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AGO Opinions with Topic: REAL ESTATE
AGO 1980 No. 12 >  May 20, 1980
REAL ESTATE - CONTRACTS - USURY
APPLICABILITY OF RCW 19.52.020 TO A REAL ESTATE CONTRACT FOR THE SALE OF RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY A two-party real estate contract for the sale of residential real property, involving only the owner-seller (whether commercial or private) of the real property and the purchaser thereof, is not subject to the twelve percent per annum interest limitation contained in Washington's usury statute, RCW 19.52.020.
AGO 2005 No. 2 >  March 7, 2005
PROPERTY - REAL ESTATE - COUNTIES
Authority of county to impose procedural requirements on recording of property boundary disputes resolved by agreement 1.  RCW 58.04.007 permits property owners to resolve uncertain or disputed property boundaries when the boundary line cannot be ascertained through a reference to public records or physical landmarks, or where there is an actual dispute between landowners about the location of the boundary line.  2.  A charter county has authority to implement and facilitate the operation of RCW 58.04.007 by prescribing procedures to be followed in recording written agreements concerning the resolution of unknown or disputed boundary lines, including requirements for county review of documents presented for recording where the county provisions are not in conflict with statutory law.
AGO 1981 No. 9 >  July 24, 1981
USURY - INTEREST - REAL ESTATE - CONTRACTS - BANKS AND BANKING
MAXIMUM INTEREST RATES UNDER 1981 STATE LEGISLATION (1) In the light of 1981 legislation, the maximum rate of interest, or service charge, which may now lawfully be imposed in connection with designated types of transactions is as follows: (a) Contract sales of real property‑-the higher of twelve percent per annum or four percentage points over the equivalent coupon issue yield of the average bill rate for twenty-six week treasury bills as determined at the first bill market auction conducted during the preceding calendar month (e.g., for contracts entered into in June, 1981, 20.58 percent), except that this limitation is not applicable if the particular contract is not primarily entered into for personal, family or household purposes or if the transaction is for agricultural, commercial, investment or business purposes and the purchaser is not a natural person; (b) Retail installment sales transactions‑-1-1/2 percent per month (or $1 if greater) for retail charge agreement transactions (e.g., purchases pursuant to a retailer's credit card) and, in the case of purchases covered by a retail installment contract, six percentage points above the average of the equivalent coupon yields of the bill rates for twenty-six week treasury bills for the last market auction conducted during February, May, August and November of the year prior to the year in which the contract is executed (e.g., for retail installment contracts during calendar year 1981, 18.5 percent); (c) Bank credit card transactions‑-the higher of (i) 12 percent, (ii) the rate computed by application of the same formula as now applies to real estate contracts, above, or (iii) 1 percent above the Federal Reserve Bank's discount rate;(2) The foregoing interest rate limitations apply to (a) contracts for the sale of real property entered into on or after May 8, 1981, with the caveat that the general usury statute, chapter 19.52 RCW, should be deemed to have become applicable to such contracts as of February 11, 1981; (b) retail installment transactions likewise occurring on or after May 8, 1981 with, however, a limited exception involving certain existing agreements; and (c) bank credit card transactions entered into on or after May 8, 1981, the effective dates of chapters 77 and 78, Laws of 1981.[[Orig. Op. Page 2]]
AGO 1982 No. 1 >  January 6, 1982
REAL ESTATE - PRACTICE OF LAW
CLOSING REAL ESTATE TRANSACTIONS BY LICENSED REAL ESTATE AGENTS The Washington Supreme Court's rulings in Hagen v. Kassler Escrow, Inc., 96 Wn.2d 443 (1981) and Bar Association v. Great Western Federal, 91 Wn.2d 48 (1978) do not preclude licensed real estate agents from doing any of the things which their licenses permit them to do in closing real estate transactions under the provisions of chapter 18.85 RCW; however, those authorized practices may not constitutionally be construed to include the selection and completion of form legal documents, or the drafting of such documents, including deeds, mortgages, deeds of trust, promissory notes, and agreements modifying those documents.
AGO 1983 No. 31 >  December 15, 1983
PLATTING AND SUBDIVISIONS - REAL ESTATE
CREATION OF SHORT SUBDIVISION BY OFFER TO SELL LAND Because of the necessity for a legally sufficient description in connection with an offer to sell, or sale of, real property an offer to sell a portion of a larger tract of land, or the execution of a purchase and sale agreement covering such a tract of land, constitutes a "division" of the land under the definition of a "short subdivision" contained in RCW 58.17.020(6) or (7) so as to render applicable the various provisions of chapter 58.17 RCW relating to short plats and short subdivisions.
