1. COMPANY EXPECTATIONS for all Associates
A. Comply with all laws and rules governing real estate licensees.
B. Comply with directions of Broker
C. Support company policies and objectives.
D. Cooperate with all other personnel.
E. Act as a professional at all times.
F. Pay attention to details.
G. Make full disclosure of agency status.
H. Properly document all transactions.
I. Remain current on all applicable laws, rules and standards of practice.
2. EQUAL OPPORTUNITY
A. Florida Equities insists and requires that all of personnel provide equal opportunity in all real estate business transactions. They shall keep informed on all matters regarding the requirements imposed by all equal opportunity and fair housing laws and shall act in accordance with these laws. Service shall be offered to all clients and customers regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, ethnic background, age, marital or familial status, disability or any other classification protected by law.
B. No Associate shall print, display or circulate any statement or advertisement with respect to the sale or rental of a property that indicates any preference, limitation or discrimination on the basis of any classification of protected individuals.
3. PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS
A. Florida Equities is committed to the compliance by its Associates with the standards imposed by law, and by the Florida Real Estate Commission.
B. It is required that all real estate licensees with the company shall familiarize themselves with the Florida Real Estate Commission Laws and Rules governing real estate licensees, and with the Bylaws, Rules and Regulations of the Florida Association of Realtors, and all professional Realtor boards of which the company is a member.
C. All Associates are required to keep themselves updated on all changes in the law insofar as they affect real estate licensees.
D. All Associates and Broker of the company shall comply with all Codes of Ethics, Standards of Practice and other rules and regulations imposed upon them by virtue of membership in the National Association of Realtors, Local Board Association, and MLS Rules and Regulation.
4. FEDERAL DO NOT CALL LIST COMPLIANCE
All Associates are to familiarize themselves with the rules of the Federal Do Not Call list. The company takes compliance with these rules very seriously. All Associates agree to comply completely with these rules.
5. BROKER SUPERVISION
A. Florida Equities is committed to fulfillment of all applicable standards for oversight by Broker which shall, at a minimum meet the requirements promulgated by the Florida Real Estate Commission.
B. The company's personnel, whether a licensed real estate agent or not, shall comply with these minimum standards. The Associate and Broker each agree to engage in business that promotes the utmost manner of professionalism by promoting positive relations, enhancing the business’ reputation and its profits, and increasing community good will. The company encourages everyone to act in a manner which exceeds these minimum standards in order to assure better service to clients and customers and to minimize the risk of potential liability.
C. Broker shall maintain open, direct communication with all Associates. It may be in person, telephone or electronically. Every effort will be made to assure that the broker is available on a continuous basis for the purpose of such communication.
D. Broker Availability: Broker will be available on a regularly scheduled basis to do all of the following:
1. Review the work of all supervised individuals
2. Provide consultation for the supervised individual
3. Further education of the supervised individual in the performance of the individual's functions.
6. ASSOCIATES INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR STATUS
Associates are independent contractors and not employees. Florida Equities policy is to have a written Independent Contractor Agreement setting forth the terms and conditions of the relationship with the company before commencing work.
7. ANTITRUST COMPLIANCE
A. In antitrust cases, whether criminal prosecutions or civil treble damage suits, proof against the defendant is most likely to come from the defendant’s own files and records or from statements made by the defendant or his associates. Thus, an antitrust compliance program must not only avoid actual violations of the antitrust laws, but must also avoid creating or permitting the creation of files, records, documents, statements or conversations which might create an appearance of violation.
B. Commission rates of the Associate are established solely by the Associate, but the Associate is not permitted to advertise the Company as a “discount” Agency, or the like. Associates must market the company using customary fees for residential transactions.
C. Commission rates are not set by any agreement with or suggestion from, any person or entity, other than the client with whom a listing or other agreement of sale, purchase or lease of property is signed.
D. Company personnel shall not discuss with anyone the setting of commission rates charged by the Associate, or, for that matter, by any other real estate company, this information is privileged and strictly confidential.
E. Company personnel shall make no reference to a "going" rate for real estate services. It is expressly understood that all commission rates are strictly negotiable between the Associate and its clients.
F. The amount of compensation to be paid to any subagent or buyer's agent shall be determined solely by the Associate. Such compensation is not intended to, nor may be used to, induce any other real estate firm or agent to raise or lower the commission which may be charged.
G. If company personnel are present when other real estate licensees outside of the company begin a discussion of fees, they must remove themselves from that conversation. At no time shall any company personnel participate in such conversation.
H. Whenever company Associates are unsure of how to respond to the concerns of potential client or customer, or are present during an unauthorized discussion of fees they should immediately contact the broker.
8. ABILITY TO BIND COMPANY
A. No company personnel shall have the authority to obligate or bind the company in any way without the prior, written consent of the company.
B. The only exception is that Associates shall have authority to sign listing agreements on behalf of the company which conform to the established requirement of the company using approved forms.
C. All actions of company personnel shall be performed only in accordance with this manual and only on behalf of the company. No personnel shall be permitted to sell, deal or act in any way that compromises the authority of the company to supervise or direct the activities of such personnel in accordance with applicable law.
9. OTHER LICENSES
If Associates carry licenses other than broker, associate broker or salesperson, these shall not be utilized in connection with the transaction without written permission of Broker.
A. All advertising must comply with Florida Real Estate Commission policies and procedures governing advertising of licensee's own properties.
B. All advertising or direct mail must be approved by Broker in writing.
C. The Florida Equities logo is available for use in printed material, such as stationery, business cards, property signs and electronic media. It can be reproduced in either original colors or black and white, and resized as needed. No modification or alteration of the logo is permitted, except as stated.
