Nov. 9, 2021

Legal Mistakes Home Sellers Sometimes Make


 Some Serious Legal Mistakes Home Sellers Sometimes Make


If you are planning to sell your home and are considering doing it as a 'for sale by owner', there are some things to be aware of.  Yes, you can save money by not paying for a listing agent.  But there are definite advantages to working with a Realtor® in the sale of your home to help keep you from some legal disputes. home for sale - for sale sign

Here are the top 10 legal mistakes that home sellers make:


1.  Accepting the highest offer without regard to the other terms in the contract.

2.     Not properly handling multiple offers from multiple buyers.

3.      Not properly handling back up offers.

4.   Going into contract with no earnest money deposit from the buyer or a very low amount of deposit.

5.      Accepting an offer before verifying the buyer’s financial ability to close escrow.

6.      Not disclosing material facts that affect the value or desirability of the property. 

7.   Not providing the buyer with the legally required disclosures.

8.      Not obtaining the buyer’s written acknowledgement of disclosures.

9.      Not considering whether to require the buyer to remove contingencies.

10.   Not excluding items from the sale that the seller wants to keep that a buyer might assume stays with the property. 

Posted in Selling Your Home
March 25, 2020

Zillow Canceling Home Purchase Contracts

Zillow Canceling Home Purchase Contracts

3/25/2020  by Don Pedersen

We just got this email yesterday from Zillow, the buyer of one of our client’s home.  

It is notifying us that they are canceling escrow on the purchase of a home.  They are stating the reason for the canceling all of their escrows and suspends home buying in all 24 Zillow Offers markets because of the COVID-19 virus.   


I have to wonder what is the real underlining reason for this mass cancellation of contracts other than concern their concerns about the  “impact of COVID-19” safety issues. 

Remember that Zillow says it is “committed to helping you find the best path to selling your home” by offering all cash offers, quick escrows, and once you are in contract a hassle free experience.

Also consider that to get into escrow with Zillow all you have to do is:

Allow them to come and inspect your home to determine what they will charge for repairs

Then accept the low ball price for your house.

Accept their estimated cost for their repairs.

Accept their large administrative fees; from 4.4% to 7.5% (these are not called commissions, only “bad” Real Estate Agents Charge Commission and they are BAD for charging 3-5%). 

Once you accept the offer then there is nothing left to do except for the Seller to find another home. 


So my question is; “Why is Zillow Cancelling hundreds of escrows because of COVID-19?” 


There is NO further contact with the seller or their home, except a final inspection of a vacant home once the seller has moved out…


No contact with Escrow except for a possible mobile notary.


So where is the great risk of contact?


This action is devastating to the sellers, they trusted Zillow to keep it word,  to make this transaction as easy and hassle free as possible, that is why they are reducing their home price and accepting the large “administrative fees.” 


Our seller is probably like most sellers affected by Zillow’s canceling of their purchase contract, they in escrow with another house that they have invested large amounts of cash for earnest money deposits, home inspections, and appraisals. 


And the sellers could be in a position of even losing their earnest money deposit since they took Zillow’s word that this transaction was a “risk free Zillow offer” which is the “same as cash.”


So some probably shortened their contingency periods and in many cases even “removed their contingencies” thus putting their earnest money as risk of loss.  They could lose thousands of dollars and the home of their dreams.


All for what???  What could Zillow’s real reason be for using the COVID-19 virus crisis to get out of thousands of contracts? 


Maybe they anticipate a home values declining during this crisis and they want to get out now and buy again later (as stated in the email below). 


Maybe they even hope that this move by such a large market player might cause a panic in the market and create a crash similar to the crash with the stock markets?


Maybe, like some inside investors and politicians who knew about the COVID-19 virus sold their stock prior to the crash (Short Selling) so they can buy it up again at a much lower price and capitalize on the recovering market after the COVID-19 scare?


Regardless this action has really hurt our client who trusted Zillow along with probably hundreds if not more, other sellers. Our clients trusted Zillow’s promises to move on to new and bright future in a new home only to have this hope dashed to pieces.




From: Zillow Offers No Reply <>
Date: Tue, Mar 24, 2020 at 7:22 AM
Subject: An update on your client’s Zillow Offer


I’m writing to inform you that, starting today, Zillow is temporarily pausing home purchasing due to the impact of COVID-19 and latest public health orders issued. This was a difficult decision that we did not make lightly, but one that we felt was necessary for the safety of our customers and employees.

These are unprecedented times and we are actively monitoring our communities, public health authority recommendations, and local housing markets to adapt to conditions as they continue to change.

