (educator, lawyer, author, and real estate broker) wrote "many for-sale-by-owner (called 'fizzbos') sellers are impossible and cranky and usually greedy" ("Real Estate Q&A," May 5), he was correct.

However, he did not by any means catalog all the faults, vices, sins and downright evils of many of these antisocial suppurating sores on the body economic who lurk behind their cheap red-and-white "For Sale By Owner" signs luring buyers into what, for them, will be a financial and legal disaster of biblical proportions. Greed, after all, is a deadly sin.

There ought to be a law. One can only hope, modestly, that Robert Bruss is working with his colleagues influencing Sacramento to forbid the sale of any dwelling by the title owner merely because he owns it. Let's remove this blight once and for all.



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