Planning to Use the Legal Hotline in 2023? Let’s Stick to These Resolutions

By Hank Lerner | Jan. 13, 2023 | 4 min. read

Welcome to 2023! If you still have room on your plate for some New Year’s resolutions, here’s a top 10 of work-related items you could add to your list. Heck, I’ll even throw in links to PAR JustListed articles that will help you keep these resolutions (if you promise to read them and share them with others you work with).

Each of these resolutions reflects one of the more regular types of tickets that the PAR Legal Hotline deals with, so the more of these you can implement the less often you’ll have to call us (and the less often we’ll have to respond to a call with “actually… we just published an article about this…”).

  1. I resolve to have seller clients complete their seller disclosure forms before going live in the MLS. And I resolve that I won’t accept a client’s claim that “I don’t have to fill out the form” unless the seller actually fits one of the exclusions stated in the law.
  2. I resolve to not include contract provisions that are not legal or that my client may not fully understand. And for that matter, I won’t make up contract terms that I may not fully understand either.
  3. I resolve to always, always, ALWAYS review the inclusions/exclusions paragraphs of the Agreement of Sale with EVERY SINGLE BUYER AND SELLER in EVERY SINGLE TRANSACTION. FOREVER. UNTIL THE END OF TIME. And I further resolve to actually read the rest of the forms instead of going with my gut – especially when advising a client on whether they have the contractual right to terminate.
  4. I resolve to read all about how the return of deposits clause in paragraph 26(C) works before I call the hotline and ask a series of questions that are all answered in the existing PAR JustListed article. And I resolve to send that link to the agent/broker on the other side of a transaction rather than arguing over the intent of the paragraph. And if I’m a broker or manager, I resolve to send that link to every single agent in my office so they can understand the process.
  5. I resolve to not tell buyers that buyer agency services are “free.” Not only that, but I will make sure that every buyer relationship is created with a buyer agency agreement AND that I fill out the fee section of the form appropriately.
  6. Brokers: I resolve to educate my agents on the advertising regulations and to ensure adequate supervision of their advertising.
    Agents: I resolve to learn and follow the advertising regulations and to abide by any brokerage advertising rules.
  7. I resolve that I won’t do the cool thing that some guru tells me to do without understanding whether/how it is legal in Pennsylvania. And that goes double for money-related things that are likely to get my broker in trouble too.
  8. I resolve that I will help rental clients understand and comply with rules about assistance animals, even if it’s kind of complicated and may take a while. And I resolve to never call the Legal Hotline and ask “how can my client get around these rules.”
  9. I resolve to have regular conversations – involving voices and words – with clients and other agents. And I will recognize that making a request/demand is not the same as negotiating a mutual agreement with the other party.
  10. I resolve to use the extensive (and very insightful and well-written) resources that PAR already provides to me before I call the hotline, including – but not limited to – PAR JustListed and the Guidelines for Preparation and Use that are published for every PAR standard form. And I will absolutely discuss my issues/problems/questions with my broker or manager – ideally before, but definitely after, every time I call the hotline.

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