If the seller client rejects cooperation with, and compensation to, other brokers, their rejection must be in writing. Dalton Wade Real Estate Group’s policy is
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OFFICE MANUAL, POLICIES & PROCEDURES WELCOME! On behalf of everyone at Dalton Wade, Inc. (Dalton Wade Real Estate Group), I welcome you and wish you every success here. The terms and procedures in this manual are incorporated by reference, into the Independent Contractors Agreement executed by all Associates and the Company. As Principle Broker I will provide assistance to you whenever necessary. You are encouraged to seek advice, counsel and opinions on all aspects of the transaction and on yo ur marketing strategies and tactics. I hope that your experience will be challenging, enjoyable and rewarding. If you have any questions or concerns at any point, please do not hesitate to ask me . Again, welcome! Sincerely, Phil Wade Principal Broker – Dalton Wade , Inc. 600 1st Avenue North Suite 303 A St. Petersburg FL 33701 727.888.4175 (v)
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A WORD ABOUT THESE POLICIES The purpose of this manual is to est a blish a uniform system of daily conduct by and between us when dealing with each other, other members of the company , our clients, and members of the public. You are responsible to read and review this manual and to comply with its policies and procedures. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask me . When you review these p olices, please keep in mind that they should be regarded as guidelines only, which in a business like ours will require change from time to time. Dalton Wade Real Estate Group retains the right to make decisions involving policy changes as needed in order to conduct its work in a manner that is beneficial to i ts employees, customers and Dalton Wade Real Estate Group . This office policy manual replaces any and all prior handbooks, policies, procedures and practices of Dalton Wade Real Estate Group . Certain items in t his man u al appl y only to agents and do not apply to Dalton Wade Real Estate Group employees. The Principle Broker h as an independent contractor relationship with its agents. Agents are not employees of Dalton Wade Real Estate Group , and are not entitled to any employee benefits. However, a gents must abide by the office policies and must strictly adhere to the profess ional and ethical standards in the most current version of the N ational A ssociation of REALTOR S ® Code of Ethics . Failure to comply with Dalton Wade Real Estate Group policies or procedures or the REALTOR S ® Code of Eth ics may result in the end of our cont ractual relationship. As part of signing at the end of this document that y ou have read and understand Dalton Wade Real Estate Group’s office manual and policies you will also be attesting that you have reviewed and read again , the REALTOR S ® Code of Eth ics found on the National Association of Realtors web site. Nothing in these office policies is intended to alter or amend the terms and conditions of the Independent Contractor Agreement. In particular, nothing in these office policies is intended to alter the right of either party to terminate the independent contractor agreement, with or without cause, with advance notice to principal or managing broker as set forth in the Independent Contractor Agreement. Neither the policies contained in this manual, nor any other written or verbal communication by the principal or managing broker, are intended to create a contract of employment or a warranty of benefits. The policies contained herein may be added to , deleted or changed by Dalton Wade Real Estate Group in its sole discretion, except that principal or managing broker will not modify the policy o officer, employee, or other representative of Dalton Wade Real Estate Group i s authorized to enter into an agreement express or implied with any agent for employment.
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AGENCY Re sponsibilities – Buyers an d Sellers are often confused about whom a real estate agent represents in a transaction. A Broker or Sales Associate may be employed by the Seller, the Buyer, act as a Transactional Broker or offer no agency relationship. Whomever we represent in a transaction, we must strictly observe our fiduciary responsibilities to our principal(s). We take this ma tter s eriously and so must our A ssociates. We must always remember who has employed us and we must always keep our fiduciary responsibilities clear. Disclosure – Associates must fully comply with the agency disclosure requirements defined by Chap ter 475 of the Florida Statutes and interpreted by FREC. There have been frequent changes in the agency disclosure requirements. Dalton Wade Real Estate Group policy is that all Associates must fully comply with FREC’s most current interpretation of the law. Associat es must provide the required agency disclosure documentation as part of the transaction file. Forms – Associates must use the FAR approved Broker Relationship Disclosure and/or the Notice of Non – Representation form. FAIR HOUSING Dalton Wade Real Estate Group has ZERO tolerance for violations of the Fair Housing laws and prohibits any client, customer, agent or employee from discriminating in the color, religion, physical or menta l disability, familial status, marital status, national origin, genetic information, sexual orientation or any other protected category. Prohibited practices may include, but are not limited to the following behaviors: 1. Refusing to show, sell or rent bas ed on a person being a member of a protected class. 2. Different treatment/disparate treatment to persons of a protected class. 3. Steering or guiding potential homebuyers to selected areas based on where you think they need to live. 4. Discriminatory advertising t particular protected category. 5. Harassment (i.e., coercion, intimidation, threats, or interference with a 6. Applying more burdensome criteria to applicants of protected classes.
