Minimum Services Law

MINIMUM SERVICES LAW …

In 2006 Gov. Bob Taft signed HB 150 into law. This legislation, which has been referred to as the “minimum services bill,” became effective on October 9, 2006.

The purpose of this legislation is to clarify some of the issues involving new real estate brokerage models in the market place. Such business models are often referred to as “fee-for-service,” “flat-fee,” “minimum service,” or “MLS entry-only brokerages.”

Regardless of the label, these arrangements all involve the situation in which a real estate broker performs fewer services than does a traditional broker, and as a result, the seller usually pays a lower fee. For example, the seller may opt to do their own marketing, handle their open houses and showings and may even negotiate the purchase contract themselves. In some instances, such as the sale of a builder’s new construction, the only service the builder seeks from the real estate broker is to put the property in the MLS.

It is important to understand that nothing in this law prohibits such arrangements. Instead, it provides clarity in the license law regarding those duties that licensees must provide to a client, and which ones the client may waive and do for themselves. It also assures that consumers understand the services they will receive. Finally, it clarifies certain issues with respect to negotiations and advertising.

For more information read the following articles:

LAWS INTRODUCTION

FAQs: WAIVER OF DUTIES

FAQS: WAIVER OF DUTIES STATEMENT FAQs

Waiver of Duties Statement (.pdf)

In October the OAR-sponsored minimum service license law provisions took effect. This law clarifies that the fiduciary duties owed a client cannot be waived. However, it does allow a client to waive a real estate licensee’s obligation to perform the specific duties provided in ORC 4735.63 and 4735.65 which are owed to a buyer or seller.

In order to obtain a client’s waiver of a specific duty(s), a new Waiver of Duties form must be executed.