Real Estate Issues

It is something of a miracle that an activity (sale of a single family resident-“SFR”) that involves the greatest financial investment that the average person will ever make is conducted thousands of times every day in an environment that involves a win-win exchange of the most precious commodity engaged in by the largest number of citizens.

There is no denial that each and every sale of an SFR carries with it a plethora of potential problems and traps for the unwary. But, buyers and sellers, along with most real estate practitioners manage to summon a unique courage to exercise common sense and get the job done without litigation. 

Dr. Aikins is acutely aware of the most pressing legal issues involving the sale of SFR’s. He comes to mediation with knowledge of ongoing trends in the industry, which include, but are not limited to, the following merging and continuing legal issues:

The issue of Dual Agency recently before the California Supreme Court.1

  1. Failure to Disclose, including the species of Misrepresentation and Fraud, which frequently involves foundations, roofs, termite issues, covering up known seepage and just plain ignorance exemplified by the high percentage of those persons entering and leaving the field upon discovery that selling real estate is not a guarantee of getting rich quick and without much effort.
  2. Mediation may include issues involving innocent misrepresentation, negligent misrepresentation, legal misrepresentation and fraudulent misrepresentation.
  3. The smell of a quick buck can lead to another form of misrepresentation, breach of fiduciary duty towards one or more of the parties in the transaction. This issue is separate, but also involves the problem of agency and whom do you represent; issue 1, above.

Fair Housing

The Muslims are coming Syndrome and other ethnocentric beliefs are common recurring issues, not as prevalent as to race discrimination used to be, but it appears when one discrimination is smacked down by laws, another demon raises its ugly head. Discrimination can be costly. Mediating these issues requires a delicate balance and frequently some understanding of cross-cultural issues.

Independent Contractor Issues.

This is a problem for the industry and the industry seems to be able to avoid issues relating plainly to salespeople being employees. When it does come up it is usually an “inside baseball” issue that is uniquely fit for mediation.

Other Pending & Continuing Legal Issue:

Other continuing issues involve RESPA, land and environment issues are the other issues that will come up frequently and involves a mediator like Dr. Aikins who is both sensitive to the issues and possess the requisite legal knowledge to move parties toward settlement in a humane manner and in the best interest of the parties.


1.The California Supreme Court heard oral arguments Sept. 7, 2016 and recently issued its ruling on dual agency in the case of Horiike v. Coldwell Banker.