InGov: March 2017 Oklahoma Real Estate Commission Meeting
Hello friends, colleagues, and clients of GDL Legal PLLC. Welcome to the first OREC edition of InGov - your peek Inside Government. InGov will be a regular column by GDL Legal that covers important news and updates from inside Oklahoma government agencies on matters that are important to you such as enforcement, investigations, and changes to rules and laws. It's everything you need to know to stay on top of the changing regulatory environment in your industry. Don't get caught uninformed, stay updated with InGov by GDL Legal PLLC.
Residential Property Condition Disclosure
First, the Commission approved some proposed changes to the Residential Property Condition Disclosure Statement. The changes will be submitted to the Legislature for approval and could go into effect later this year. There are two primary changes.
- Question 4 will change from an open ended question about the floodway status of the property into a Yes/No question asking if the property is located in a floodway.
A bigger change is adding a question that asks if you are aware of any wells on the property. What kind of wells? Any kind! Water wells, disposal wells, capped oil or gas wells, other mineral wells, and so forth. Initially the change would only include water wells, but it was left to include any wells.
Investigations and Enforcement
A few takeaways from the formal investigations and enforcement actions of the Oklahoma Real Estate Commission.
- Broker Smith lists a property for Seller Jones. Seller Jones informs Broker Smith that she does not want any offers below $100,000. Buyer Williams approaches Broker Smith without representation and tells Broker Smith he wants to make an offer of $95,000 and asks Broker Smith to put that offer in writing. Should Broker Smith reduce that offer to writing knowing that Seller Jones does not want any offers below $100,000? Under these facts, YES. A broker has the duty and responsibility to "reduce offers ... to a written form upon request of any party to a transaction." So even though Seller Jones does not want offers below $100,000, a broker is still required to reduce an offer to writing when requested by any party to a transaction.
- In the unfortunate even you are convicted of a crime, you must remember you may have an obligation to disclose that to the Oklahoma Real Estate Commission. Even if the crime is unrelated to your duties as a real estate licensee, you may still be required to make the disclosure. Failure to make a required disclosure is a violation of the rules.
- Brokers, you MUST ensure that any licensee under your supervision has an active license in good standing. Allowing any licensee to engage in licensed activities without a license is a violation of the real estate code and rules. Even if it's an accident, it could result in fines and penalties.
- If the Oklahoma Real Estate Commission sends you a complaint or investigation letter, you MUST respond in a timely manner. Even if you ultimately did not violate any rules, failing to timely respond is a violation that can result in fines and penalties.
Industry and OREC Information
- When a brokerage's license is renewed the Oklahoma Real Estate Commission will conduct a trust account audit. The goal of the audit is to educate and fix issues before they become serious. Don't ignore this even if you have a problem with your trust account. If you are concerned about the status of your trust account, the time to address it is now. You may need the help of a qualified attorney or accountant to help.
- Do you know how many active licensees there are in the State of Oklahoma? 13,495
- The Oklahoma Real Estate Commission hired a new investigator. His name is David Hall, and I encourage you to say hello if you see him.
- The next Oklahoma Real Estate Commission meeting is scheduled for April 12, 2017 at 9:30 am.
There are your updates from March 2017 Oklahoma Real Estate Commission meeting. Stay tuned for next month's InGov OREC Edition from GDL Legal PLLC, and sign up for GDL Legal's Free News + Updates service using the form below.
If you or your team needs an attorney that understands the rules and regulations in the real estate industry, contact Geoffrey Long with GDL Legal PLLC to develop the most straightforward solution.