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Auction Listings

Posted by PRO Tue, 16 Jan 2007 15:23:00 GMT

(Section 4.7)

The MLS accepts exclusively-listed property that is subject to auction. These listings must adhere to the same rules, regulations, and policies that apply to all exclusive listings, including, but not limited to, showing a listed price. The price may be the minimum bid required.

The first line in the Realtor Only Remarks section of the MLS database should state:

This is an auction property. Call the listing agent for details.

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Best Practices for Defensive Transaction Management

Posted by PRO Tue, 16 Jan 2007 20:00:00 GMT

Best Practices for Defensive Record Keeping


A comprehensive paper trail helps you and your associates to avoid misunderstanding with clients.  It also helps to identify mistakes that could lead to litigation.  Do you or your associates use the following best practices for documenting a transaction?


  • Do you document your sources of information?  When passing on information obtained from another source, such as local zoning board, or school system, document your conversation or print the report from the source and with the client.  Keep those notes on file.
  • Do you keep a telephone log that summarizes all business calls?  Note the date and time of the call, the name of the caller, and a one to two line summary of the conversation.
  • Do you teach associates how to structure a complete transaction file that includes documents such as disclosure statements as will as detailed notes?  Develop a checklist for the front of the file that lists each document that should be present.  To avoid documents “disappearing, “add a checkout box that must be initialed before a document is removed.
  • Do you instruct associates to keep records of what types of housing each prospective buyer asked to see, all housing options offered, all services provided, and the dates of showing.  Retain these files for at least two years, since fair housing complaints may be filed for two years after the incident.
  • Do you send sellers written updates on showings and feedback?  Phone calls are great, but written documents are a more tangible defense if a dispute arises.
  • Do you indicate on correspondence who is receiving copies?  For important documents, consider certified mail, courier, or other options that provide a confirmation that the documents were received.
  • Do you request a letter from the lending institution stating the reason if a mortgage loan is denied?
  • Do you send copies of changes in listing terms, such as price reductions or changes in the listing period to the seller, cooperating broker, and the transaction file?
  • Do you use confirmation letters to shift the burden of response to the other party?  The recipient of a confirming letter is asked to take some action if the content does not match his or her understanding of what was said.


Best Practices for Defendable Transaction Files


  • Signed or acknowledged brokerage relationship disclosure form
  • Listing agreement, including comparable market analysis
  • Profile sheet with supporting public records documentation
  • Property condition disclosure form
  • All marketing materials, including newspaper ads and printouts of online listings
  • Relocation or referral information, if applicable
  • Correspondence and phone logs with buyers, sellers, and other parties to the transaction
  • Inspection reports
  • Lead paint or other hazardous materials disclosure forms, if applicable
  • Copy of purchase contract and addenda
  • Copies of invoices for any repair work completed that was required for the sale
  • Settlement statement (HUD 1 form), if available
  • Escrow account records relating to the transaction


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Broker Responsibility

Posted by PRO Tue, 16 Jan 2007 19:58:00 GMT

A Broker has many responsibilities in their day-to-day business.  However, a new Florida Statutes bill, HB 1009, which was signed by the Governor on June 13 and became law on July 1, 2006, has added even more responsibility.


Now, according to FS 475.25(1)(u), a Broker can be disciplined if:


Has failed, if a broker, to direct, control, or manage a broker associate or sales associate employed by such broker. A rebuttable presumption exists that a broker associate or sales associate is employed by a broker if the records of the department establish that the broker associate or sales associate is registered with that broker. A record of licensure which is certified or authenticated in such form as to be admissible in evidence under the laws of the state is admissible as prima facie evidence of such registration.


So, a Broker, in addition to being responsible for all real estate assistants (whether licensed or unlicensed) under their employ, and for those assistants employed by their broker and sales associates, is also responsible for directing, controlling, and managing all their broker associates and sales associates who are registered with their firm as well.  Failure by a Broker in this responsibility gives the Florida Real Estate Commission (FREC) authority to proceed with disciplinary and/or legal action.

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Brokerage Relationships

Posted by PRO Tue, 16 Jan 2007 19:59:00 GMT

In 1997, Florida passed the Brokerage Relationship Act.  The Act set up three brokerage relationship types which could operate in Florida in interaction with consumers.  The types are:


Transaction Broker Relationship


A transaction broker (with limited representation) is a non-agency relationship and as such allows the licensee to represent both parties in the transaction in a limited capacity.  There are seven duties associated with Transaction Brokerage that are owed to the customer.  (They are not considered Fiduciary duties.)  The duties are:

  1. Dealing honestly and fairly;
  2. Accounting for all funds;
  3. Using skill, care, and diligence in the transaction;
  4. Disclosing all know facts that materially affect the value of residential real property and are not readily observable to the buyer;
  5. Presenting all offers and counteroffers in a timely manner, unless a party has previously directed the licensee otherwise in writing;
  6. 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
  7. Any additional duties that are entered into by this or by separate written agreement.

