Yes, I ran into a bad attorney today. Sigh… Before I get started, there are some great real estate attorneys out there and I happen to really like Larry Balin of Lawrence B. Balin, Attorney at Law and Stuart Schrier of Schrier & Associates, P.C.. Larry’s awesome at digging deep into his clients’ problems which include solving complex probate and title issues. Stuart is a friendly pitbull and he knows the City of Boston zoning codes better than any attorney that I know.
So… I got an email through Realtor.com on Saturday. It was an alert that a buyer was interested in one of my listings. Woot! I did what any good real estate agent would do and I emailed her. We exchanged emails over the next day in order to finalize a showing for yesterday which happened to be Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Cool! I showed her the property yesterday afternoon and she told me that she’d seriously think about making an offer. Awesome! I talked to her last night to let her know that there was another very interested set of buyers that viewed the property yesterday afternoon and that they were interested in potentially making an offer. She told me that she wanted to make an offer of $390,000. That’s a great starting offer. We then talked about the specifics and she told me that she didn’t have a copy of her pre-approval letter but was kind enough to text me her mortgage broker’s name and email address. I emailed her mortgage broker last night and he was prompt in emailing me back to let me know that I’d have it this morning. He emailed it to me this morning before 8 AM. Great! We texted back and forth this afternoon so that she could either scan and email me or take a picture and text me a copy of a $1,000 check made payable to “Jonathan Bowen Real Estate, LLC”. Done.
Everything was going so well. Too well…
Then I got a text saying “I sent u an earlier email wt jxxxxx’s contact information.” Who’s Jxxxxxx?! It turns out that Jxxxxxx is an attorney that, according to Lawyers.com, works at a technology company in Waltham. What?! You may or may not know. but attorneys in Massachusetts are granted a real estate broker’s license by just filing some paperwork. It’s really easy to get for them. I have no qualms with that. What I do have a problem with is an attorney that seemingly doesn’t practice primarily as a real estate attorney or real estate broker and one that doesn’t contact me at any point in a real estate transaction until it’s time for a buyer to write an offer. Jxxxxx, in my opinion, is trying to steal a commission off the back of a hard-working real estate broker. Jxxxxx and I had a heated conversation tonight and I asked him if he knew what “procuring cause” was but he had no idea. Here’s a definition of “procuring cause” provided by the Massachusetts Association of Realtors:
- A broker is regarded as the “procuring cause” of a sale, so as to be entitled to commission if his or her efforts are the foundation on which negotiations resulting in a sale begin. It is the cause originating a series of events which, without break in their continuity, result in the accomplishment of the prime objective of the employment of the broker who produces a ready, willing, and able purchaser to buy real estate on the owner’s terms.
This seems like a bunch of mumbo jumbo for the layperson and this story doesn’t apply to most people but I’m sure that it gets the hackles up on some of the veteran real estate attorneys and real estate agents out there. Do you have a similar story?