Question & Answers from this week’s Broker Forum

Thirty five brokers and managers attended the Broker/Manager Forum on Aug. 22 to hear a panel discussion of best practices for multiple offer situations, contemporaneous offers, disclosures required by FIRPTA, and to hear an update on cyber fraud security measures.  The panel, moderated by past president Charlotte Van Steyn, included Bob Kutschbach, Andrew Show, Stacy McVey, Joe Barone, and Vice President for Government Affairs Brent Swander.

Many great questions were fielded by the panel, and it became clear that there is still some confusion among agents on some very important topics. The panel highly recommends providing guidance to your agents related to proper handling of multiple offers, including answers to the following questions, found along with many other important legal issues on the website:

Q: When will I give the Agency Disclosure Statement to the sellers as the listing agent?
A: Under Ohio law the Agency Disclosure Statement will be completed by the agent working with the buyer. It will then be delivered along with the offer to you as the listing agent. You are required to present the form to the sellers and obtain their signature before you begin presenting the offer to the sellers.

Q: Can I refuse to present an offer if the cooperating agent fails to give me an Agency Disclosure Statement with the offer?
A: No. If time permits-for example, if the offer is not going to expire soon-you may wish to contact the cooperating agent to request the statement. However, you may not refuse or fail to present it until you receive the statement, as this may result in the seller losing a possible sale. Make sure you disclose to the seller the fact that you have not received the statement. Also, put notes in your file to document what has happened.

Q: What do I do if the seller or buyer refuses to sign the Agency Disclosure Statement?
A: In this situation you are required to note on the bottom of the statement the following: 1) the parties to whom the statement was presented; 2) the date and time the form was presented; 3) the fact that they declined to sign it; and 4) the reason they refused to sign it if you know. You must also communicate what has occurred to either your principal broker or another management-level licensee in the brokerage that supervises you.

Watch for the next Broker Manager Forum, and be sure to register for Columbus REALTORS® Broker Manager Day on Oct. 10, featuring Ohio Realtors® Peg Ritenour and three hours of core law education.  Register here.