May I Come In?

Posted on: September 17th, 2021 by RAGC Team No Comments

May I Come In?

More Complaints – More Fines

The National Association of REALTORS®, Ohio Division of Real Estate and Professional Licensing, and MLS Rules and Regulations all address the issue of access to listed property.  And, CABR continues to receive complaints pertaining to unauthorized or non-compliant access.

Below are just a few examples of activities that can result in a $1,000 – $15,000 fine from the Professional Standards Committee for violating the Code of Ethics (Note:  ODRE and MLS have separate schedules):

  • Entering a listing early or arriving/staying late – whether it’s a few minutes or a few hours outside the scheduled time
  • Not making an appointment or waiting for a confirmation
  • Making an appointment and allowing another licensee to use it (think teams)
  • Leaving the property with buyers or others not authorized to be in the property unsupervised (home inspections [inspector and/or buyer], contractors, etc.)
  • Allowing a non-real estate licensee to access the property without a real estate licensee present – without express written consent from the seller (buyers, inspectors, unlicensed assistants, photographers, etc.)
  • Providing a lockbox code to a person not authorized to have it
  • Failing to secure the property
  • Not following showing instructions
  • Allowing video chat or pictures/videos to be taken without express written consent from the seller

A listing agent can provide instructions in Showing Time to convey the seller’s authorization for the presence of an unlicensed individual on the property without their agent.  Without that, a buyer’s agent should contact the seller to determine whether their buyer can be on the property for the inspection (or something else) without the presence of a real estate licensee.  Without express, written permission from the seller, the buyer cannot be there without their agent.

If a complaint is against an unlicensed assistant or a non-member licensee (someone who is licensed, but has not joined a board) under a member broker, the complaint could be processed against the broker and/or any management-level member with the responsibility of supervising the agent or unlicensed assistant.  It should be noted that the broker and/or management-level licensee can be joined in a complaint as a respondent, even if the agent is a member.

Being provided access to someone’s property is a privilege that should not be taken for granted.  Make sure you – and those you have a duty to supervise – are following the rules.

Click on the links below for related articles from CABR and the Ohio Association of REALTORS®.

And, remember….if something is amiss at the property, contact the listing agent.

CABR Appointments and Showings

Legally speaking: Is it ever OK to let a buyer, inspector in a listing without you? (ohiorealtors.org)

Don’t grant unlicensed or unsupervised individuals access to a home.

Lockbox access to buyers…a BIG NO-NO!

COVID-19 isn’t a reason to allow buyers/tenants into property alone.