Like the old agency disclosure law, the new law requires clients to acknowledge actual agency relationships at the time an offer is written. This final agency acknowledgement form is typically incorporated into the sale agreement form. In cases where the final agency acknowledgement form is not incorporated into the sale form, it can be attached to the contract for sale as an addendum. Whatever the means of delivery, the content of the final agency acknowledgement is established by law.
The final agency acknowledgement form used in Oregon assumes that not later than the time of offer, real estate licensees will have formed one of the three types of agency relationships authorized in Oregon licensing statutes. That is, the form assumes the agents will represent either the seller or the buyer or both and asks the agent to mark the check box appropriate to the agency relationship they have established. This checkbox manner of agency acknowledgement can be confusing to clients and agents alike.
The final agency acknowledgment form adopts industry jargon by asking for the “selling licensee” the “selling firm” and the “listing licensee” and the “listing firm.” The “selling licensee” must then declare whether they represent the buyer exclusively, the seller exclusively or both buyer and seller as a “disclosed limited agent.” The “listing licensee” is given only the choice of representing the seller exclusively or both the buyer and seller as a disclosed limited agent.
That selling licensees have more representation options than listing licensees makes little sense unless you know something of the history of agency relationships in real estate. When agency disclosure was introduced in 1993, it was common practice in the industry for all agents to work for the seller. Agents in offices other than the listing agent’s were considered “subagents” of the listing firm. It was, therefore, possible for both the “selling firm” and the “listing firm” to represent the seller exclusively. The practice of sub-agency has now all but disappeared but not its vestiges.
The final agency acknowledgement form is most easily used when there are two different agents from two different firms, with one agent representing the seller as the “listing licensee” and the other representing the buyer as the “selling licensee.” In such a transaction, it will be clear the buyer has their own agent, the seller theirs and that each agent represents their party exclusively. Dual agency situations in which one of more agents from the same firm represents both buyer and seller are less straight forward thanks to the advent of “disclosed limited agency.”
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