Rose Mary  Justice, Synergy Realty Pros (Synergy Realty Pros)

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Rainmaker
3,961,949
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Clear communication is important.  Citing the source.  Presenting facts in a professional manner and knowing the proper people-in-the-know.  Maintaining the right tools is key as is a good command of knowing how/when to contact appropriate referrals.  

Nov 20, 2019 09:35 AM
Rainmaker
5,570,688
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

never..... I stay in my lane..... when I was active, my lane was new construction.... I knew the code....had my builders license (unrestricted) and completed all of the major college courses in a building construction program at a local college.... the simple questions that were asked, I could easily answer and confirmed the answer with the builder.

Nov 20, 2019 09:05 AM
Rainmaker
1,698,398
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg Real Estate

Most of the time. I use answers on what I've done in the past. I do not answer if I do not know - that's were you get into trouble. Nothing wrong with saying I will find out.

Nov 20, 2019 09:40 AM
Rainmaker
1,674,558
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

There are many questions we need to refer them to do their own research, such as:
"Is this a safe neighborhood?"

Nov 20, 2019 09:30 AM
Rainmaker
833,426
Peter Mohylsky. Broker Associate
Miramar Beach - Santa Rosa Beach, FL
THE BEACH IS OPEN AND WAITING FOR YOU

It depends, Our liability is over whelming if we really consider the trends in the business.  Staying in your lane is a moving target.  I try to answer every question I know the correct answer to.  If not I refer an expert.  

Nov 20, 2019 09:19 AM
Rainmaker
572,970
Hella M. Rothwell, Broker/Realtor®
Carmel by the Sea, CA
Rothwell Realty Inc. CA#01968433 Carmel-by-the-Sea

Just because our license allows us to perform certain services, there might be other reasons to make sure we don't get ourselves involved "outside our scope of expertise" such as our E&O insurance doesn't cover it.  For example, are you covered for property management or selling commercial properties?

Nov 20, 2019 09:06 AM
Rainmaker
1,596,476
Valeria Mola
SIB Realty - Miami, Sunny Isles Beach - Sunny Isles Beach, FL
305-607-0709 SIB Realty Condos for Sale and Rent

Yes, questions are not related to real estate I won't be able to answer.

Nov 20, 2019 04:31 PM
Rainmaker
1,839,437
Bob "RealMan" Timm
Ward County Notary Services - Minot, ND
Owner of Ward Co. Notary Services, retired Realtor

I think I do pretty good at staying in my lane Rose Mary Justice . I need to be careful as a Notary Public as well because people are always asking me about the legal docs they are signing.

Nov 20, 2019 09:45 AM
Rainmaker
581,446
AJ Heidmann ~ CRS
McEnearney Associates, Inc. - Alexandria, VA
YOUR Alexandria & Arlington, VA Real Estate Expert

Rose Mary ~ I am sure I did a couple of times early in my career, but now I refer them to someone with professional authority to answer their question... and limit my liability.

Nov 20, 2019 09:24 AM
Ambassador
3,224,219
Anna Banana Kruchten CRS, CRB, Phoenix Broker
HomeSmart Real Estate BR030809000 - Phoenix, AZ
602-380-4886

Of course I do!  And if they have questions outside my expertise I refer them out to a few appropiate folks.

Nov 20, 2019 09:18 AM
Rainmaker
3,913,235
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

I am very careful about what I say regarding things that are not in my expertise. North Carolina Real Estate Commission reminds us all the time to stay in our lane. For example, buyers always ask me how I think the roof looks. I always tell them to me it looks like a roof, but if they have concerns we can have an inspection. I have never stuck my neck out and opined on something I know little about.

Nov 21, 2019 04:45 AM
Rainmaker
1,178,535
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
& Host of Postcards From Success Podcast

Nope, I often say,"I'm not a lawyer, I'm not a CPA, I'm not a... but I have several I can refer you!"

Nov 20, 2019 10:02 PM
Rainmaker
1,362,548
Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA
https://HugginsHomes.com - Thousand Oaks, CA
Residential Real Estate and Investment Properties

I stay in my lane.  I don't answer tax or legal questions and I have lawyers I can refer out to if they need it.

Nov 20, 2019 07:34 PM
Ambassador
4,093,753
Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

Oh, you bet! I'm VERY law-abiding!!

