HARRISBURG PA – The Big Switch starts next Saturday (June 13, 2009) for real estate licensees in Pennsylvania.
That’s when a new Consumer Notice, required by the Pennsylvania State Real Estate Commission to be distributed by agents and brokers to their clients and potential clients, goes into effect. After that date, experts say, distributing any earlier consumer notices will be considered a violation of the Real Estate License and Registration Act.
The new Consumer Notice clarifies roles and responsibilities of licensees, the Commission reports, in part because both its text and format have been modified to improve readability. The notice’s re-design is a result of feedback received over several years from consumers and licensees alike, the Commission says.
Changes of particular note include:
- Re-positioning the definitions of various agency relationships above the list of duties that all licensees owe consumers. The move is meant to allow consumers to better and more quickly understand the distinctions between types of agents;
- Re-wording agent definitions to be more easily understood by consumers, and re-positioning language about compensation closer to where the form must be signed on the back;
- Clarifying the role of designated agents;
- Clarifying the disclosure duties of transaction licensees;
- Clarifying the list of duties of licensees;
- Clarifying language regarding negotiable contract terms; and
- Re-positioning where notice recipients must sign and provide contact information for themselves.
All references to Buyer and Seller throughout the revised document can be construed as Tenant and Landlord, respectively, when the Consumer Notice is being given for a rental property.
There has been no change to the Oral Consumer Notice or the Consumer Notice for Tenants.