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7. Blockbusting which is defined as any illegal, discriminatory practice whereby an agent induces a property owner to list his or her property by representing that the neighborhood may change as a result of race, c olor, sex, religion, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, genetic information, disability or any other protected category. Any violation of fair housing laws or this policy must be reported to the immediately. Independent contractors are prohibited from engaging in any conduct in violation of this policy and are subject to removal from thei r duties or activities with Dalton Wade Real Estate Group for violations of this policy. H ARASSMENT POLICY Introduction It is the policy of Dalton Wade Real Estate Group that all employees, customers and color, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, national origin, genetic information, religion, marital status, veter an status, physical or mental disability, age or any other protected category u nder federal or state law. Dalton Wade Real Estate Group will not tolerate sexual or other unlawful discrimination or harassment in the workplace or in other settings in which e mployees, customers and clients may find themselves in connection with their employment or agent – related business. Dalton Wade Real Estate Group also will not tolerate any retaliation against anyone complaining of harassment or anyone who has cooperated i n an investigation of harassment in accordance with this policy. Dalton Wade Real Estate Group takes allegations of violations of this policy seriously, and will respond promptly to complaints of harassment. Where we determine that inappropriate conduct has occurred, Dalton Wade Real Estate Group will act promptly to eliminate the conduct and take any necessary corrective action, including disciplinary action where appropriate. While this policy sets forth our goals of promoting a workplace that is free of unlawful harassment, the policy is not designed or inte nded to limit the broker/owner to discipline or take other remedial action for any workplace conduct that we deem unacceptable, regardless of whether the conduct satisfies the legal definition of ha rassment. Agents are prohibited from engaging in any conduct in violation of this policy and are subject to removal from their duties or activities with Dalton Wade Real Estate Group for violations of this policy. Definition of Sexual Harassment We beli eve that all of our employees, customers and clients have the right to a work and business environment free from all forms of unlawful discrimination and harassment. Dalton Wade Real Estate Group will not tolerate the harassment of any employee,
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c ustomer, client or other covered third party on any legally protected basis, including sex. Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, physical, and nonphysical conduct of a sexual nature when: Submi ssion to such conduct is made explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of employment; Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting that individual; or Such conduct has the purpose o r effect of unreasonably interfering with an offensive work environment. Under this definition, direct or implied requests by someone in a supervisory position for sexual favors in exchange for actual or promised job benefits such as favorable performance reviews, salary increases, promotions, increased benefits, or continued employment constitutes sexual harassment. The legal definition of sexual harassment is broad and, in additio n to the above examples, other unwelcome sexually oriented conduct, whether it is intended or not, that has the effect of creating a workplace that is hostile, offensive, intimidating, or humiliating to male or female employees, customers and clients may a lso constitute sexual harassment. Sexual harassment also includes non – sexual comments and conduct that are directed at an individual because of his or her gender or otherwise motivated by gender discrimination. Examples of Prohibited Conduct Dalton Wade Real Estate Group will not tolerate unlawful harassment of any employee or client or customer by anyone employed or affiliated by Dalton Wade Real Estate Group at any level. Dalton Wade Real Estate Group specifically prohibits harassment for any discrimi natory reason. Derogatory racial, ethnic, religious , age, sexual orientation, sexual or other inappropriate remarks, slurs, or jokes will not be tolerated. Each employee and agent must exercise his or her own good judgment to avoid engaging in conduct th at may be perceived by others as harassment. Forms of prohibited harassment include, but are not limited to: Verbal : sexual innuendoes, epithets based on legally protected categories, derogatory slurs, off – color jokes, unwelcome sexual advances, threats, suggestive or insulting sounds, sexual jokes, written or oral references to Visual/Non – V erbal : derogatory or sexually suggestive posters, cartoons or drawings; suggestive objects or pictures; email messages with sexual references or other references to protected categories; viewing inappropriate i nternet sites; graphic commentaries; leering; or o bscene gestures;