AGO 1962 No. 171 >  September 27, 1962
REAL ESTATE - PLATS - SUBDIVISION OF PLATS INTO SMALLER UNITS - OWNERS - TENANTS IN COMMON - SEPARATE ASSESSMENT BY COUNTY ASSESSOR
REAL ESTATE ‑- PLATS ‑- SUBDIVISION OF PLATS INTO SMALLER UNITS ‑- OWNERS ‑- TENANTS IN COMMON ‑- SEPARATE ASSESSMENT BY COUNTY ASSESSOR (1) Real estate which has been platted into lots and thereafter subdivided into smaller units which are in separate ownership (except for one unit owned by all the tenants in common) may be assessed by the county assessor against the unit owners separately both as to their individual units and as to their undivided interest in the unit owned in common. (2) Compliance with chapter 56.16 RCW pertaining to plats is required in subdividing lots into smaller units.
AGO 1984 No. 18 >  August 3, 1984
LANDLORD AND TENANT - REAL ESTATE - INTEREST - MAINTENANCE OF SECURITY DEPOSITS
ASSIGNMENT OF INTEREST TO PROPERTY MANAGER Owners of residential income properties may assign their entitlement (under RCW 59.18.270) to interest on a trust bank account containing damage or security deposits to the real estate broker managing the property who has been designated as the representative of the owner; however, in order to avoid a violation of RCW 18.85.310, the interest moneys must not be initially deposited into the trust account but must, instead, be immediately credited to the real estate broker's own separate account.
AGO 1984 No. 30 >  December 14, 1984
LANDLORD AND TENANT - REAL ESTATE - SALE - MOBILE HOMES
ADVERTISING SALE OF MOBILE HOMES Under RCW 59.20.070(1) a mobile home landlord may not prohibit or restrict a tenant from advertising that his or her mobile home is for sale by such normal means as posting a sign either on the mobile home itself or on the leased or rented premises.
AGO 1976 No. 17 >  September 28, 1976
LANDLORD AND TENANT - DISCRIMINATION - REAL ESTATE - APPLICABILITY OF LAW AGAINST DISCRIMINATION TO SELECTION OF ROOMMATE
LANDLORD AND TENANT ‑- DISCRIMINATION ‑- REAL ESTATE ‑- APPLICABILITY OF LAW AGAINST DISCRIMINATION TO SELECTION OF ROOMMATE It is not contrary to the Washington state law against discrimination, chapter 49.60 RCW, for a person to discriminate on the basis of sex, age or religion in selecting a roommate with whom to share living quarters, or for a person to specify in an advertisement for a roommate that the roommate must be of a particular sex, age or religion, or for a newspaper to publish an advertisement for a roommate when the advertisement contains such a specification.
AGO 1987 No. 8 >  March 16, 1987
PLATTING & SUBDIVISIONS - REAL ESTATE
DENIAL OF SHORT PLAT APPLICATION ‑- FORUM FOR APPEAL King County is not required to allow an appeal to the county council of an administrative decision denying a short plat application.
AGO 1967 No. 14 >  April 14, 1967
REAL ESTATE - CIVIL RIGHTS
REAL ESTATE - CIVIL RIGHTS - ACCEPTANCE OF REAL ESTATE LISTINGS FROM PROPERTY OWNERS WHO MAY DESIRE TO DISCRIMINATE

(1) Under the provisions of the nondiscrimination amendment to RCW 18.85.230 (relating to the suspension, revocation or denial of real estate licenses), as enacted by the 1967 legislature, a real estate broker or salesman may receive a listing from a property owner even though the owner indicates that he desires to discriminate in the sale of his property, so long as the listing agreement does not prevent the broker or salesman from rendering all services contemplated by the listing to prospective purchasers of the property without discrimination because of race, color, creed or national origin.(2) A real estate broker or salesman is free to inquire of the owner of property previous to accepting a listing as to whether or not the owner desires to discriminate in the sale of the property.

AGO 1957 No. 56 >  May 3, 1957
REAL ESTATE - BROKER'S LICENSES
REAL ESTATE ‑- BROKER'S LICENSES Real estate brokers, licensed as individual brokers, but operating under the control of and being responsible to, the designated broker of a licensed corporation, should be licensed as associate brokers rather than individual brokers.
