Legally speaking: Nonuse of required forms…a problem?

By Lorie Garland, OAR Assistant Vice President of Legal Services

The OAR Legal Assistance Hotline receives an array of real estate-related legal questions — including license law issues, disclosure, contract law, ethics and commission problems, among others. In an effort to help you work within the law, our “Legally Speaking” series spotlights some of the timely questions that are being asked by REALTORS. This one involves the agency and property disclosure forms and the ramification of not using them as the law requires…

Q: Does an agent’s failure to provide the Consumer Guide to Agency Relationships on the Agency Disclosure Statement invalidate a signed purchase contract? What about the failure to provide a Residential Property Disclosure Form?

A: An agent’s failure to provide the agency documents would not invalidate a purchase contract but would constitute a license law violation. Ohio license law provides when and how the Consumer Guide and the Agency Disclosure Statement are to be used. Both documents provide consumers with important information regarding agency and the brokerage the consumer has chosen to work with. The Agency Disclosure Statement plays an additional role when an agent is acting as a dual agent. Ohio law requires an agent to obtain the written authorization of his clients to act as a dual agent and an executed Agency Disclosure Statement meets this requirement. As agent’s failure to properly use the agency forms could subject the agent to disciplinary action by the Ohio Division of Real Estate & Professional Licensing.

Nonuse or misuse of the Residential Property Disclosure Form could also subject an agent to disciplinary action. However, use of the disclosure form may also affect the purchase contract. Failure to provide the disclosure form would not invalidate a closed transaction, but it may allow a buyer to rescind a pending contract. Failure to provide the disclosure form prior to the purchase contract being entered into provides the buyer with the right to rescind the contract for 30 days after the contract is entered into or the closing date, whichever is earlier. An agent may also be liable to his client in a civil suit if the agent’s mishandling of the disclosure form results in damages to the client.

To prevent a license law sanction or civil liability an agent must be vigilant in their compliance with all requirements for use of the agency and disclosure forms.

Tags: legal, Legally Speaking

Activity in the Ohio housing market slows in August

sold signage (2)

By Carl Horst, OAR Director of Publications/Media Relations

The number of homes sold across Ohio in August lagged from levels reached a year ago and from the mark posted in July, according to the Ohio Association of REALTORS.

Sales activity in August declined 2.4 percent from the level posted in July and 4.5 percent from August 2013.

“The real strength of the Ohio housing market is its ongoing moderation,” said OAR President Chris Hall. “On a month-to-month basis the Buckeye State is exhibiting minor variations in activity, a step forward in our effort to establish a traditionally healthy and stable marketplace.”

August’s average home price of $160,440 reflects a 6.8 percent increase from the $150,165 mark posted during the month last year.

Sales in August reached a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 130,745, decreasing 2.4 percent from the 134,009 level posted in July. The market experienced 4.5 percent decline in sales from August 2013’s seasonally adjusted annual rate of 136,941.

Around the state, 16 of the 20 markets tracked reported decreases in sales activity levels during the month. All but one local market experienced an increase in average sales price.

Data provided to OAR by Multiple Listing Services includes residential closings for new and existing single-family homes and condominiums/co-ops. The Ohio Association of REALTORS, with more than 27,000 members, is the largest professional trade association in Ohio.

Click here to view OAR’s seasonally adjusted Ohio home sales report. To access a market-by-market analysis of sales activity throughout Ohio, click here.

Tags: home sales, research

2014 Ohio REALTOR-backed candidates

election abstract

By Paul Glass, OAR Director of Political Affairs

The Ohio Association of REALTORS — in conjunction with its Local Boards/Associations — is providing financial support to the following slate of candidates for elected office at the state and federal level. These candidates, which will appear on the Nov. 4 ballot, are supportive of the issues of importance to the real estate industry. The decision to support candidates is made at the local level, based on interviews and/or previous relationships. Those recommendations are forwarded to the Ohio RPAC Trustees for further consideration. Recommendations to provide RPAC support to federal candidates are reviewed by NAR. The 2014 REALTOR Slate:

U.S. House of Representatives (District 1) Steve Chabot, (2) Brad Wenstrup, (3) Joyce Beatty, (4) Jim Jordan, (5) Bob Latta, (6) Bill Johnson, (7) Bob Gibbs, (8) John Boehner, (9) Marcy Kaptur, (10) Mike Turner, (11) Marcia Fudge, (12) Patrick Tiberi, (13) Tim Ryan, (14) David Joyce, (15) Steve Stivers, (16) Jim Renacci

Ohio Statewide — (Attorney General) Mike DeWine, (Secretary of State) Jon Husted, (Auditor) David Yost, (Ohio Supreme Court) Judi French, (Ohio Supreme Court) Sharon Kennedy

