NEW RULES UPDATES:
This update is intended to supplement information and discussions during the Mandatory Course for 2016 renewals. This Course was written before the effective dates of any material described below.
Adoption of Draft Administrative Rules (2015)
At its May 28, 2015, regular meeting, the Vermont Real Estate Commission voted unanimously to adopt the Draft Administrative Rules as modified that day and with any required technical and typographical changes and to authorize staff to proceed to file the same with the Interagency Committee on Administrative Rules of the Vermont General Assembly.
This starts the ball rolling for several major rules changes. A required public hearing was scheduled for August 27, 2015. Copies of the Proposed Rules are maintained on the VREC’s website.
Designated Agency Firms and Non-Designated Agency Firms
If the Proposed Rules become effective, the law will allow a firm of at least 3 licensees to elect to be a Designated Agency Firm. Firms that do NOT elect this will be known as Non-Designated Agency Firms.
The rules previously allowing Limited Agency are repealed across the board.
Vermont continues to prohibit facilitator, intermediary, transaction brokerage and other forms of non agency practice other than regular referrals.
If a firm elects to be a Designated Agency Firm, all its business must be conducted under rules applicable to that business model. There are several forms changes required. There are disclosures and consents required. The designated agents must comply with all fiduciary obligations and the firm must assure this. The rule, however, does not mandate certain policies and procedures. How this is implemented is left largely to the firm electing this business model.
Non-Designated Agency Firms continue to practice agency representation basically following common law, modified however to exclude dual agency and Subagency, as has been the cases in the past.
Mandatory Consumer Disclosure Forms
If the Proposed Rules become effective, the law will REQUIRE that firms use a specific form, adopted from time to time by the VREC. No longer will firms be allowed to pick and choose their own form.
Also, the “outside” timing triggers for giving the form to a consumer is brought back to where it was set during the 2008 amendments, namely before showing property or having a consumer sign a service agreement. The goal, however, is still to provide the form as soon as practicable.