In November 1999, the state of Pennsylvania enacted the Agency Disclosure Law designed to protect you, the Consumer. The law applies to real estate transactions, whether residential or commercial, and whether by sale or lease. The Act requires that you read the Consumer Notice and sign it prior to entering into a meaningful discussion with any real estate sales associate.
Much of the time you are not meeting the realtor face to face, it might start with a phone call which then commonly results in emailing properties of interest. Most clients want to be notified of properties that interest them as soon as they come on the market without having to talk to anyone or search endless websites. Thus, for my clients I set up automatic emails that send properties directly to them that are specifically chosen based on their personal criteria: desired area, price range, how many bedrooms, garage, etc.; that reflect their needs, wants and 'must haves'.
The first time they open the link a Consumer Notice is posted and you must check having read it to get to the listings and any future listings. I have found that some won't open the link because they think they are signing a contract. A Consumer Notice is not a contract. It is there to inform the consumer the types of Real Estate relationships you might have with a licensed agent before you provide personal information.
This notice must be provided to the consumer at the first contact where a substantive discussion about real estate occurs unless an oral disclosure has been previously provided. If the oral disclosure was provided, this notice must be provided at the first meeting or the first time a property is shown to the consumer by the broker or salesperson.
Before you disclose any information to a licensee, be advised that unless you select an agency relationship the licensee is NOT REPRESENTING YOU. A business relationship of any kind will NOT be presumed but must be established between the consumer and the licensee.
Any licensee who provides you with real estate services owes you the following duties:
- Exercise reasonable professional skill and care which meets the practice standards required by the Act. Deal honestly and in good faith.
- Present, in a reasonably practicale period of time, all offers, counteroffers, notices, and communications to and from the parties in writing. The duty to present written offers and counteroffers may be waived if the waiver is in writing.
- Comply with Real Estate Seller Disclosure Act.
- Account for escrow and deposit funds.
- Disclose all conflicts of interest in a reasonably practicable period of time.
- Provide assistance with document preparation and advise the consumer regarding compliance with laws pertaining to real estate transactions.
- Advise the consumer to seek expert advice on matters about the transaction that are beyond the licensee's expertise.
- Keep the consumer informed about the transaction and the tasks to be completed.
- Disclose financial interest in a service, such as financial, title transfer and preparation services, insurance, construction, repair or inspection, at the time service is recommended or the first time the licensee learns that the service will be used. (some content provided by article on the BHHS Fox & Roach website)