Who is responsible for providing association documents?

We hear a lot of complaints about the cost and overall difficulty in obtaining association documents when a property is being purchased. While many think that obtaining the association documents is a responsibility of the title insurance company, the seller is actually obligated by the Contract to Buy and Sell to provide the documents to the buyer. The contract further requires that the documents be provided at the seller’s expense and if the documents are provided after the Association Documents Deadline, the buyer has a right to terminate.

If there is a community association manager involved, the community association manager or management company is required by rule to disclose in writing, and at no charge, all fees and charges that the community association manager or management company will charge in connection with the sale, transfer and closing of the property. This disclosure is required to be made within three (3) business days after requested by an owner in a common interest community, or a buyer or seller who is under contract, or their respective agent.

If there are concerns about getting the association documents within the deadlines established in the Contract to Buy and Sell, the seller may want to consider obtaining the documents at the time of listing the property for sale.


Are brokers required to keep a copy of the earnest money check?

If a broker is instructed in writing by the parties to the contract to deliver the earnest money deposit to a third party or entity (e.g. a title insurance company), the broker is required to retain a copy of the earnest money check, note or other thing of value, including any endorsement, in the office transaction file. The broker is also required to obtain a signed and dated receipt from the third party or entity to whom the broker delivered the earnest money deposit. These are requirements of Commission Rule E-1(n)(1). The Commission will be considering revisions to this rule later this year, so this requirement may change.


Are real estate professionals, who practice in different areas around the state, required to have access to multiple property databases?

While there are no regulations that require a real estate broker or appraiser to join a multiple listing service, you are expected to know the markets in which you are performing licensed duties. We refer to this as geographic competency. If a broker takes a listing and indicates in the listing contract that the property will be marketed in one or more MLS databases, then the broker is expected to have necessary access to the databases to market the property. If a broker is seeking to assist with the purchase or lease of a property in a specific market and the broker doesn’t have access to the MLS or other property data exchange, the broker will need to either obtain access to the local property database or MLS, or seek out someone in the area that can assist them with market data. The same holds true for an appraiser who performs a real property appraisal. Additionally, if the appraiser relies on assistance from another market participant familiar with the geographic location, the appraiser may need to acknowledge the assistance provided in the certification.

Director Marcia Waters