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Minimum Service Laws for Real Estate Brokers

Over the past 5 or 6 years, several states have imposed so-called “minimum-service requirements” on brokers. As the name suggests, these laws and regulations enumerate specific tasks that a broker must perform for a client.

I find it a sad state of affairs when lawmakers need to spend time making sure that at a very minimum, real estate agents are providing these “minimum services”…as I find it difficult to believe you could call yourself a real estate agent if you didn’t provide the 3 items laid out in the law.  It speaks to the over-saturation of people becoming real estate agents for a quick pay-day. I feel that I’ve been a beneficiary of the market declining between 2007-2011 because it weeded out so many part-timers and those that simply didn’t have any business being active real estate agents in the first place. With that said, Washington State (where I live) does have minimum service laws in place…and I’m glad they do. In all, twelve (12) states and Washington D.C. currently have minimum service laws. Missouri’s law is representative of these requirements, mandating that all brokers who enter into an exclusive brokerage agreement shall provide, at a minimum, the following services:

(1) Accepting delivery of and presenting to the client or customer offers and counteroffers to buy, sell, or lease the client’s or customer’s property or the property the client or customer seeks to purchase or lease;

(2) Assisting the client or customer in developing, communicating, negotiating, and presenting offers, counteroffers, and notices that relate to the offers and the counteroffers until a lease or purchase agreement is signed and all contingencies are satisfied or waived; and

(3) Answering the client’s or customer’s questions relating to the offers, counteroffers, notices, and contingencies.

Can you honestly imagine your agent NOT presenting your offer to the seller? Or not communicating any changes to the offer to you? If you can, or if you’ve experienced that – I’d love to hear about it and help you in your next home buying/selling experience…or help refer you to someone if you happen to live in another corner of the country.

Ryan Halset | Real Estate Broker

Real Estate Agent in Seattle and Mill Creek, WA

States with minimum service laws are Alabama, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington, West Virginia, and Washington D.C. 

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