Consumer Guide to Agency Relationships

KTD, LLC d/b/a Homeshake

We are pleased you have selected Homeshake to help you with your real estate needs. Whether you are selling or buying real estate, Homeshake can provide you with expertise and assistance. Because this may be the largest financial transaction you will enter into, it is important to understand the role of the agents and brokers with whom you are working. Below is some information that explains the various services that agents can offer and their options for working with you.

For more information on agency law in Ohio, contact the Ohio Division of Real Estate & Professional Licensing at (614) 466-4100, or online at www.com.ohio.gov/real.

Representing the Sellers

Most sellers of real estate choose to list their home for sale with a real estate brokerage. When they do so, they sign a listing agreement that authorizes the brokerage and the listing agent to represent their interests. As the seller's agent, the brokerage and listing agent must: follow the seller's lawful instructions, be loyal to the seller, promote the seller's best interests, disclose material facts to the seller, maintain confidential information, act with reasonable skill and care, and account for any money they handle in the transaction. In rare circumstances, a listing broker may also offer "subagency" to other brokerages, which would also represent the seller's interests and owe the seller these same duties.

Representing Buyers

When purchasing real estate, buyers usually choose to work with a real estate agent as well. Often the buyers want to be represented in the transaction. This is referred to as buyer's agency. A brokerage and agent that agree to represent a buyer's interest in a transaction must: follow the buyer's lawful instructions, be loyal to the buyer, promote the buyer's best interests, disclose material facts to the buyer, maintain confidential information, and account for any money they handle in the transaction.

Dual Agency

Occasionally, the same agent and brokerage that represent the seller also represent the buyer. This is referred to as dual agency. When a brokerage and its agents become "dual agents," they must maintain a neutral position between the buyer and seller. They may not advocate the position of one client over the best interests of the other client, or disclose any personal or confidential information to the other party without written consent.

Representing Both the Buyer and Seller

On occasion, the buyer and seller will each be represented by two different agents from the same brokerage. In this case, the agents may each represent the best interest of their respective clients.

Or, depending on company policy, the agents may both act as dual agents and remain neutral in the transaction. When either of the above occurs, the brokerage will be considered a dual agent. As a dual agent, the brokerage and its managers will maintain a neutral position and cannot advocate for the position of one client over another. The brokerage will also protect the confidentiality of both parties.

Working With Homeshake

Homeshake represents both buyers and sellers, exclusively as a dual agent. When a seller uses Homeshake, all agents in the brokerage represent that seller. Likewise, when a buyer uses Homeshake, all agents in the brokerage represent that buyer. Therefore, when a buyer using Homeshake wishes to purchase property from a seller using Homeshake, the agent(s) involved act as dual agents. This is true whether one agent is representing both parties or two separate agents are involved.

Because Homeshake acts exclusively as a dual agent, both the buyer and seller must agree to such dual agency and consent in writing. If you do not agree to Homeshake acting as a dual agent, you will not be permitted to use Homeshake. As a dual agent, Homeshake will treat both parties honestly, prepare and present offers at the direction of the parties, and help the parties fulfill the terms of any contract. Homeshake will not, however, disclose any confidential information that will place one party at an advantage over the other or advocate or negotiate to the detriment of either party.

Working With Other Brokerages

Because Homeshake acts exclusively as a dual agent, Homeshake does not cooperate with and does not offer compensation to other agents or brokerages not affiliated with Homeshake.

Fair Housing Statement

It is illegal, pursuant to the Ohio Fair Housing Law, division (H) of Section 4112.02 of the Revised Code and the Federal Fair Housing Law, 42 U.S.C.A. 3601, as amended, to refuse to sell, transfer, assign, rent, lease, sublease or finance housing accommodations, refuse to negotiate for the sale or rental of housing accommodations, or otherwise deny or make unavailable housing accommodations because of race, color, religion, sex, familial status as defined in Section 4112.01 of the Revised Code, ancestry, military status as defined in that section, disability as defined in that section, or national origin or to so discriminate in advertising the sale or rental of housing, in the financing of housing, or in the provision of real estate brokerage services. It is also illegal, for profit, to induce or attempt to induce a person to sell or rent a dwelling by representations regarding the entry into the neighborhood of a person or persons belonging to one of the protected classes. (Effective: 9/29/11)

We hope you find this information to be helpful to you as you begin your real estate transaction. When you begin to use Homeshake, you will be given an Agency Disclosure Statement that specifically identifies the role of Homeshake as a dual agent. Please ask questions if there is anything you do not understand.

Because it is important that you have this information, Ohio law requires that we present you with this document and ask you to acknowledge receipt. Your acknowledgment will not obligate you to work with Homeshake if you do not choose to do so.