FREA Blog Posts

Friday, March 11, 2016

If you work as a real estate broker or agent long enough, you will eventually get dragged into a lawsuit over some kind of issue the buyer has with the property he/she purchased. If the lawsuit is even remotely related to questions about the adequacy of the seller’s disclosures or some other issue involving the condition of one or more components of the home in question, you may find your salvation comes from an unusual source…the buyer’s home inspector. Yes, you read that right.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

There are a lot of things homeowners can do to add value to their home. But there are just as many ways they can decrease their home’s worth without even realizing it. Everyone knows that neglecting their yard or painting their house neon pink could make their home less valuable. But whether you’re planning to sell, to refinance or to rent on Airbnb, there are steps you can take to retain, and even increase, the value of your home. Avoid these five common mistakes.

Monday, May 4, 2015

In February 2014, we reported what we saw as a potential scam involving letters being sent to appraisers by a group called Savant Claims Management. Since then, a lot has happened and we want to provide an update on the latest activities by entities related to Savant and give some tips to those who have actually been sued by First Mutual Group, L.P. from Plano, Texas. (First Mutual Group, L.P., is a Delaware limited partnership whose members are Alternative Capital Strategies, LP, (a British entity) and First Mutual Group, GP LLC (another Delaware entity).

Friday, February 20, 2015

Philosopher George Santayana once said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”. In light of recent actions in the mortgage lending industry, we all may be able to experience the thrill ride of 2007-2009 all over again…soon. You may wonder what actions I am referring to so let me share a brief list of what I will call the top ten contributing factors to the downturn I see happening by July of 2017.

Friday, January 23, 2015

The Network of State Appraiser Organizations has prepared a letter to Melvin L. Watt, Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), addressing the concerns appraisers they represent have with FNMA's Collateral Underwriter (CU) program. The Organizations' stance is that since the data is originated and collected primarily through appraisal reports it should be made available to appraisers in addition to lenders, mortgage companies, and AMCs. We agree.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Between accepting assignments, working with clients, and preparing reports, finding time to meet your state’s continuing education requirements can be a real hassle. However, keeping your license current and in good standing is a must for any real estate professional.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Non-lender work is growing in popularity, as appraisers have grown weary of outrageous AMC demands and competing for low-ball fees. But the grass isn’t always greener on the other side: non-lender work has its cons, and AMC work has its pros. Don’t believe us? We’ve laid out some of the pros and cons of both types of appraisal work.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Insurance: that annoying but potentially beneficial thing we pay good money for and hope to never use. Insurance can protect your car, your business, your family, your home and more. The downside? It can often put a big red target on your back that says “sue me.”

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The latest and greatest technology may be a boon to your home inspection business, but it’s likely not covered by your E&O carrier. While tech advances quickly for inspectors, insurance companies have yet to catch up and therefore may not offer appropriate levels of coverage just yet.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Whether in the field or at the office, there’s much at stake every day. Yet, many of us continue to overlook the importance of professional liability insurance.

Commonly known as errors and omissions - or E&O - insurance, these policies are designed to protect you against legal recourse should a lawsuit be filed against you. However, not all policies are created equally, and premiums are continually on the rise. So what’s the story behind these additional costs?