Friday, 24 November 2017

New Forms Release Will Include A Team Agreement

Written by Posted On Monday, 06 November 2017 21:37

Twice a year -- in June and December -- the Standard Forms Committee of the California Association of REALTORS® (CAR) releases new and revised forms that have been in the works. Scheduled for release the week of December 11, this year, are three new forms plus twelve revisions. (California REALTORS® can get an early look at the almost-final versions by visiting the standard forms section of the CAR website at http://car.org.)

The new forms will probably receive the most attention, and, of those, two particularly stand out. One is entitled "Property Images Agreement". Especially in the realm of higher-end (read "very expensive") properties, the subject of ownership and control of photos, videos, etc. is sometimes an issue. This form documents a licensee's right to use, for marketing purposes, photos, videos, or other images of property taken by a third party.

Undoubtedly, the most attention will go to the Team Agreement form. Given the market presence of real estate teams throughout the country, it is actually surprising that no standard team agreement contract has yet emerged, regardless of who might have produced it.

In its now almost-final version, the Team Agreement form produced by CAR is a four-page document -- single-space of course -- that focuses primarily on matters of compensation and on the determination of which of the agent's client relationships are covered by the team agreement.

The form is designed to be used between a Team Member and the Team Leader. The company Broker is not a party to the Agreement, although it does require the Broker's consent.

The Team Agreement is not a form for defining the role of a team's transaction coordinator or providers of services not requiring a real estate license. For that, the CAR Personal Assistant Contract is recommended.

Many had expected that a Team Agreement form would address the question of employee v. independent contractor. The new form does not, except to say that the Team Member and the Team Leader "are licensed under Broker as independent contractors, it does not create a partnership or other separate entity between the parties…" However, "…should the parties determine that the relationship should be one of employment, the [Team Leader] will seek appropriate professional advice to comply with employment laws and consult with Broker relating to that employment relationship."

The Team Agreement is an important document, albeit not an easy one to read. Team leaders and members who anticipate using it would do well to take a pre-release peek on the CAR website.

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Bob Hunt

Bob Hunt is a former director of the National Association of Realtors and is author of the recently published book, "Real Estate the Ethical Way." A graduate of Princeton with a master's degree from UCLA in philosophy, Hunt has served as a U.S. Marine, Realtor association president in South Orange County, and director of the California Association of Realtors, and is an award-winning Realtor. Contact Bob at scbhunt@aol.com.

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