AGO 1955 No. 64 >  April 20, 1955
REAL ESTATE - SALESMEN - TEMPORARY PERMITS
REAL ESTATE ‑- SALESMEN ‑- TEMPORARY PERMITS The director of licenses may issue a temporary salesman's permit to an applicant for a real estate salesman's license who has never before had a temporary permit but has previously failed an examination for a license.
AGO 1954 No. 256 >  May 11, 1954
REAL ESTATE - KEEPING OF RECORDS - APPLICATION - FUNDS
REAL ESTATE ‑- KEEPING OF RECORDS ‑- APPLICATION ‑- FUNDS RCW 18.85.310 1953 Supp. applies to licensed real estate brokers and does not include closing companies or individuals, such as title insurance companies, banks, trust companies, attorneys or other qualified agencies. Copies of papers, including closing statement, must be given to the parties signing same and also kept by broker even though funds are not handled by broker.
AGO 1954 No. 334 >  October 15, 1954
TAXATION - REAL ESTATE - PARTITION OF LAND
TAXATION ‑- REAL ESTATE ‑- PARTITION OF LAND Deeds executed pursuant to court order in a partition suit by two persons who own land in undivided interests are transactions subject to the real estate excise tax.
AGLO 1976 No. 8 >  February 2, 1976
LICENSES - REAL ESTATE
LICENSING OF NONRESIDENT REAL ESTATE SALESMEN Nothing in chapter 18.85 RCW, relating to the licensing of real estate salesmen, prohibits the issuance of a real estate license to a person whose residence is outside the state of Washington but works full time for a resident broker.
AGLO 1975 No. 17 >  February 21, 1975
COUNTIES - TAXATION - REAL ESTATE - TAX TITLE LAND - SANITARY LAND FILL
COUNTY USE OF TAX TITLE LAND (1) The legislative authority of a county is not first required to convey tax title land to itself in its proprietary capacity under RCW 36.35.030 before exchanging such property for other land under RCW 36.35.050. (2) Subsequent tax revenues derived from tax title property which was conveyed to private ownership under RCW 36.35.050 are to be distributed to the taxing districts in which the land is situated. (3) A county is not required by RCW 36.35.030 to operate a sanitary land fill on former tax title land at a profit.
AGLO 1979 No. 25 >  June 11, 1979
LICENSES - REAL ESTATE - CORPORATIONS - ELIGIBILITY OF A CORPORATION TO BE LICENSED AS AN ASSOCIATE REAL ESTATE BROKER
LICENSES ‑- REAL ESTATE ‑- CORPORATIONS ‑- ELIGIBILITY OF A CORPORATION TO BE LICENSED AS AN ASSOCIATE REAL ESTATE BROKER A corporation may be licensed as an "associate real estate broker" under RCW 18.85.010, et seq.
AGLO 1978 No. 32 >  October 5, 1978
REAL ESTATE - LICENSES - SALE - RESPONSIBILITIES OF LICENSED REAL ESTATE SALESMAN AND HIS BROKER UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES
REAL ESTATE ‑- LICENSES ‑- SALE ‑- RESPONSIBILITIES OF LICENSED REAL ESTATE SALESMAN AND HIS BROKER UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES A licensed real estate salesman, in engaging in rental transactions involving his own, personally owned, real property, is not statutorily required to process those transactions through his real estate broker; however, the broker may, as a condition of employment, impose such a requirement and, in any event, could, depending upon all factual circumstances, be held legally responsible for his salesman's conduct in connection with the latter's rentals of his own property.
AGO 2008 No. 9 >  October 23, 2008
REAL ESTATE - PROPERTY - MORTGAGES - LICENSES
Interpretation of 2008 statute concerning “distressed home consultants.” 1.  For the purposes of Laws of 2008, ch. 278, § 1(3), a person who offers to purchase a distressed home, and no more, does not thereby become a “distressed home consultant.”  2.  For the purposes of Laws of 2008, ch. 278, §§ 2, 3, a real estate licensee would likely become a “distressed home consultant” if the real estate licensee contacts the distressed homeowner’s lender to arrange a “short sale” in which the homeowner’s debt to the lender will be discharged for the amount of the sale price of the home when the sale price is less than the homeowner owes on the loan.  3.  For the purposes of Laws of 2008, ch. 278, §§ 2, 3, a real estate licensee becomes a “distressed home consultant” by performing licensed activities in connection with a real estate transaction when the property involved is a “distressed home,” if the licensee (1) solicits the owner; (2) offers to perform a service on the owner’s behalf; and (3) represents that the service will satisfy one or more of the conditions listed in Laws of 2008, ch. 278, § 1(3)(a).
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