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Transaction Brokerage, I Presume?/Users/adamp/Desktop/May Mag Images/KnowLaw

Still confused about when (if ever) to give the transaction broker notice? To clear your mind, read on.

On July 1, 2003, the real estate license law’s “presumption of transaction brokerage” went into effect. The presumption, set forth in Section 475.278(1)(b), Florida Statutes, states: “It shall be presumed that all licensees are operating as transaction brokers unless a single agent or no brokerage relationship is established, in writing, with a customer.”
      
The 2003 establishment of the presumption of transaction brokerage did not, however, affect a real estate licensee’s responsibility to provide a transaction broker notice to a customer. Real estate licensees who wanted to act as transaction brokers after Section 475.278(1)(b)’s presumption took effect were still required to provide a transaction broker notice to a customer “before or at the time of entering into a listing agreement or an agreement for representation or before showing the property, whichever occurs first.”  This disclosure obligation is set to change July 1, 2008.

What happens July 1, 2008?
The presumption of transaction brokerage itself is not changing. However, the obligation to provide a transaction broker notice to a customer involved in a residential sale will no longer be required. (The term residential sale is defined in Section 475.278(5), Florida Statutes, to mean the sale of improved residential property of four units or fewer, the sale of unimproved residential property intended for use of four units or fewer, or the sale of agricultural property of 10 acres of fewer.)

The statute from which that disclosure obligation arises (Section 475.278(2)(b)) was also amended in 2003 to provide that this transaction broker disclosure requirement would expire July 1, 2008.

On and after July 1, 2008, a real estate licensee who wants to act as a transaction broker won’t be required to provide a transaction broker notice to a customer before or at the time of entering into a listing agreement or an agreement for representation or before showing property. 

Questions, anyone?
Here are some answers to common questions about the transaction broker notice.

If you enter into a single agent relationship with a buyer or seller after July 1, 2008, and subsequently would like to switch to a transaction broker relationship, will you still need to provide a transaction broker notice to that buyer or seller?

The presumption of transaction brokerage outlined in Section 475.278(1)(b), Florida Statutes, does not affect the manner in which a real estate licensee is permitted to transition from a single agent relationship to a transaction brokerage relationship.  Pursuant to Section 475.278, Florida Statutes, a licensee must first obtain the principal’s written consent as a condition precedent to transitioning. The disclosure that must be used to accomplish this transition, set forth in Section 475.278(3), Florida Statutes, is entitled “Consent to Transition to Transaction Broker.” This disclosure, which must be signed by the principal, includes the transaction broker notice language.

May I still provide the transaction broker notice to a customer?

Yes. The real estate license law does not contain any provision prohibiting a real estate licensee from continuing to provide the transaction broker notice to a customer.

Where can I find the single agent notice, no brokerage relationship notice and consent to transition to transaction broker notice forms?

The forms can be found on the Florida Association of Realtors® Web site, floridarealtors.org. From the home page, click on “Tools and Support” and then on “Forms” to access all the FAR Brokerage Relationship Disclosure forms as well as various contract and other disclosure forms.