Supreme Court Rules on Dual Agency

For the first time in history, homebuyers are deliberately creating dual agency situations as many refuse to work with anyone but the listing salesperson. The thinking being that they may get a better deal working with the listing salesperson when actually they may be creating a possible conflict of interest. How can the listing salesperson negotiate the best deal for you when their fiduciary obligations are to the seller?

In 2016, a surprising trend emerged almost everywhere in the country. When buyers call about a listing that is unavailable or unsuitable for their needs, they have no interest in hearing about other properties – instead agents are constantly hearing the refrain: “We’ll just contact the listing agent directly.” This shift is just another sign that clients have not been educated about the benefits of having a fiduciary relationship with their buyer’s agent.

In Horiike v. Coldwell Banker, the California State Supreme Court ruled that for in-house deals, that the agency (Coldwell Banker and its respective salespersons in the transaction) had a fiduciary duty to both the seller and the buyer. This ruling could limit the ability of large firms to do in-house deals, raise transaction costs due to increased litigation and force agents to disclose “sensitive information about the client’s motivations or the salesperson’s personal beliefs to the other side of the transaction. Sadly, agents divulge this type of information all the time.

Couple this with pocket listings, lax agent attitudes toward dual agency issues, and a recent California Supreme Court decision changing dual agency requirements in that state, and you have a perfect storm that could fundamentally transform how Realtors conduct their businesses. Realtors refer to themselves as agents, but when it comes to the agency law, the brokerage is the “agent,” not the individual salesperson.

The best way to avoid agency issues is to ask, “Whom are you advocating for and what are your legal obligations in terms of what you can and cannot disclose?” Most real estate attorneys believe the solution to the dual agency issue is to work with a buyer’s agent exclusively.

The Marc

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Luxury Living on Upper State Street in Santa Barbara. Pre-leasing in July for September move in. Currently under construction at 3885 State Street. The Marc is the first multi-family residential building to be built in Santa Barbara in 30 years. Some of the Marc residence features are:1-2-3 bedroom homes ranging from 646 – 1,026 square feet, Modern, open living spaces with designer-selected finishes, Oversized windows for optimal natural light and spacious closets, and Private patios and balconies for seamless indoor-outdoor living. For more information visit their website at: The Marc

Santa Barbara, Montecito, and Hope Ranch Median Prices 2007-2015

Santa Barbara, Montecito, and Hope Ranch market trends from 2007 to 2015: Right now there does not appear to be any downside to the Santa Barbara real estate market. The modest increases in median prices across the areas still look appealing to buyers. One concern is the Chinese stock market which recently has had an effect on the Dow Jones. If the Chinese market continues to slip it might have some affect on the buying power for some prospective buyers, and if the Feds continue to raise interest rates it might be prudent for some buyers to get off the fence. Click on Images to Enlarge

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Data provided by Fidelity Title Company

Santa Barbara International Film Festival

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Santa Barbara International Film Festival * February 3rd thru February 13th!

Santa Barbara International Film Festival Website

Santa Barbara International Film Festival Lineup for 2016

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival is an eleven-day film festival held in Santa Barbara, California since 1986.

Santa Barbara AIA Architec Tour

The Santa Barbara AIA’s annual ArchitecTours is a celebration of local architecture. This event draws attention to the extraordinary architectural legacy in Santa Barbara and the value of well-designed architecture to its surrounding community. Equally, ArchitecTours highlights the expertise that AIA architects possess including a thorough understanding and expertise in urban design, sustainability, accessibility, structural improvements, building materials, and historic renovation.

The theme of this year’s ArchitecTours is ‘Architecture with a story’. Each of the nine projects features an intriguing personal or construction story that profile many of the design obstacles encountered during the building process.

The tour will be held on Saturday October 3rd, 2015 from 10am-4pm and will culminate with a festive party.

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The Nine Properties Featured in this Year’s Architec Tour

Videos of the Homes that will be on Tour