While individual transactions can be straightforward, the landscape of real estate in California can become a vast minefield. There are many iterations of consumer protection at the state and federal level, all geared to provide the most protections to you, the consumer.
What happens when those protections are breached? A class action lawsuit is being pursued against a top producing real estate team alleging kickbacks from a service provider over a span of five years and hundreds of transactions. These people sell you on their value and integrity. It is discouraging to see this in the industry, but it is occurring around us.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau takes these issues very seriously. They are now chartered with enforcing the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA.) This is good news for the industry and consumer.
We aren’t the judge and jury, and will wait to see the outcome in court. This hurts those of us who strive to maintain compliance in all aspects of the business. What can you do? Ask questions about providers. If you aren’t given any options or your questions are ignored, you may be getting steered to a provider.
There is a large difference between steering clients for kickbacks and suggesting trusted providers. We work with diligent professionals who attack their fields everyday. Our volume of business provides us accountability to service providers. This means that if our clients aren’t treated properly, we will use someone else who can. That opportunity cost is enough in itself.
We have built these connections with: title companies, escrow, loan officers, home inspectors, contractors, landscapers, financial advisers, photographers, handy men; the list goes on. We recommend who we trust and prefer to do business: those with a track record of success. That said, you always have a choice!
The proverbial “end of the day” is all about our clients. Transparency is king. We strive to provide the fastest, most accurate, and cost effective solutions for you.