Ohio Senate – (District 1) Cliff Hite, (3) Kevin Bacon, (5) Bill Beagle, (7) Shannon Jones, (9) Charlie Winburn, (13) Gayle Manning, (17) Bob Peterson, (19) Kris Jordan, (21) Sandra Williams, (23) Michael Skindell, (25) Kenny Yuko, (27) Frank LaRose, (29) Scott Oeslager, (31) Jay Hottinger, (33) Joe Schiavoni

Ohio House of Representatives – (District 1) Ron Amstutz, (3) Tim Brown, (6) Marlene Anielski, (7) Mike Dovilla, (8) Kent Smith, (13) Nickie Antonio, (14) Martin Sweeney, (15) Nicholas Celebrezze,  (16) Nan Baker, (17) Michael Curtin, (18) Michael Stinziano, (19) Anne Gozales, (20) Heather Bishoff, (21) Mike Duffey, (22) David Leland, (23) Cheryl Grossman, (24) Stephanie Kunze, (25) Kevin Boyce, (27) Tom Brinkman, (28) Micah Kamrass, (29) Louis Blessing III, (31) Denise Driehaus, (32) Christie Bryant, (34) Emilia Sykes, (35) Greta Johnson, (36) Anthony DeVitis, (38) Marilyn Slaby, (39) Fred Strahorn, (40) Michael Henne, (41) Jim Butler, (42) Niraj Antani, (43) Roland Winburn, (44) Michael Ashford, (47) Barbara Sears, (48) Kirk Schuring, (49) Stephen Slesnick, (50) Christina Hagan, (52) Margaret Conditt, (53) Tim Derickson, (56) Dan Ramos, (57) Terry Boose, (59) Ron Gerberry, (60) George Phillips, (61) Ron Young, (62) Ron Maag, (63) Sean O’Brien, (66) Doug Green, (69) Steve Hambley, (73) Rick Perales, (74) Robert Hackett, (75) Kathleen Clyde, (76) Sarah LaTourette, (80) Steve Huffman, (81) Rob McColley, (84) Jim Buchy, (86) Dorothy Pelanda, (87) Jeff McCalin, (88) Bill Reineke, (89) Chris Redfern, (89) Steven Kraus, (90) Terry Johnson, (91) Cliff Rosenberger, (92) Gary Scherer, (93) Ryan Smith, (94) Debbie Phillips, (96) Jack Cera, (99) Nancy McArthur

Tags: politics

Coaching Corner: Back it up!

By “Coach” Marilou Butcher Roth

No, I do not mean backing up your computer, although that is always good advice! What I am referring to is how we tackle big life decisions. When we are faced with questions regarding a direction or action to take, we mentally go to the end result searching for our best possible answers. The problem is, most of the time we won’t find the answer we are searching for.

So what do we do to access that information? How do we determine the best direction to take? In my experience, the most effective way is to back up to the present and work from there. Today I would like to address this from a couple of positions.

What I have found with clients trying to “choose wisely” is that they have often gone numb to the normal everyday choices — food, clothes, conversations, movies, etc. They make their choices based upon what they always do, or possibly the path of least resistance or even to please someone else. When you do this for a prolonged period of time, your “choice muscles” are weak and unprepared for the bigger decisions. If you find yourself in this category, begin making choices based upon what you truly want, no matter how small the choice!

The other way that we keep ourselves stuck in indecision is with the thinking “I will be happy when __________.” This is backwards from how things actually work. Allow me to give one of my favorite analogies –imagine a wagon wheel, big or small, it doesn’t matter. The center piece of the wheel is how I want you to think of yourself. Now, you have two choices — you can live your life from the center out, meaning that you are the one taking responsibility for your life and your happiness. Or…you can imagine that you live your life in a constant state of “I will be happy when_______,” in which case all of those pointy spokes are coming directly at you!!

We need to find our happiness in each moment — look for it — make it your intention each and every day!

Look back through this blog and gently see if either resonates for you. Practicing both of what I talked about will put you into a much more pro-active role both in your business and your personal life! Enjoy!


Marilou Butcher Roth is the owner of The MBR Group, a coaching and training company working primarily with REALTORS who have a desire to work and live from a more inspired place. She is also the Broker/Owner of Group REALTORS in Cincinnati.

Marilou is a member of the OAR Executive Committee and immediate past chairman of the organization’s Communications Committee. Feel free to contact Marilou to see if coaching is right for you:


Tags: Coaching Corner, training

Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown talks real estate, economics, politics & more at OAR Convention


Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown spoke to Ohio’s REALTORS during the OAR Annual Convention on an array of issues — from job growth to the state of political discourse to the important role home ownership plays in keeping the economic strong.

Tags: politics

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