April 2017   Volume 43, Number 4      


Top Three Legal Issues Facing Brokers

There are several legal issues that affect real estate companies today: website accessibility, copyright infringement and cyber fraud. During the 2017 REALTORĀ® Broker Summit in San Diego in February, National Association of Realtors General Counsel Katie Johnson summarized how brokers can mitigate these risks.

ADA Website Accessibility

The Americans with Disabilities Act mandates that physical places of public accommodation provide access to all people with disabilities. Some experts believe that these accommodations will eventually be broadened to include online accessibility standards.

Johnson recommends that businesses post accessibility notices on their websites that let users know the company is striving to become compliant or already is.

Copyright Infringement

VHT, Inc., a nationwide photography services company, recently took Zillow to court for copyright infringement and won a judgement for $8.3 million for violations. Agencies should make sure that they have ownership or unrestricted permission for the use of all of their listing and marketing photos.

Cyber Fraud

Real estate companies are at particular risk of becoming victims of cyber fraud with hackers stealing email passwords and then sending bogus messages to clients asking them to wire funds. Companies should take care when asking clients to wire funds and avoid using email to send them instructions.

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In this issue:

Top U.S. Markets for Buying and Selling Real Estate

Big Institutions Sell off Commercial Real Estate

Fed Chair Says Rising Real Estate Prices Put Small Banks at Risk

Iowa Realtor Warns Agents about Email Scam

Mortgage Delinquencies Spike among Some Homeowners

Next-Generational Homes Are the Latest Real Estate Trend

Silicon Valley Is the Top U.S. Real Estate Market

Top Three Legal Issues Facing Brokers

Trump Cut Causes FHA Applications to Decline by 3.2 Percent

Real Estate Agents: Stop Commoditizing Your Services


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