Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

AGO 1982 NO. 1 > Jan 6 1982

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 2005 NO. 2 > Mar 7 2005

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 1987 NO. 8 > Mar 16 1987

King County is not required to allow an appeal to the county council of an administrative decision denying a short plat application.

AGLO 1976 NO. 8 > Feb 2 1976

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.

AGO 1981 NO. 9 > Jul 24 1981

(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 2008 NO. 9 > Oct 23 2008

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).

AGO 1980 NO. 12 > May 20 1980

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 1967 NO. 14 > Apr 14 1967

(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 1976 NO. 17 > Sep 28 1976

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.

AGLO 1975 NO. 17 > Feb 21 1975

(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.