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Explaining the Florida brokerage relationship

January 15, 2011
By MARIO D'ARTAGNAN

Chapter 475.278, Florida Statutes sets forth authorized brokerage relationships; presumption of transaction brokerage; required disclosures. The following is a summary of the section of law pertaining to brokerage relationships.

(1) BROKERAGE RELATIONSHIPS

(a) Authorized brokerage relationships A real estate licensee in this state may enter into a brokerage relationship as either a transaction broker or as a single agent with potential buyers and sellers. A licensee may change from one brokerage relationship to the other as long as the buyer or the seller, or both, give consent as required by subparagraph (3)(c)2 before the change and the appropriate disclosure of the duties as provided in this part is made to the buyer or seller. A customer is not required to enter into any brokerage relationship with any real estate licensee. It is presumed that all licensees are operating as transaction brokers unless a single agent or no brokerage relationship is established, in writing, with a customer.

A TRANSACTION BROKER relationship provides a limited form of representation to a buyer, seller, or both in a real estate transaction but does not represent either in a fiduciary capacity or as a single agent. The duties of a real estate licensee in this limited form of representation in-clude the following:

(a) Dealing honestly and fairly;

(b) Accounting for all funds;

(c) Using skill, care, and diligence in the transaction;

(d) Disclosing all known facts that materially affect the value of residential real property and are not readily observable to the buyer;

(e) Presenting all offers and counteroffers in a timely manner, unless a party has previously directed the licensee otherwise in writing;

(f) Limited confidentiality, unless waived in writing by a party. This limited confidentiality will prevent disclosure that the seller will accept a price less than the asking or listed price, that the buyer will pay a price greater than the price submitted in a written offer, of the motivation of any party for selling or buying property, that a seller or buyer will agree to financing terms other than those offered, or of any other information requested by a party to remain confidential; and

(g) Any additional duties that are mutually agreed to with a party.

The duties of a real estate licensee owed to a buyer or seller who engages the real estate licensee as a SINGLE AGENT include the following:

1. Dealing honestly and fairly;

2. Loyalty;

3. Confidentiality;

4. Obedience

5. Full Disclosure

6. Accounting for all funds;

7. Skill, care, and diligence in the transaction;

8. Presenting all offers and counteroffers in a timely manner, unless a party has previously directed the licensee otherwise in writing; and

9. Disclosing all known facts that materially affect the value of residential real property and are not readily observable.

Duties of a single agent must be fully described and disclosed in writing to a buyer or seller either as a separate and distinct disclosure document or included as part of another document such as a listing agreement or other agreement for representation. The disclosure must be made before, or at the time of entering into a listing agreement or purchase agreement.

A single agent relationship may be changed to a transaction broker relationship at any time during the relationship between an agent and principal, provided the agent first obtains the principal's written consent to the change in relationship. This disclosure must be in writing to the principal (the party with whom you have a fiduciary relationship) either as a separate and distinct document or included as part of other documents such as a listing agreement or other agreements for representation.

Although parts of the law may seem confusing, your real estate agent should be able to explain these disclosures and forms of representation. The foregoing is not intended to be legal advice.

Mario D'Artagnan is a broker associate with Miloff Aubuchon Realty Group, Inc. Mario is a former investigator for the Florida Real Estate Commission. He is also a former real estate instructor. Mr. D'Artagnan is a published author and has been a keynote speaker on the subject of agency law. Mario is also a veteran of the U.S. Air Force. For questions or comments contact Mr. D'Artagnan at: mariodartagnan@yahoo.com or call 239-565-4445.

 
 
 

 

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