Single Agent Relationship


A single agent is an agency relationship which allows the licensee to represent one party, either the seller or the buyer, but not both in the same transaction.  There are nine duties associated with Single Agency and these duties are called Fiduciary duties as the licensee pledges complete allegiance to the client.  The duties are:

  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.

No Brokerage Relationship


A no brokerage is a relationship where the licensee does not represent the customer but will perform the administrative function and owes the consumer three duties.  (Like the transaction broker these are not Fiduciary duties.)  The duties are:

  1. Dealing honestly and fairly;
  2. Disclosing all known facts that materially affect the value of residential real property which are not readily observable to the buyer.
  3. Accounting for all funds entrusted to the licensee.

Dual Agency


Dual Agency in any form is strictly prohibited in the state of Florida.  A licensee cannot represent both parties in the same transaction in a single agent role.




The three ways of operating apply to all types of real estate transactions; however, disclosure of how a broker is working is only required in residential transactions.  A residential transaction is defined as the sale of improved residential property of four or fewer units, the sale of unimproved residential property of four or fewer units, or the sale of agricultural property of ten or fewer acres.  The disclosure form must be given either just prior to the signing of an employment contract or the showing of residential property whichever comes first.  If the disclosure is not given, by Florida law, it is presumed that the licensee is acting as a Transaction Broker.  If the consumer wants to be represented in an agency relationship or wishes not to be represented at all the fact must be established in writing.


Transition to Transaction Broker


Of all the disclosure forms required in residential transactions, the Consent to Transition to Transaction Broker form is the only one that absolutely requires a signature.  The other disclosure forms, if not signed, can be annotated with a note that the individual received the disclosure and declined to sign on a particular date.


Termination of a Brokerage Relationship


A brokerage relationship between a principal, or a customer, and a broker may be terminated for any of the following reasons:


  • Expiration of employment agreement
  • Mutual Agreement
  • Fulfillment of the employment contract
  • Broker renounces with notice
  • Principal withdraws (could be withdrawal fee and direct expenses to that point)
  • Death of the Principal or the Broker (as long as contract is binding on heirs)
  • Destruction of Property or Condemnation by Eminent Domain
  • Bankruptcy of Principal or customer

Disclosure Forms


Sample brokerage relationship disclosure forms, can be found at the Realtor Resources menu item Forms Basic in the file folder, Listing Brokerage Disclosures and Commission Forms at the Florida Association of Realtors (FAR) website,  Also, above the form file folders is a very helpful Link, “…description of FAR Forms.”  However, a broker should have any written agreements reviewed by legal counsel to ensure their appropriateness for their intended usage.

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Creating "buy-in" for KM solutions in your association

Posted by Cindy Farris Thu, 15 Feb 2007 20:10:00 GMT

Just because you offer awesome KM solutions, it does not mean that your members and staff will use them.  To make your association’s KM initiatives successful you will need to get “buy-in” or support both externally and internally.

Approach for Building Member “Buy-In”

  • Ye old knowledge management proverb “tell me, I forget; show me, I remember; Involve me, I understand” source: The Power of Six Sigma by Subir Chowdhury
  • Use your SME’s and focus groups as champions of your KM solutions.  Have them participate in your needs assessments and give them periodic updates on the progression of your development.  Make them feel like they are part of the development team.
  • Include SME’s, focus group participants, BOD in your tool testing.  Let them be the first ones to try out new KM tools.  Champions are a great resource for getting the word out when something excites them.  They also like being the first to know about something new.
  • Ask for input from your testers on the value and usability of your KM solutions.  Their input can be invaluable in developing a user friendly tool that members will find helpful.  Being involved gives them the opportunity to truly understand the process of becoming a learning organization.

 Approach for Building Staff “Buy-In”

  • As the ye old KM proverb states “involve me; I understand.”  This applies to staff as well as members.
  • Encourage staff to get involved with KM projects for members.  Use them for product testing and conduct “train the trainer” sessions with them so that they are able to show members how to get maximum value out of the tool.
  • Find internal areas within your association that would benefit from KM and encourage staff to develop solutions.  These activities could include finding ways to automate a manual process and documenting the new process for other staff members to use or creating a FAQ to help staff better answer complex member questions.
  • Consider reward or incentive programs to spark the staff member’s “creative juices.”  Encourage them to create new ways to get members excited about the value added KM tools that you’ll be offering to members.  Everyone likes to be “cutting edge.”


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