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Tuesday, September 16, 2014
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Published: Friday, 7/18/2003

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Buying or selling a home can be a daunting task. Whether you're a full timer or a seasoned pro, it c an seem like you're always having a piece of paper placed before you and are being asked to sign here, initial there - everything from purchase contracts to mortgage applications .

Believe me, the seemingly mountain of paperwork is designed to offer you protection and a better understanding of your rights and options. While most of the paperwork is there to make the sale or purchase legally valid, some is mandated by state law.

When you work with a real estate agent in Ohio, one of the first items you receive is a " Disclosure of Agency Relations hip" form. This is no contract and will not obligate you to work with the agent and his /her brokerage, nor will it bind you to pay any compensation to the agent result of signing the form.

The purpose of the form is to make sure you have the necessary information you need to know about the role of the agent if you choose to work together. Your signatures imply acknowledges that you were given the information and agree to the relations hip that will be established.

Despite its simplicity, the "Disclosure of Agency Relationship" form often causes a great deal of confusion. When you agree to be represented by a real estate agent, the broker the agent works for also becomes your agent. Legally, the other agent in the brokerage do not represent you unless they are a manager in the brokerage, or unless you agree that these other agents will also represent you. What follows is a brief description of the various "relationship" available.

Seller's Agency:

In this type of relations hip, the agent (and the brokerage the agent works for) owe the seller loyalty, obedience, confidentiality , accounting, and reasonable s kill and care in performing their duties . The agent and brokerage are required to act solely on behalf of the seller's interest to s eek the best price and terms for the seller.

Final, a seller's agent and brokerage also have an obligation to disclose to the seller all material information obtained from the buyer or any other source.

Subagency:

In this type of relationship, a seller may authorize their listing agent and brokerage to offer "subagency" to other agents/brokerages . Basically this means the listing broker would solicit other brokers and agents to also work toward the seller's goal of trying to s ell their property. A subagent would also represent the seller's interest and has all of the same duties as the listing agent, including loyalty and confidentiality and the obligation to disclose all material facts to the seller .

Buyer's Agency:

In this relationship, a buyer's agent (and the brokerage the agent works for) owe the buyer loyalty, obedience, confidentiality, accounting, and reasonable skill and care in performing their duties . The agent and brokerage are required to act solely on behalf of the buyer's interest to seek the best price and terms for the buyer. A buyer's agent and brokerage also have an obligation to disclose to the buyer all material information obtained from the seller or from any other source.

Disclosed Dual Agency:

In this type of relationship, one agent may represent both parties in a real estate transaction, but only if both parties consent. Disclosed dual agency is most likely to occur when both the buyer and seller are represented by the same agent. If this happens, the buyer and seller must sign a dual agency disclosure statement that describes the duties and obligations of the dual agent. A dual agent may not disclose any confidential information that would place one party at an advantage over the other party and may not advocate or negotiate on behalf of either of the two parties.

In-Company Transactions:

An in-company trans action is one in which the seller and buyer are each represented by two separate real estate agents who both work for the same brokerage. In this instance, the brokerage is a dual agent representing both buyer and seller. However, the two agents can legally represent the separate interests of each of their clients. The only exception to this would be if one or both of the agents are in a management position in the brokerage. In that instance, the manager(s ) would also have to be a dual agent. In instances where this form of agency occurs the brokerage is required to objectively supervise the agents involved so they can each fulfill their duties to their respective clients and assist the parties, in an unbiased manner. However, because the brokerage is a dual agent it cannot:

Advocate or negotiate on behalf of either the buyer or the seller.

Disclose confidential information to any party or any other employee or agent in the brokerage.

Use confidential information of one party to benefit the other party in the transaction.

If you have any questions about the "Disclosure of Agency Relations hip" form you are encouraged to consult an attorney. However, a real estate professional will be able to give you a clear understanding of the form and their business relations hip with you.



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