Nov 20, 2019 07:30 PM
Rainmaker
2,062,259
Evelina Tsigelnitskaya
SIB Realty - Sunny Isles Beach, FL
www.SIBRealty.org 305-931-6931

Yes, Bob Crane 

I'd do the same.

Nov 20, 2019 06:13 PM
Rainmaker
592,054
David Gibson CNE, 719-304-4684 ~ Colorado Springs Relocation
Colorado Real Estate Advisers LLC - Colorado Springs, CO
Relocation, Luxury & Lifestyle residential

Rose Mary,

You wrote:

"Clients often ask questions that we can become liable for if we answer incorrectly or outside our scope of expertise."

I would hope it is a rare occurrence that a client would ask a question outside your expertise.

In those cases it’s best to offer to either:

# 1 Do the needed research, or

# 2 Find them a qualified person to ask.

I have had situations like this:

We were looking in the basement of a house and the steel I-beam was warped. I didn’t tell the client anything but just pointed it out, and asked if it looked warped to them. They said it did. I made them aware that I could get them contact information for structural engineers if they wanted to pursue the house, which they didn’t. I didn’t give them an answer outside my expertise but I did serve them well.

Nov 20, 2019 02:13 PM
Rainmaker
1,111,422
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line

Our corporate attorneys are always telling us to be aware and not enter areas where we have no expertise. 

Nov 20, 2019 01:56 PM
Rainmaker
832,418
Jeff Pearl
RE/MAX Distinctive / LIC in VA - Lovettsville, VA
Full Service Full Time Realtor

I stick with what I know. Sometimes, even if I do know, I don't always answer if it's something than can and should be answered by a professional in another field.

Nov 20, 2019 01:39 PM
Rainmaker
666,153
Peter Testa
Nationwide Homes - Danbury, CT
PETER TESTA

Sometimes it's more important what you don't say, than what you say. 

Nov 20, 2019 01:33 PM
Ambassador
1,351,925
Susan Emo
Sotheby's International Realty Canada - Brokerage - Kingston, ON
Kingston and the 1000 Islands Area

I stay in my lane, especially when it comes to questions for contractors or building inspectors.  I can tell them if the home will suit them and if they'll look good in the home as I operated Emo's Image Consultancy for years and years, lol

 

Nov 20, 2019 11:54 AM
Rainmaker
3,407,752
Brian England
Vacasa - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

I definitely stay in my lane, I have been taught to be the source of the source, rather than the source, haha.

Nov 20, 2019 11:20 AM
Rainmaker
1,793,396
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker, eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

I answer those things that are within my area of expertise. Everything else gets referred to the appropriate attorney, inspector, etc.

Nov 20, 2019 11:12 AM
Rainmaker
1,651,226
Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro

Rose, the only time I enter another lane is if it is construction. I'm a licensed state contractor. So, I don't get concerned about questions in that field, but beyond that, I'm just the source of the source for answers.

Nov 20, 2019 10:29 AM
Rainmaker
362,881
Joseph Domino 480-390-6011
HomeSmart - Scottsdale, AZ
Real Estate Made Easy

I have wide lanes. Seriously,  try to avoid opinion and stick to facts. How are the schools? Here are some sites that have school ratings. How much should we bid? Here are the last few sales in the neighborhood.

Let them make educated decisions.

Nov 20, 2019 10:13 AM
Rainmaker
4,026,119
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Everyone strays from their lanes once in awhile. When you do, know the answer from previous experience. Otherwise hear the warning signal in your head and refer them to a source. 

Nov 21, 2019 04:03 AM
Rainmaker
625,505
Tony Lewis
RE/MAX of Valencia (Hall of Fame) 30 year Valencia Resident - Valencia, CA
Summit Real Estate Santa Clarita & Aliso Viejo

I answer every question as if I were in court on trial.

Nov 20, 2019 11:24 PM
Ambassador
3,021,527
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

I answered ALL the questions when my kid bought a house because I was also her mom.  But I generally sanswer with... that's a loan officer question or that's a tax attorney question or that's a (fill in the blank) and don't overstep my bounds.

Nov 20, 2019 11:19 PM
Rainmaker
869,324
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA
ePRO, SRES, GRI, PMN

Honesty is an important part of my make-up and commitment to doing business right. That precludes making stuff up. That also included knowing about stuff I cannot say or should not discuss.

