Problems with dual agency and consumer confusion resulted in a complete overhaul of agency disclosure laws in 2002. The new agency disclosure law distinguishes between disclosure of agency relationships and their formation. Under the new law, real estate licensees must give consumers who may be seeking representation from a real estate licensee (any real estate licensee, not just the particular agent involved) a pamphlet that explains agency relationships and the duties of an agent. This new disclosure requirement is so simple, it has caused some confusion.
After years of forcing consumers to sign something as soon as they talk to a real estate licensee, it has proved hard for agents to simply hand out something. There is, however, now no requirement whatever that agents document giving consumers the Initial Agency Disclosure Pamphlet. Nevertheless, companies have developed a variety of policies regarding consumer acknowledgment of delivery of the pamphlet. Agents should, of course, follow their company policies.
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