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Realtors Are Sending Mixed Message

May 16, 1999

Now the California Assn. of Realtors wants to define, in writing, the responsibility of realty agents during the home-buying process to reduce buyers' confusion ("New Forms Legally Bind Buyer, Broker," April 25).

June Barlow, association vice president and general counsel, please explain to me the message your association is delivering to buyers in the advertising campaign bombarding the airwaves: "You have a life; we let you live it."

This campaign has dismayed me from the first time I heard it. It is essentially telling a buyer that it is OK to abdicate all one's responsibilities during the process of purchasing a home, that the Realtor will take care of everything because "you have a life."

In the article you say, "Maybe the buyer expects the broker to move their furniture; they don't know where the line is." Well, from your ad, I would surely expect you to move my furniture too. The association has blurred the line. You can't have it both ways.

As an escrow professional, I far too often hear from a buyer at the time of closing or even after closing, "I didn't know, nobody told me," and I am left to explain something that should have been disclosed long before closing.

For most people, purchasing a home is the largest single investment they will make. Yes, buyer, you do have a life. This is your life; be involved from beginning to end.



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