Believe it or not, a lot of Realtor forms were updated on July 1, 2012 to comply with updated rules and regulations approved in April by the General Assembly of Virginia. Yes, Richmond. You know, where the laws are made for the Commonwealth of Virginia.
As a consumer protection, real estate agents are required to have a license and report to the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation. They collect the renewal fees and make sure real estate licensees complete the required continuing education every two years. Real estate licensees are made aware of what they are required to comply with in their business.
But these forms, these Realtor forms…
Although I know that you already get your real estate information from Trulia, Zillow or the Redfin blog, and essentially comprehend all aspects of the real estate sales process, the good folks in the Virginia General Assembly know that there is a little more to the process and you need some common sense protection.
It is time to get reading so here is: Chapter 750.
You will need to get in a page or two, but if you are sitting at Dulles or Reagan National waiting for flight home after a hard week then read the whole thing.
Here is an excerpt:
� 54.1-2137. (Effective July 1, 2012) Commencement and termination of brokerage relationships.
A. The brokerage relationships set forth in this article shall commence at the time that a client engages a licensee and shall continue until (i) completion of performance in accordance with the brokerage
relationship agreement or (ii) the earlier of (a) any date of expiration agreed upon by the parties as part of the brokerage relationship agreement or in any amendments thereto, (b) any mutually agreed upon termination of the relationship brokerage agreement, (c) a default by any party under the terms of the brokerage relationship agreement, or (d) a termination as set forth in subsection F of � 54.1-2139.
B. Brokerage agreements shall be in writing and shall:
1. Have a definite termination date; however, if a brokerage
relationship agreement does not specify a definite termination date, the brokerage relationship agreement shall terminate 90 days after the date of the brokerage agreement;
2. State the amount of the brokerage fees and how and when such fees are to be paid;
3. State the services to be rendered by the licensee;
4. Include such other terms of the brokerage relationship as have been agreed to by the client and the licensee; and
5. In the case of brokerage agreements entered into in conjunction with the client’s consent to a dual representation, the disclosures set out in subsection A of � 54.1-2139.
and (conspicuous enough?)
� 54.1-2138. Disclosure of brokerage relationship.
A. Upon having a substantive discussion about a specific property or properties with an actual or prospective buyer or seller who is not the client of the licensee and who is not represented by another licensee, a licensee shall disclose any broker relationship the licensee has with another party to the transaction. Further, except as provided in � 54.1-2139, 54.1-2139.1, 54.1-2139.2, or 54.1-2139.3, such disclosure shall be made in writing at the earliest practical time, but in no event later than the time when specific real estate assistance is first provided. Such disclosure may be given in combination with other disclosures or provided with other information, but if so, the disclosure must be conspicuous, printed in bold lettering, all capitals, underlined, or within a separate box. Any disclosure which complies substantially in effect with the following shall be deemed in compliance with this disclosure requirement:
Essentially this is where we get the great content for those Realtor forms!
They have made it clear that disclosures and agreements as of July 1, 2012 shall be in writing. They aren’t giving me a choice here so please don’t be surprised if I pull out a three or four page agreement even if we are meeting for a day, a week or a month because they are now requiring me to do so.
What do you think? Feel free to share your thoughts below.