Nov 20, 2019 03:00 PM
Ambassador
5,219,997
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, EXP - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

I know enough to refer clients to an attny or tax accountant when needed.

Nov 20, 2019 01:03 PM
Rainmaker
223,476
Eva B. Liland Century 21 Doug Anderson
Century 21 Doug Anderson - Lancaster, CA
Glad to be of Service 661-714-1643

I have managed many hot waters since I first started. If it is something I am unsure about, I let the appropriate person answer those questions. So far, I'm able to stay in my own lane.

Nov 20, 2019 11:37 AM
Rainmaker
5,373,781
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy

Rose Mary, we are super careful about staying in our lane at all times.  And we double and triple check our statements, and usually give a link to the information source.  I learned that in writing papers from high school to grad school.  A

Nov 20, 2019 10:20 AM
Ambassador
3,002,604
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate

Yes, I stay in my own lane.  I am frequently asked legal and tax questions all of which are directed to the appropriate professional. 

I have not answered something I should not have. 

 

Nov 21, 2019 08:52 AM
Rainmaker
519,701
Greg Cremia
Shore Realty of the Outer Banks - Nags Head, NC

There is only one safe lane to be in.

Nov 21, 2019 05:25 AM
Rainmaker
750,230
Brenda Mayette
Miranda Real Estate Group, Inc. - Glenville, NY
Getting results w/ knowledge & know-how!

I find myself often starting a sentence with "I'm not a ____________ but in my experience __________________ . I would check with your ________________ ". 

Nov 21, 2019 05:09 AM
Rainmaker
1,136,887
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

yes. Be careful. 

Nov 20, 2019 11:54 AM
Rainmaker
869,561
Annette Lawrence , Palm Harbor, FL 727-420-4041
ReMax Realtec Group - Palm Harbor, FL
Making FLORIDA Real Estate EZ

I remember when I first started on Active Rain, participants with the 'stay in your line' mentality answered the majority of questions with 'You need to consult your attorney or accountant."

Folks did not find AR very beneficial,,,even the participating agents. Fortuneately, most of those 'laners' are no longer here.

Regarding your question, one seriously needs to ask you, "Rose Mary, can you provide and example of a 'wrong lane' question?" We might even witness how such questions should be managed properly.

Nov 20, 2019 10:12 AM
Rainer
203,201
Adam Feinberg
Elegran - Manhattan, NY
NYC Condo, Co-op, and Townhouse specialist

A lot of agents are overly cautious in my market and say nothing- leaving it to the attorney's. That said- being too cautious makes you sound like you know nothing, making clients question what you do. Personally, I am President of my condo association and have managed dozens of large projects- so I have no problem speaking up in most cases. That said- there are areas where I prefer to just let the attorney's speak- since they play a signficant role in deals here.  It's just better sometimes to defer to them, because even if I know the facts, it's better that it comes from the attorney- so no room for misunderstanding from my end. 

Jun 02, 2021 04:58 AM
Rainmaker
4,742,199
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

No, I prefer not to get into trouble.  You never know when it could be a "tester".

Dec 01, 2019 08:46 AM
Ambassador
2,385,026
MichelleCherie Carr Crowe Just Call...408-252-8900
Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900! . DRE #00901962 . Licensed to Sell since 1985 . Altas Realty - San Jose, CA
Family Helping Families Buy & Sell Homes 40+ Years

Yes, I stay in my lane, and help folks find experts who can help as needed.

Nov 27, 2019 12:35 AM
Ambassador
953,451
John Meussner
Mason-McDuffie Mortgage, Conventional Loans, Jumbo Loans, FHA, 203(k), USDA, VA, - Walnut Creek, CA
#MortgageMadeEasy Walnut Creek, CA 484-680-4852

YES - nothing drives me crazier than someone else giving bad information because they "wanted to help" by offering advice in an arena they know nothing about

Nov 21, 2019 12:40 PM
Rainmaker
1,624,572
Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI
HomeSmart Realty West & Lend Smart Mortgage, Llc. - Carlsbad, CA
Presence, Persistence & Perseverance

Definitely could be construed as a violation of Code of Ethics Article 11.

Nov 21, 2019 12:33 PM