A real estate broker may work with one or both Parties to a real estate transaction. The Oklahoma Broker Relationships Law (Title 59, Oklahoma Statutes, §858-351 – 858-363) allows a real estate firm to provide brokerage services to both Parties to the transaction. This could occur when a firm has contracted with a seller to sell their property and a prospective buyer contacts that same firm to see the property. If the prospective buyer wants to make an offer on the property, the firm must now provide a written notice to both the buyer and seller that the firm is now providing brokerage services to both Parties to the transaction.
Oklahoma real estate brokers have mandatory duties and responsibilities to all Parties in a real estate transaction. These duties and responsibilities shall be described and disclosed in writing prior to signing a contract to sell, purchase, lease, option or exchange real estate. These duties and responsibilities are to:
Treat all Parties with honesty and exercise reasonable skill and care.
Receive all written offers and counteroffers, reduce offers or counteroffers to a written form upon request of any party to a transaction and present timely all written offers and counteroffers (unless specifically waived in writing by a party).
Timely account for all money and property received by the broker.
Disclose information pertaining to the property as required by the Residential Property Condition Disclosure Act.
Comply with all requirements of The Oklahoma Real Estate License Code and all applicable statutes and rules.
Keep confidential information received from a party or prospective party confidential unless written consent is granted by the party, the disclosure is required by law, or the information is public or becomes public as the results of actions from a source other than the broker. Confidential information includes:
That a party is willing to pay more or accept less than what is being offered
That a party or prospective party is willing to agree to financing terms different from those offered
The motivating factors of the party or prospective party purchasing, selling, leasing, optioning or exchanging the property
Any information specifically designated as confidential by the party unless such information is public.
A broker has additional duties and responsibilities only to a party for whom the broker is providing brokerage services. These duties and responsibilities shall also be described and disclosed in writing prior to signing a contract to sell, purchase, lease, option and exchange real estate. These duties are to:
Inform the party in writing when an offers is made that the party will be expected to pay certain costs, brokerage services costs and approximate amount of the costs.
Keep the party informed regarding the transaction.
If a broker intends to provide fewer brokerage services than those required to complete a transaction, the broker shall provide written disclosure to the party for whom the broker is providing services. The disclosure shall include a description of those steps in the transaction that the broker will not provide and state that the broker assisting the other party in the transaction is not required to provide assistance with these steps in any manner.
Disclosure of these duties and responsibilities is required in writing. The duties and responsibilities disclosed by the broker shall be confirmed in writing by each party in a separate provision, incorporated in or attached to the contract to purchase, option or exchange real estate.
Services provided to a tenant do not automatically create a broker relationship. When a broker provides brokerage services to a landlord under a property management agreement, the services provided to the tenant by the broker shall not be construed as creating a broker relationship between the broker and the tenant unless otherwise agreed to in writing; however, the broker owes to the tenant the duties of honesty and exercising reasonable skill and care.
TYPES OF REAL ESTATE LICENSE HOLDERS:
A BROKER is responsible for all brokerage activities, including acts performed by sales agents sponsored by the broker.
A SALES AGENT must be sponsored by a broker and works with clients on behalf of the broker.
A BROKER’S MINIMUM DUTIES REQUIRED BY LAW (A client is the person or party that the broker represents):
Put the interests of the client above all others, including the broker’s own interests;
Inform the client of any material information about the property or transaction received by the broker;
Answer the client’s questions and present any offer to or counter-offer from the client; and
Treat all parties to a real estate transaction honestly and fairly.
A LICENSE HOLDER CAN REPRESENT A PARTY IN A REAL ESTATE TRANSACTION:
AS AGENT FOR OWNER (SELLER/LANDLORD): The broker becomes the property owner's agent through an agreement with the owner, usually in a written listing to sell or property management agreement. An owner's agent must perform the broker’s minimum duties above and must inform the owner of any material information about the property or transaction known by the agent, including information disclosed to the agent or subagent by the buyer or buyer’s agent.
AS AGENT FOR BUYER/TENANT: The broker becomes the buyer/tenant's agent by agreeing to represent the buyer, usually through a written representation agreement. A buyer's agent must perform the broker’s minimum duties above and must inform the buyer of any material information about the property or transaction known by the agent, including information disclosed to the agent by the seller or seller’s agent.
AS AGENT FOR BOTH - INTERMEDIARY: To act as an intermediary between the parties the broker must first obtain the written agreement of each party to the transaction. The written agreement must state who will pay the broker and, in conspicuous bold or underlined print, set forth the broker's obligations as an intermediary. A broker who acts as an intermediary:
Must treat all parties to the transaction impartially and fairly;
May, with the parties' written consent, appoint a different license holder associated with the broker to each party (owner and buyer) to communicate with, provide opinions and advice to, and carry out the instructions of each party to the transaction.
Must not, unless specifically authorized in writing to do so by the party, disclose:
that the owner will accept a price less than the written asking price;
that the buyer/tenant will pay a price greater than the price submitted in a written offer; and
any confidential information or any other information that a party specifically instructs the broker in writing not to disclose, unless required to do so by law.
AS SUBAGENT: A license holder acts as a subagent when aiding a buyer in a transaction without an agreement to represent the buyer. A subagent can assist the buyer but does not represent the buyer and must place the interests of the owner first.
TO AVOID DISPUTES, ALL AGREEMENTS BETWEEN YOU AND A BROKER SHOULD BE IN WRITING AND CLEARLY ESTABLISH:
The broker’s duties and responsibilities to you, and your obligations under the representation agreement.
Who will pay the broker for services provided to you, when payment will be made and how the payment will be calculated.
LICENSE HOLDER CONTACT INFORMATION: This notice is being provided for information purposes. It does not create an obligation for you to use the broker’s services. Please acknowledge receipt of this notice below and retain a copy for your records.