From OAR: Commercial exemption to the “Consumer Guide to Agency Relationships” goes into effect Sept. 29

By Peg Ritenour, OAR Vice President of Legal Services/Administration

Effective Sept. 29, the “Consumer Guide to Agency Relationships” will no longer be required on commercial real estate transactions. This change to Ohio’s agency disclosure requirements was included in as an amendment in the biennial budget that passed at the end of June. This OAR-initiated change — which was advocated for at the behest of our commercial/industrial members — is designed to better reflect the realities of the commercial transaction where the parties are generally more experienced in real estate transactions

Specifically, the amendment stipulates that use of the Consumer Guide is now only required in the following situations:

  •    The sale or lease of vacant land (regardless of how it is zoned);
  •    The sale of a parcel of real estate containing one to four residential units;
  •    The leasing of residential premises if the rental or lease agreement is for a term of more than 18 months.

In those transactions in which the Consumer Guide is required, the timing for providing it to consumers is unchanged. The “Consumer Guide to Agency Relationships” must be given to a seller by the listing agent before the property is shown or marketed. The most convenient way to comply with this requirement is for it to be included in an agent’s listing packet.

With respect to buyers, the licensee is required to provide them with the “Consumer Guide to Agency Relationships” before the earliest of the following events:

  •     Pre-qualifying the buyer;
  •     Requesting specific financial information;
  •     Showing property (other than at an open house);
  •     Discussing the making of an offer; or
  •     Submitting an offer

Whichever of the above events occurs first will trigger the licensee’s obligation to provide the Consumer Guide to the buyer.

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