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December 11, 2018 • Stay Connected!

QUESTION:  Our agent is the buyer's agent. The buyers delivered the EM directly to the escrow company. Listing agent is insisting that we must provide the listing firm with a Form 89 (receipt) showing that we received the EM even though we did not. Listing firm claims that the DOL auditor requires a Form 89 showing receipt by buyer's broker even if buyer's broker never actually received the EM.
So, is this broker confused on what exactly the DOL requires? One cannot simply create a fake form 89, right?

ANSWER:  Buyer's broker is correct. When buyer delivers EM directly to escrow, the only proof required for the transaction files in both the listing and the selling firm, is confirmation from the escrow company that the EM was received. Buyer's broker may not create a receipt for money that was never received by broker. Since this earnest money was deposited by buyer, directly to escrow, buyer's broker never received the EM and thus cannot generate a receipt. A receipt from buyer's broker, showing receipt of money that broker never received, would be a falsehood and perpetuation of a falsehood would actually create auditing and other problems for broker and firm.
This issue is confusing to many listing firms but buyer broker is correct. In a transaction where buyer deposits EM directly to escrow, transaction files will only have one piece of documentation related to the deposit and that one document will be the escrow company's receipt or proof of delivery of the funds to escrow.


The Legal Hotline Lawyer does not represent Washington REALTORS or its members. To browse through our database of past Q & A's, visit Attorney Annie Fitzsimmons writes the Legal Hotline Question and Answer of the Week. Please submit questions to or leave a message at 800.562.6027. Please include your NRDS number.

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New Phishing Attempt Targets NAR
Many National Association of REALTORS® members received a solicitation today, purportedly from the REALTOR® Party, asking for donations to fund medical expenses for a young girl. This solicitation is not from the REALTOR® Party or the National Association of REALTORS®. NAR never solicits donations for personal or individual charities. If you received this "Help Support Diana Recovery” solicitation, please delete the email without clicking on any links. If you sent money to the link in the email, we recommend that you file a complaint with the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center at (link is external).
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Mortgage Rates Are Easing
(Source: REALTOR Magazine) The Home buyers may be finding a window of opportunity to lock in lower rates. Mortgage rates fell this week, after several weeks of moderating, Freddie Mac reports.

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Last COE Webinar Before Deadline...maybe?
We have one last Code of Ethics webinar scheduled for December 20th. We realize there are a lot of REALTORS who have not taken their mandatory COE (deadline is 12/31). If you can't make the 20th webinar, would you be interested in an additional webinar on Friday, December 28th from 9:00AM to Noon? If enough people are interested, we'll book the instructor (the amazing Terry Eccles-Pettet) and set it up!
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Primary Mortgage Rates Survey
(updated every Thursday)  Source:  Freddie Mac
  December 6, 2018       30-yr FRM  15-Yr FRM  5/1-Yr ARM
 Average Rates  4.75%  4.21%  4.07%
 Fees & Points  0.5
 Margin  N/A  N/A  2.78

  November 29, 2018       30-yr FRM  15-Yr FRM  5/1-Yr ARM
 Average Rates  4.81%  4.25%  4.12%
 Fees & Points  0.5
 Margin  N/A  N/A  2.77

  November 21, 2018       30-yr FRM  15-Yr FRM  5/1-Yr ARM
 Average Rates  4.81%  4.24%  4.09%
 Fees & Points  0.4
 Margin  N/A  N/A  2.76

  November 15, 2018       30-yr FRM  15-Yr FRM  5/1-Yr ARM
 Average Rates  4.94%  4.36%  4.14%
 Fees & Points  0.5
 Margin  N/A  N/A  2.77

Date Class Location CE  
14-DECTrends Trade ShowSeattle3.0More info...
20-DECNAR Code of EthicsWebinar3.0More info...

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