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Legal Issues Forum Q&A: Agency forms

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By Peg Ritenour, OAR Vice President of Legal Services/Administration

Last week at the Ohio Association of REALTORS Annual Convention, Cleveland attorneys Cindy Lammert, Jon Deegan and Mark Rodio put on another jammed pack risk reduction program addressing a variety of topics including team advertising, breach of fiduciary duties, service animals, inspection issues, and more. If you weren’t there you missed a fantastic program!

Although there wasn’t enough time to answer everyone’s questions, OAR legal staff will address some of the issues that were raised in the OAR Daily Buzz. Here are a few dealing with Ohio’s agency disclosure forms.

Q: Is my brokerage required to keep a copy of a Consumer Guide to Agency Relationships signed by a buyer even if the buyer never ends up making an offer to purchase through my brokerage?

A: Yes. Ohio’s license law requires brokerages to keep a copy of all records involved in a transaction for three years. According to the Ohio Division of Real Estate and Professional Licensing this includes the signed receipt of the Consumer Guide even when no transaction is entered into by the buyer.

Q: Sometimes when I receive an offer to purchase from buyer agents, they will attach a copy of their brokerage’s Consumer Guide to Agency Relationships. Is that required?

A: No. The buyer’s agent is not required to provide you or the seller with a copy of the Consumer Guide. Instead, the buyer’s agent is required to submit the Agency Disclosure Statement signed by the buyer with the offer to purchase.

Q: I know the listing agent is required to present the Agency Disclosure form to the seller before he presents the offer to purchase.  Is the listing agent required to provide the buyer’s agent with a copy of the Agency Disclosure form signed by the seller?

A: The Ohio Revised Code section that mandates the use of the Agency Disclosure form does not specifically require that a copy signed by the seller be returned to the buyer’s agent. However, it is a recommended business practice so that the buyer’s agent has a signed copy of the form for their file.

Q: Someone told me that if you are acting as a dual agent that the parties need to initial the second page (or the reverse side) of the Agency Disclosure form that explains dual agency. Is this true?

A: No, there is no requirement in the license law that the parties initial this page, although doing so may be helpful to avoid any claim by the parties that the form you had them sign did not include this second page. Obtaining the parties’ initials or signatures may also be useful to demonstrate that you reviewed dual agency with your clients.

 

 

Legal articles provided in the OAR Daily Buzz are intended to provide broad, general information about the law and is not intended to be legal advice. Before applying this information to a specific legal problem, readers are urged to seek advice from an attorney. 

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