In the course of a real estate practice extending over a number of years, the author has felt the need of some reasonably complete and conveniently arranged work on the law governing the transactions and relations of real estate brokers. The obligation, as well as the desire, to keep accurately informed, resulted in his accumulating a large amount of material relating to the subject. He was led to believe that this might be of use to other lawyers, and of practical value to real estate brokers as well. The present publication is the result.
In preparing this work the author has used the material collected for his own use, and has largely supplemented it by research and study specially devoted to producing from his original collection of notes a book which should accurately exhibit the law as it is.
In the selection of supporting authorities the author has endeavored to avoid the too common habit of dumping in authorities secured from anywhere and everywhere, leaving the reader to ascertain whether they affect the statement for which they are cited or not. What Pascal said concerning his "Provincial Letters" may be conscientiously claimed for these pages: "I did not make use of a single passage without having myself read it in the book from which it is cited, without having examined the subject of which it treats, and without having read what went before and followed, so that I might run no risk of quoting an objection as an answer which would have been blameworthy and unfair." Beyond this, by ample quotations, the author has sought, wherever possible, to state principles in the language of the courts, rather than substitute his own language, thus presenting what the courts have really said, instead of what the text writer says they have said.
The author believes the book will be of direct and material value to the real estate broker. The maxim impresses upon us the fact that ignorance of the law excuses no one. In other words, everybody is supposed to know the law. The real estate broker may therefore find a service rendered him in these pages which place before him much legal knowledge directly affecting his vocation.
It must be borne in mind, however, that the present volume is not intended to make the broker his own lawyer. It will inform him on many important details of his calling, a knowledge of which will tend to prevent mistakes and lawsuits. It should also enable him to so conduct his business transactions that when litigation cannot be avoided he may place in his lawyer's hands a just and intelligent cause. But it will not qualify the broker to perform the duties of an attorney, and when litigation threatens, the prompt employment of competent legal advisers is the course of safety and of wisdom.
Fred L. Gross,
189 Montague Street, Brooklyn, N. Y., November 1, 1910.