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Professional Standards Manual

Notice of Change: Information in this manual will be changing when new rules about disclosures and dual agency take effect on June 15, 2018. Please check back for up-to-date information about agency and disclosure obligations. Learn more about the new rules.

Trading Services

1. Practice Standards

(b) Agency - View Entire Section

(IV) Teams and Agency

Some licensees operate as teams. Whether under designated agency or brokerage agency, members of these teams typically share information with respect to the various persons to whom they provide real estate services. That is the essence of the team concept.

As a result, these teams are not able to separate their agency relationships, whether under brokerage agency or under designated agency. For example, if John Smith and Wendy Chang are a team, John cannot act as designated agent for the seller and Wendy as designated agent for the buyer in relation to the same trade.

The team may be able to treat one or the other as an unrepresented party, so long as an agency relationship hasn’t already been established with that person. 

Q: I’m thinking about forming a team with several other licensees at my brokerage. It looks like we’ll be a big group – at least a dozen, and we’re wondering how we’ll handle contracts once we’re a team. Can we use the team name on contracts, or do we all have to be listed?

A: Congratulations on thinking ahead about some of the issues that team members need to be aware of. The full names of all team members must appear on every MLS Listing Contract between team members and clients, as well as Exclusive Buyer’s Agency Contracts, Buyer Agency Acknowledgement forms, and Contracts of Purchase and Sale. You cannot use the team name on these documents, because that name exists only for advertising purposes.

All the team members’ names must appear on contracts because the team is deemed to be collectively the Designated Agency for the client. This means that while confidential client formation may be shared between members, strict client confidentiality must be maintained from other licensees at the brokerage.

Since your team will be a large one, you may find there is not enough space on the forms for everyone’s full names. If this is the case, you should indicate in the space provided (such as the Agency Disclosure Section of the Contract of Purchase and Sale) that the names of all the designated Agents are included on an attached appropriately numbered schedule.

However, any team member can execute the documents. The signature of every team member is not required.

(this question and answer was featured in the December 2015 issue of the Report from Council newsletter)

[updated 06/15/2018]