May 28th, 2019 at 11:18 am

Question: I am an agent in our Beverly Hills office. The listing agent, Larry Listo, works for the Downtown Los Angeles Regional Office of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties. His brokerage’s license number is 00338699. Our brokerage’s license number is 01317331.

Multiple Choice Question: How do I complete the Agency Confirmation in my buyer’s offer to purchase (i.e., paragraph 2B of the RPA)? Pick the best answer:

A. Check all 4 dual agent boxes.
B. Check the boxes indicating that the 2 brokerages are dual agents, but Larry is the seller’s agent and you are the buyer’s agent.
C. Check the boxes indicating that both Larry and his brokerage represent the seller, whereas both you and our brokerage represent the buyer.
D. Answer C is correct, except that the 2 brokerage names entered into the form must be different, otherwise zipForm will prevent you from checking those boxes.

Answer: Answer A is wrong. Our company has about 60 offices throughout Southern California, including portions of the Central Coast. Aside from our own offices, we also give a few other companies permission to use our name, such as the Downtown Los Angeles office. Those other companies are not part of our brokerage. They are very easy to spot because their brokerage’s DRE license number is different from ours (which is 01317331). We do not have dual agency when the agent on the other side works for a brokerage with a different license number from ours.

Answer B is also wrong. Your agency relationship with a seller or buyer must always match exactly with our company’s agency relationship with that same client. If our company is the seller’s brokerage, then you are the seller’s agent. If our company is the buyer’s brokerage, then you are the buyer’s agent. And if our company is a dual agent, then you are a dual agent.

Not only is Answer B wrong, but zipForm will not allow you to check the boxes indicating that the brokerage is a dual agent and the individual agent is an agent for the seller or buyer only. zipForm automatically links checkboxes together so that the agency relationship of the brokerage matches exactly with the agency relationship of the individual agent.

Answer C is the correct answer. We do not have a dual agency situation if the agent on the other side works for a Berkshire Hathaway brokerage with a different license number.

Answer D is wrong, although it’s a good idea to use a different name to help clients understand that we are not the same brokerage, e.g. add “Downtown L.A.” to Larry’s brokerage name. However, zipForm does not determine agency relationships based on the brokerage names (or license numbers) entered into the respective fields on the form. zipForm merely ensures that the checkbox for the agency relationship of the brokerage matches exactly with the checkbox for agency relationship of the individual agent working at that brokerage. Also, as a side note, once you have checked one of the agency relationship boxes in zipForm, you have to uncheck it first before you can make another selection.

-Thank you to Juli LaVene (Beverly Hills Office) for suggesting this week’s legal tip.

Copyright© 2019 Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties (BHHSCP). All rights reserved. Any unauthorized reproduction or use of this material is strictly prohibited. This information is believed to be accurate as of May 28, 2019. It is not intended as a substitute for legal advice in individual situations, and is not intended to nor does it create a standard of care for real estate professionals.

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