As a result, we will be reaching out as soon as we can to discuss next steps. As the leader of the Zillow Offers Advisor Team, I am working with our representatives to ensure they’re able to connect with each person who we have under contract. We have a large volume of customers to connect with, and please know that we are working as diligently as we can to reach you and will be reaching out as soon as possible.

We are still committed to helping you find the best path to selling your home. If your client has flexibility in timing and is still interested in working with Zillow Offers, we will adjust our timeline so we can provide you an updated offer on your home at a later date. I must note that, given the current state of the market, we may need to generate a new market value on your client’s home, but our goal is to hit the ground running as soon as the time is right.

If you have questions prior to us reaching out, please email us at and we will do our best to get you the information you need.


Scott Bond

Senior Director, Zillow Offers Advisors


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March 10, 2020

Revocable Transfer Upon Death Deed (RTDD or TOD) Expires January 1, 2021

Revocable Transfer Upon Death Deed (Law expired at the end of the year 2020)

This law went into effect January 1, 2016 created a non-probate method for conveying interest in real property upon death and thus can save middle-class Californians thousands of dollars. The law simplifies the way real property assets are transferred upon death through use of a simple form. 

Transfer is accomplished by means of a revocable transfer upon death deed (also known as RTDD or other web sites refer to it as TOD). Several web site allow you to down load this form.

The RTDD automatically transfers ownership of the property upon the death of the owner.  The RTDD is allowable for 1-4 residential units, a condo, or agricultural land of 40 acres or less which contains a single family residence.

A RTDD may only be revoked by a recorded document but can be revoked at any time. 

The bill allows an individual to name beneficiaries.  The document MUST be recorded at the county where the property is located within 60 days of notarizing it.

The law makes the RTDD effective for any transferor who dies on or after January 1, 2016, regardless of when the RTDD was executed or recorded.

No RTDD may be executed on or after January 1, 2021, which is the scheduled expiration of the law.
The deed is only effective at death and does not affect any ownership rights during the transferor’s lifetime.

There are several web sites that talk about RTDD or TOD and we recommend a thorough study of these sites.  Keep in mind, however, that many sites are written by attorneys that do not benefit from this law and their comments are a bit bias against the law. 

AB 139 helps homeowners avoid costly probate fees and unintended burdens on family members.


March 6, 2020

Bedford Homes in South Corona

Bedford Homes in South Corona

This new community is just west of the Corona Crossing Shopping Center.  Take the I-15 freeway to the Cajalco Road exit the turn west.  Cajalco turns into Eagle Glen Parkway; signs will direct you into the development. 

The community is named after Bedford Canyon that comes from the Santa Ana Mountains  and its drainage (also the same name, Bedford Wash) is just west of the development.

The Community

Hudson House will serve as the community’s social epicenter, bringing neighbors together with experiences for the whole family to enjoy. Enjoy a drink at the Sidecar Bar or rent out Bedford’s multi-purpose room or Sunkist Lounge for a private party! Bring the kids to Kiwi Corner tot lot or hone your cooking skills at the Backyard BBQs.

Pools and Spa which includes a “Cuzzi spa,” the “Juice Box”, the kid’s pool,  and the “Greyhound” adult pool and deck.

Over 8 Acres of Parks:  “Clementine Park”, Bedford’s first private park, will offer play areas for toddlers and young kids, as well as an enclosed dog park 

The community also includes “bike trails,” “an event center,” and will eventually have its own “market P

place” to make shopping easy, accessible, and convenient.

Home Developers (prices in the blog reflect the prices we obtained from the builders when we visited them on 3/5/2020 floor plans can also be seen at the developers’ web site listed below)


Home Builders

Nova (Woodside Homes): From the information sheet obtained from the sales office we got the following…


Plan 1:  two-story, about 1,750 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, a great room, kitchen with an island, dining room, 2-bay garage.    From: $513,283

Option: Dining Cabinets


Plan 2: two-story, about 2,090 square feet, 3-5 bedrooms, 2.5-4 baths, a great room, kitchen with an island, dining room, den bonus, 2-bay garage.    From: $529,448

Options: Bedroom 4 with Bath 3 – Bedroom 5 with bath 4

Plan 3: two-story, about 2,228-2,240 square feet, 3-5 bedrooms, 2.5-4 baths, a great room, kitchen with an island, dining room, 2-bay garage.    From: $544,142

Options: Bedroom 4 with Bath 3 – Bedroom 5 with bath 4