Ohio law requires the completion of an Agency Disclosure Statement if a licensed Real Estate Agent, Real Estate Broker, Realtor is representing the Buyer, Seller or both as a Dual Agent. The form itself is self-explanatory, however many Buyer Agents and Listing Agents often complete fields incorrectly and some omit required information in its entirety. To be clear the form MUST be completed by the Buyer Agent PRIOR to obtaining signatures of the Buyer and Seller. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I have seen a Buyer Agent send over an incomplete form, signed by their Buyer, and expect me to alter the signed document to add the required information on their behalf. I have seen forms in which Agents have excluded the property address, the Buyer or Seller’s name, the name of the Brokerage, the Buyer or Listing Agent and in fact some Buyer Agents have sent over blank forms with their Buyer’s signatures expecting me to do their job. Conversely, I have also seen Listing Agents with various Real Estate Brokerages upload Agency Disclosure Statements signed by the Seller into the MLS that lacked the Buyer and Buyer Agent’s information. The Listing Agent should not be asking their Seller to sign an incomplete form and granting permission to a Buyer Agent to alter it. It is NOT acceptable to alter a legally signed document without having all parties initial any changes, and it is unprofessional to have to resend forms for initials after corrections have been made due to the failure of the Buyer Agent to do their due diligence. In the interest of full disclosure, I am not an attorney. I am Real Estate Broker, with decades of experience, providing my personal interpretation of this form for your perusal and I encourage every Real Estate Agent to reach out to their Real Estate Broker, Legal Counsel the Ohio Division of Real Estate for further clarification.
The top of the form requires the property address as well as the names of the Buyer and Seller. If either the Buyer or Seller is purchasing the property in Corporation, LLC, Trust etc this must be referenced correctly in this field. Example: if the property is held by ABC LLC and Jane Doe is the member authorized to sign on behalf of the LLC – ABC LLC is to be referenced in that field and at the bottom of the page the signature will reflect ABC LLC/Jane Doe, Member or as properly delineated within the LLC documents.
Section I: TRANSACTION INVOLVING TWO AGENTS IN TWO DIFFERENT BROKERAGES
This section is to be completed if each party is being represented by Agents licensed with two different Real Estate Brokerages. If there are two Real Estate Agents involved in the transaction the Buyer Agent must complete this field adding the Buyer Agent’s name and Real Estate Brokerage name to the appropriate field. The Buyer Agent must also add the name of the Listing Agent and their Real Estate Brokerage name (Example: John Doe / ABC Realty representing the Buyer and Joan Elflein / Ohio Broker Direct representing the Seller). While Section One of the form itself is self-explanatory, many Real Estate Agents incorrectly assume if a property is being sold with a Flat Fee MLS Listing Service they are no longer required to disclose the name of Listing Agent and Brokerage in this section. While the Seller has the right to waive certain duties of the Listing Agent / Broker, there are fiduciary duties to the Seller that may NOT be waived per Ohio Law. Therefore, if the property is Listed with a Real Estate Brokerage Section One MUST be completed in its entirety
Section II: TRANSACTION INVOLVING TWO AGENTS IN THE SAME BROKERAGE
This section is to be completed only if each party is being represented by Agents licensed with the same Brokerage (Example: John Doe / ABC Realty representing the Buyer and Jane Smith / ABC Realty representing the Seller). This section requires the name of the Real Estate Brokerage to be added to the first field and the completion of one of two options. The first option states the Buyer Agent works for the Buyer, the Listing Agent works for the Seller and the Real Estate Broker will be a Dual Agent maintaining a neutral position while protecting the confidentiality of all parties. The second option requires the Brokerage to represent every client of the Brokerage, therefore the Buyer Agent and Listing Agent will be working for both the Buyer and the Seller as dual agents. Additional disclosure is required in this section if either the Buyer Agent, Listing Agent or Broker has a personal, family or business relationship with either the Buyer or Seller. Additional information on Dual Agency is available via the Ohio Division of Real Estate Agency Disclosure form page two.
III. TRANSACTION INVOLVING ONLY ONE REAL ESTATE AGENT
This section is to be completed if only one Licensed Real Estate Agent and Real Estate Brokerage is involved in the transaction. This section is used in a For Sale By Owner situation in which the Agent represents the Buyer, or if the Agent has the Listing – they are representing the Seller and the Buyer came to them without representation. The Agent will add their name and Real Estate Brokerage name in the appropriate field and check one of the two following options. The first option indicates the Agent and Brokerage will represent both parties as a Dual Agent maintaining a neutral position while protecting the confidentiality of all parties. Additional information on Dual Agency if available on the Ohio Division of Real Estate Agency Disclosure form page two. Additional disclosure is required in this section if either the Buyer Agent, Listing Agent or Broker has a personal, family or business relationship with either the buyer or seller. The second option indicates the Agent and Brokerage are representing either the Buyer or the Seller as a client and the other party is representing their own interests. This section is NOT to be completed if the Seller has selected a Flat Fee MLS Listing Service option such as what if offered by Ohio Broker Direct. Please revisit Section One if the Seller has retained such MLS Listing services.
Joan Elflein, Broker / Ohio Broker Direct
Ohio Broker Direct & its Brokers or Associates assumes no responsibility or liability for any errors or omissions in this blog, we advise all participants in buying or selling real estate to enlist the services of a Real Estate Attorney