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Buyers Need Not Sign Clause Giving Up the Right to Sue

March 11, 2001

It needs to be called to the attention of all buyers that by signing the arbitration clause,which is present in all real estate purchase contracts, they are waiving their rights to go to court.

The contract reads: "You are giving up your judicial rights to discovery and appeal unless those rights are specifically included in the arbitration of disputes provision."

Real estate agents and brokers and sales representatives for developer cannot advise you to sign or not to sign: To do so is to give legal advice.

Unfortunately, in my everyday course of business I witness this 100% of the time: Realtors representing sellers who advise their clients as well as mine to sign that clause. Some even threaten to not present the offer.

That too is illegal.

I am tired of watching the public [being] bullied and intimidated. If a real estate agent encourages you to sign that clause and things go sour, you may have legal recourse against the agent who gave you advice illegally.

LILLIAN WALKER

Huntington Beach

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The writer is a mortgage broker.

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Letters must include the writer's name, address and daytime telephone number and should be sent to the Real Estate Editor, Los Angeles Times, 202 W. 1st St., Los Angeles, CA 90012 or faxed to Real Estate Editor at (213) 237-4712 or E-mailed to Real.Estate@LATimes.com. Letters may be edited for reasons of space and clarity.

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