Why are things changing?
A report released by the Consumer Federation of America about Agency Disclosure in Real Estate Brokerage found that many State Mandated Disclosure forms were failing to serve their purpose in educating the public about agency relationships for many reasons, including:
Many times the forms are presented with other forms and not explained to the client
These forms are often long and contain legal language that members of the general public may not understand even if they do take the time to read the forms
Many agents would attach the form to their email signature and not thoroughly explain it to potential clients
As you know, consumers who do not understand agency relationships are at risk of exposing confidential information with agents who may not represent them, which is a mistake that can cost them a lot of money.
North Carolina ranked in the middle on this report regarding the effectiveness of the Working with Real Estate Agents (WWREA) Brochure. This prompted the NC Real Estate Commission to act to create a better disclosure document to protect the people of North Carolina.
Rule 58A .0104(c)
Contrary to what you may have heard, this rule is not changing. This rule requires the following:
Disclosure publication MUST be
provided and reviewed,
with all prospective buyers and sellers,
at first substantial contact; and
a copy of the signed form must be retained for 3 years.
This rule also requires the agent to make an election at that time as to whether they will work as an agent of the buyer or the seller. This can be changed in the future.
The keyword here is reviewed! You must review this disclosure form with the consumer, you cannot simply deliver it to them; therefore, attaching this form to your email signature does not satisfy your requirements as an agent under this rule.
The New Disclosure Form
The New WWREA Disclosure has been dramatically revamped. The new form is only 1 page! The new form is actually two separate forms: one for potential buyer clients and one for potential seller clients.
The old WWREA Brochure has been transformed into a Question and Answer Document and it is recommended that you provide this new Q & A document to consumers, but it is not required.
How to Implement this New Form
Brokers can continue to use the old WWREA Brochure until 6/30/21. The NC Real Estate Commission has recommended that brokers start using the new WWREA Disclosure form immediately, but no later than 7/1/21. Here's a full breakdown:
Until Midnight 6/30/21
Required: WWREA Brochure
Recommended: WWREA Disclosure Form & WWREA Q&A Document
Required: WWREA Disclosure Form
Recommended: WWREA Q&A Document
An issue that many brokers have with presenting these mandatory disclosure forms, is that they can scare off potential clients if you do not explain them properly. Potential clients may think that they are signing a contract with you when you ask them to complete this form.
In our classes, we roleplay many scripts to help you get comfortable with presenting these forms and others in a way that not only doesn't scare off potential clients but actually makes them more likely to eventually decide to work with you.
You can learn by your own trial and error, or you can take advantage of our years of experience here at Skyline!