Q&A WITH JOE PRYOR
Realtors study Broker Relationship Act
NORMAN — A revamped Oklahoma Broker Relationship Act, going into effect Nov. 1, will be a hot topic at the Oklahoma Association of Realtors's annual convention and trade show.
Joe Pryor, association president and a sales associate with Redbud Realty & Associates in Edmond, explained the changes in a question-and-answer session before the convention, which is Wednesday and Thursday at the Embassy Suites Norman Hotel and Conference Center.
Q: What is the goal of the Broker Relationship Act?
A: The goal of the Oklahoma Broker Relationship Act is to create an act that is in compliance with current standards and practices.
When I started in real estate in 1989, everyone represented the seller. Then, a class-action lawsuit out of Minnesota changed this practice, so that buyers could have equal representation. However, certain issues with disclosure created a problem with no one being represented in some instances, so this act improved on that.
This latest change creates an understanding that real estate professionals work for the transaction with honesty for all parties, and that information is vital so that all parties can make the right decisions.
Q: What impact will the act have on consumers?
A: The new act is more in line with what the public understands about how real estate works. The current act is confusing, and it forced the Realtor to walk a tightrope between two different types of representation, and it was too easy to cross that line. It also created two extremes of either total and singular representation and no representation. The homebuyer and seller will be better served when they will know that any real estate practitioner is in compliance not only with ethics but also with established legal guidelines.
Q: How will it affect Realtors?
A: The impact will be in two areas. First, like anything that is new, it will take a bit of education to understand it. Both the state and local boards (of Realtors) in conjunction with the Oklahoma Real Estate Commission are sponsoring classes throughout the state for this purpose, and with licensees required to update education every three years, this is now a required class for license renewal.
The second change will be in our ability to give comfort to the public we serve in a direct and easier-to-understand act that will give the public confidence and also eliminate the constant concern of the Realtor about shifting between the two types of representation.
Q: What is the timeline?
A: The change takes effect on Nov. 1. The act was passed two legislative sessions ago, and in the last session, some small changes were made that clarified some parts that needed new language to ensure understanding. All Realtors who have listing or buyers agreements currently in place will have to change them to the new law if they are still in effect that day and the property is unsold or the buyer has not entered into contract.
Richard Mize, Real Estate Editor