Welcome to the JoinBean Blog

October 9, 2019

Sara Coppola Has Joined Bean Group

Sara Coppola Has Joined Bean Group

We are pleased to announce that Sara Coppola has joined Bean Group’s Portsmouth, NH office! Sara will be working alongside Barbara Dunkle as a Licensed Assistant.

Sara was previously affiliated with Bean Group and we are thrilled to welcome her back!

E&O Insurance Frequent Claim Scenarios: Case #7

E&O Insurance Frequent Claim Scenarios: Case #7

E&O Claim Scenario: Buyer Sues Agent & Broker for Misrepresentation of Expertise in Commercial Transactions

The Problem: A residential real estate agent was approached by a potential buyer who was looking for property where he could live with his family, as well as operate a business. The agent advertised himself as being an expert in residential and commercial real estate, even though the agent had no actual commercial experience.

The Mistake: The agent located a piece of property that was listed by another “in-house” agent. Believing that it would be suitable for his buyer’s residential and business needs, he incorrectly assumed that the property’s zoning would allow his client to operate his business, and thus encouraged him to purchase it.

The Result: About one year after the buyer closed on the property, he received a notice from the city advising him that the operation of a pest control business did not conform to applicable zoning regulations. After the city denied his request for rezoning, a lawsuit was brought against the agent and his broker seeking compensatory damages, lost revenue, and attorney’s fees. The buyer alleged that he relied on the expertise of the agent.

In the end, the claim was resolved after it became apparent that the agent and broker would likely be found liable if the case were ever tried.

Prevention: In this case, the agent and broker could have avoided a costly claim if they had recognized the agent’s lack of knowledge in the nuances of commercial real estate, and had instead had the agent partner with a knowledgeable commercial resource, or had simply referred the buyer to a commercial agent. 

October 4, 2019

Share these Benefits of Listing in the Fall with your Sellers

Share these Benefits of Listing in the Fall with your Sellers

If your sellers are on the fence about whether to put their home on the market now, be sure to point out these benefits of listing in the fall.

Mortgage rates are very attractive. As of this writing, the Mortgage News Daily survey shows an average interest rate of 3.62% for a conventional, 30-year fixed mortgage. That’s over a full percentage point lower than a year ago, and serious buyers will be motivated by the positive impact of these low rates on mortgage affordability.

Take advantage of the season. Autumn in New England brings to mind Rockwellesque images of cool, crisp days, bright skies, and dazzling foliage. Many homes will never look more appealing than they do at this time of year, so be certain to make your seller aware of how their property can be presented to take full advantage of the fall. Click here for several specific fall staging strategies.

Inventory is reduced. In most markets, the number of available residential listings has declined from the summer peak, and many of those remaining are high DOM (days-on-the-market) properties. A fresh new listing, properly presented and priced, will stand out to serious buyers.

Buyer demographics have changed. More than half of homebuyers don’t have children under 18 at home, and consequently, they aren’t concerned about being established in a new home for the start of the school year. For this segment of buyers, fall is a great time to find and buy a new home. In addition, some of these buyers will be especially motivated to buy as tax scenarios and other year-end financial elements are coming into focus.

September 23, 2019

Bean Group’s Fall 2019 Platinum Collection Catalog Now Live!

Bean Group’s Fall 2019 Platinum Collection Catalog Now Live!

With the ever-changing colors of our landscape and the holiday seasons approaching, we’re reminded of how fortunate we are to live in a part of the country where the geography offers immense diversity and beauty.

Explore each captivating season whether it’s gazing at the wonders of the fall foliage, picking apples at the local orchard, trailing the North American bald eagles along the Connecticut River, or hitting the slopes at one of the many ski resorts throughout New England. 

In the spirit of these passions and pastimes, we designed our Fall 2019 Platinum Collection Catalog to showcase some of the most impressive properties currently on the market in New England. 

Bean Group’s Platinum Collection Catalog is a monthly publication showcasing the most premier and luxurious properties currently on the market and listed exclusively by Bean Group Platinum members.

For more information on Bean Group’s luxury homes marketing division, please contact Adam Dean at adam.dean@beangroup.com

E&O Insurance Frequent Claim Scenarios: Case #6

E&O Insurance Frequent Claim Scenarios: Case #6

E&O Claim Scenario: Agent and Broker Sued for Failure to Take Reasonable Measures to Protect Against Criminal Cyber Activity

This risk manager article from our E&O provider was originally published several years ago. With the runaway increase in cybersecurity claims in the real estate industry, this classic scenario is worth revisiting:

The Situation: A real estate agent was contacted by an out-of-state couple who were searching for a waterfront condominium to enjoy as a vacation getaway. With the agent’s help, the clients were able to find a condominium that met their needs. They entered into a purchase and sale agreement, which included a condition that $35,000 would be wired to an account at a local bank. During the escrow period, numerous emails were exchanged between the agent and her clients, including details relating to the date and time of the closing. 

The Problem: Three days before the closing, the buyers received a communication from the agent’s email account instructing them to transfer the $35,000 to a different bank. The email was a scam – the agent’s email account had been hacked, and a third party had actually sent the fraudulent message with directions to make the deposit to an account under their control.

The Mistake: The buyers transferred the money as instructed in the fraudulent message.

The Result: During the closing, it was discovered that the original transfer had not been processed, and the sale could not be completed that day. Sometime thereafter, the agent had to inform her clients that due to an account breach, they would not be able to purchase the property. The buyers responded with a lawsuit against the agent and broker-owner, alleging they failed in their duty to keep personal information confidential and failed to use reasonably practicable measures to protect against criminal activity. 

Prevention: Emphasis should be placed on avoiding the email breach which allows unauthorized email access. Mandating minimum password standards and requiring two-factor authentication across all email accounts makes a real estate brokerage significantly more resistant to these scams.

Numerous other preventative steps could have been taken, but at a minimum, brokers and agents should consider alerting buyers to call their sales agent and/or closing attorney before acting on corrected wire instructions, which may appear to come from a real estate agent, closing attorney, or lender. Consider including a written alert with a contact number when you email wire instructions stating any change should be verified by phone.