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Physical : unwanted physical contact including touching, brushing up movement; assault; and Retaliation : making or threatening reprisals as a result of a negative response to harassment. Scope of Prohibitions Harassment includes a wide range of behaviors, from the actual coercion of sexual relations to unwelcome offensive comments, jokes, innuendoes and other inappropriate statements and unwelcome emphasizing of an individual characteristics. It is not possible to list all of the additional circumstances and behaviors that may constitute harassment. However, the descriptions provided in this policy serve as some examples of conduct that, if unwelcome, may constitute harassment depending on the circumstances, including the severity of the conduct and its pervasiveness. This policy prohibits all of the activities discussed above, by all employees and agents of Dalton Wade Real Estate Group , regardless of th e position within the company . Harassment by clients, customers or other non – employees, including agents from other companies , who are on company premises or who come in contact with Dalton Wade Real Estate Group employees is also prohibited. Consequenc es for Violating this Policy . Harassment may be indirect or even unintentional. Violations of this policy, whether intended or not, will not be permitted. If it is determined that one of our employees or agents has engaged in inappropriate conduct, we will take such action as is appropriate under the circumstances. Such action may range from counseling to immediate termination of employment, affiliation or contract, and may include other forms of disciplinary action, as we deem appropriate under the ci rcumstances. Retaliation is Prohibited All employees and agents should take special note that, as stated above, retaliation against an individual who has complained about harassment under this policy or participated in an investigation of harassment will not be tolerated, and will be treated as another form of harassment in accordance with this policy. All incidents of retaliation must be immediately reported in accordance with the re porting pro cedures described below. Reporting Procedure for Discrimina tion and Harassment If you observe unlawful discrimination or harassment, you must follow this reporting procedure to notify us of the problem so that we can promptly and thoroughly investigate this matter and take appropriate action. Do not allow an inappropriate situation to
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required to pa rticipate in special training workshops or meetings to fully understand the specific duties of new regulations or ch anges in license law. SHOWING PROTOCAL It is Dalton Wade Real Estate Group Policy that i n all cases a real estate agent needs to be present for any and all showings. No Exceptions What So Ever! This can be a Dalton Wade Real Estate Group Agent or an agent from another Firm. Your Listing s As listing agent and as part of the listing agreement with the home seller you will have reviewed with the seller, our showing protocol. You will have had them check the box on the listing agreement that allows a l ock box to be placed on the property. If a buyer’s agent is showing the property you do need to attend the showing but MUST confirm the showing is ok with the home owner. If the property is vacant and the property owner has confirmed that “Go and Show” s howings are ok then home owner confirmation for each showing is not required (but you should still let the property owner know a showing is occurring). Direct showings (a direct showing is a showing that you perform) of one your listing s where the buyer h as contacted you directly to see your listing. Again , as above , you need to confirm the showing with the home seller. During a direct showing you need to ensure all lights are turned off and that the property is 100% secured (every door locked). Buyer A gency You must accompany your buyer on every showing, NO EXCEPTIONS. You are not to give yo ur buyer the lock box code to the property. You must secure the property upon leaving the showing by ensuring all lights are turned off and that the property is 1 00% secured (every door locked). If you are running early or late for a showing please notify the listing service or listing agent of when you will be arriving and reconfirm that the time is still acceptable. Please reme mber you are in some ones home and the utmost care must be taken at all times. CONDUCTING AN OPEN HOUSE
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Please dress appropriately and in accordance with the Dalton Wade Real Estate Group Dress Code (See Dress Code section of office manual). When conducting an open house of your listing or another Dalton Wade Real Estate Group agent’s listing , please arrive 15 – 30 minutes prior to the start of the open house. Strategically place open house signs in front of the home. Have property hand outs available and a sign in sheet to log in visitors. Try to log in visitor as they arrive. It is best if you do not let the attendee sign in , but you conducting the open house ask for their name (first name is ok), email address and phone number (optional) and you write down their information (th is will prevent you from not being able to read their hand writing) Then let the attendee view the property and give them space to do so. As the visitor is wrapping up please circle back to them and see if they have questions or feedback. If they seem t o have minimal or no interest in the property certainly feel free to follow up with them after the open house to assist them in finding another home. If there is interest and it is not your listing, you can refer them to the listing agent or assist them a s buyer agent (please explain to them the pluses and minuses of each situation). When the open house is finished please secure the property and provide feedback as to how the open house went (number of attendees etc. for the listing agent or home owner). EXPENSES As an independent contractor you are responsible for all your own expenses including but not limited to: For Sale Signs, Open House Signs, Business Cards, advertising to promote your listing, advertising to obtain buyer and seller clients, MLS Dues, Local, State and National Realtor Dues and any other fee, expense or cost to run your business. R ES PA COMPLIANCE As an agent affiliated with Dalton Wade Real Estate Group you are required to comply fully with the Real Estate Settlement Procedures A Generally speaking , RESPA prohibits kickbacks, referral fees, receiving unearned fees or RESPA also prohibits the splitting of an y settlement charge except for paying for actual services rendered at fair market value. In addition to being an anti – kickback a ct, RESPA is a disclosure a ct as well. This does not mean, however, that a kickback or unearned fee that is disclosed is legal . A RESPA violation can occur whenever there is a thing of value that is to be given in exchange for a settlement service referral. The agreement can be implied from the circumstances or from historical patterns and practices. Thus, an oral
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agreement to provide a referral fee to a settlement provider is a violation of RESPA just as a written agreement to do so wou ld be. As a member of Dalton Wade Real Estate Group you are not permitted to accept any form of an incentive from any person affiliated with a ny settlement service. This would include the settlement service provider agreeing to pay costs that you normally would incur as part of your real estate activities. Likewise, you cannot provide any gifts, bonuses or incentives to any settlement service providers as well. It is particularly imp or tant to contact the Principle Broker if you have, or are considering having, any affiliated business arrangements, as such arrangements raise particular issues with respect to RESPA compliance. If you ever are in doubt or have a question regarding whether proposed conduct might violate RESPA, you are r equired to imme diately contact the Principal Broker to discuss this issue. ANTITRUST Dalton Wade Real Estate Group will not tolerate any conduct that would exp ose it to potential antitrust liability. Agents must participate in antitrust education to fully understand the princip le s of a antitrust law. Courses are often available at your Board of REALTOR S ®. T his manual is no substitute for proper antitrust educat ion. However, to give you a basic guideline of the key issues normally affecting real estate agents with respect to antitrust law, the following information is provided. The two main areas where real estate brokerage activities may impact antitrust law a re in the area of price or commission fixing and boycotts. Antitrust law precludes agents from agreeing to fix their prices which would have the purpose or effect of eliminating or restricting competition. This means that two or more real estate firms may not agree on what commission rate they will charge each other. Such conduct would be a per se violation of the antitrust laws. This rule applies to principal and managing brokers as well as salespeople. In particular, salespeople must avoid any acti ons which would suggest or imply a desire to fix prices. Similarly, agents may not agree to fix commission splits for the same reason. A firm must unilaterally and independently select what their cooperative compensation policies shall be. Antitrust law also restricts the ability to reach agreement relative to the other terms or conditions of the brokerage agreements with customers. For example, it would be problematic to reach an agreement with other competitors as to a standard length of time for a li sting or buyer representation agreement. The other aspect of antitrust law that impacts real estate brokerage activities is the prohibition on group boycotts. Group boycotting is typically a per se violation of antitrust laws. This concept refers to a concerted refusal to deal with a particular party.
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An example of such conduct would be an agreement among brokerage firms not to deal with a brokerage firm employing a different business model. The National Association of REALTORS® provides extensive information and guidance on antitrust law and you are encouraged to use the realtor.org website for additional information to assist you in remaining in compliance with the antitrust laws. The following are general principles that should be adhered to: Commission rates to be based upon the cost of services provided, the value of the services to clients, and competitive market conditions. Commission rates are not determined by agreement with, or recomme ndation or suggestion from, any person not a party to a listing agreement. Sale s Associates & Broker Associates affiliated with the Dalton Wade Real Estate Group shall not participate in any discussion concerning the commission rates charged by the Firm w ith any person affiliated with, or employed by, any other real estate Firm. When soliciting a listing, or negotiating a listing agreement, no salesperson affiliated with the Firm shall make any reference to a commission in the community, the or any other words or phrases which may suggest that commission rates are uniform or in the market area. Dalton Wade Real Estate Group to cooperating broker s is to be determined by the level of service you can expect a cooperating office to perform, and the amount of compensation necessary to induce cooperation und er prevailing market conditions and through discussions with your listing client. Commission sp lits are esta Dalton Wade Real Estate Group , and are not intended, and may not be used, to induce or c ompel any other real estate Firm in the marketing area to raise or lower the commis sion they charge to their client. When a salesperson is unsure about the proper way to respond to the concerns of an actual or potential client or customer, he(she) should contact the Principle Broker immediately .
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