11. DOCUMENT CONTROL
A. The following documents must have copies sent to Broker at time of signing and will be maintained in the Broker's file:
1. Listing contract or buyer's agency contract
2. Brokerage Disclosure
3. Sales Contract (Current and applicable FAR form including Property Tax and Environmental Disclosures)
4. Closing statement
5. Copy of all correspondence sent on company letterhead
B. The Associate is responsible for sending documents to the Broker's office via mail or electronic transfer until the file is closed due to a closing, the expiration of the listing, or the expiration of the agency contract. Closed and expired files are maintained by the office for a minimum of three years.
C. For the protection of all parties, all agreements shall be in writing and shall be in clear and understandable language expressing the specific terms, conditions, obligations, and commitments of the parties. A copy of each agreement shall be furnished to each party upon their signing or initialing.
12. AGENCY DISCLOSURE
Prior to the seller's signing of the listing contract, the Associate shall discuss the different types of agency relationships with the seller, explaining the responsibilities of seller's agents, buyer's agents, subagents, dual agency, and facilitators. Upon execution of the listing contract, Associate will obtain a completed "Residential Property Disclosure form" from the seller. The Associate shall tender every written offer to purchase or sell until a contract is signed by all parties.
13. USE OF SELLER'S DISCLOSURE STATEMENTS
Associates shall provide seller’s disclosure statements to all sellers of one to four family residential properties and advise the seller of their requirement to fill out and sign the form. Associate shall not assist the seller in the preparation of such statement, but should however advise the seller not to guess, but only to affirm those items of which they have personal knowledge. If the seller has no knowledge as to the condition of a particular feature, seller should be advised that there is a column for checking unknown.
14. HANDLING OFFERS AND COUNTEROFFERS
A. Associates shall promptly deliver all written offers and counteroffers to the offerer in accordance with Florida license law and sound business practice.
B. Associate shall deliver to an offerer a signed copy of the offer to purchase immediately after it has been signed by offerer. Associate shall promptly tender all written offers to purchase to the seller upon receipt. Upon obtaining a proper acceptance of the offer to purchase, signed by the seller, the Associate shall promptly deliver true executed copies of the acceptance to the purchaser and seller. Associate shall make certain that all terms and conditions of the real estate transaction are included in the offer to purchase.
C. Only sales agreements, addenda and other forms specifically approved by Florida Association of Realtors shall be used by Associates. Forms can be accessed through www.floridarealtors.org.
15. RECOMMENDATION TO PURCHASER FOR TITLE EVIDENCE
Associates shall recommend to the purchaser that a fee title policy in the amount of the purchase price be furnished to the purchaser by the seller, issued or certified to the approximate date of the closing of the transaction.
16. RECOMMENDATIONS TO PARTIES FOR OTHER PROFESSIONAL ADVICE AND OTHER OUTSIDE SERVICES
Associates understand and agree that Florida Equities LLC is not an inspection firm, attorney, construction engineer, accountant, tax consultant, financial planner, and shall when such need arises suggest of outside services. Associates shall recommend that inspection firms and other professional service providers be utilized. If Associate is receiving compensation in connection with such referral it may not be in violation of applicable federal, state and local law. Such compensation may only be accepted with written permission of the client of specific compensation. If the additional compensation is from a mortgage company, Associate shall obtain permission from both buyer and seller.
17. DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL FACTS
If one of the Associates of this company is selling personally owned property, the licensed status of the owner shall be disclosed, before the offer to purchase is signed. Satisfactory written proof of this disclosure shall be retained in the file for the transaction. Associate shall recommend to clients that all material facts concerning the transaction be disclosed. Associate shall not assist the client in concealing any material fact which could effect the transaction.
18. EARNEST MONEY DEPOSIT
All earnest money deposits shall be deposited with a title company to act as escrowee. Broker does not accept escrow deposits. Associates shall deliver the earnest money deposit to the title company within two business days of notification of acceptance of the offer to purchase. Associates must familiarize themselves with the rule of law to assure that deposits are timely made.
19. CLOSING PROCEDURES
A. All closing must be conducted under the direct supervision of a broker or associate broker and shall be in conformity with applicable law, including delivery of closing statement to the parties signed by the broker or associate broker.
B. No closing statement shall be signed or altered by a salesperson.
A. Compensation for each Associate is contained in the Independent Contractor Agreement.
B. Checks will be mailed or available for pick up by the Associate on the Friday following the closing, pending file completion and receipt of monies by the Wednesday before.
21. REFERRAL POLICY
Florida Equities offers a referral reward to Associates who refer an Agent to Broker and that Agent becomes a Florida Equities Associate. At the completion of the third sales transaction of the new Associate, Broker will pay referring Associate $1,000.00. Rental transactions are excluded.
22. HANDLING OF CLIENT AND CUSTOMER COMPLAINTS
All complaints shall be reported to the Broker. If the Associate is able to handle the complaint without assistance, this shall be documented and placed in the file of the transaction with a copy of the report delivered to the Broker.
23. DISPUTES WITH OUTSIDE PARTIES (IF APPLICABLE)
A. The decision to initiate, settle, or compromise any dispute, arbitration or litigation with an outside party lies solely with the company.
B. If it becomes necessary for the company to sue for a commission, all expenses, including attorney's fees, shall be borne by the company and Associate in the same percentage as their respective portion of earned commissions, whether or not such a commission is recovered.
C. If the company is sued as a result of activities or conduct of the Associate, the cost of defense, including attorney's fees, shall be borne by the company and Associate in the same percentage as their respective portion of the commission earned on the transaction; provided, if the company is found liable as a result of activities or conduct of the Associate, Associate shall reimburse the company 100% for its cost, including attorney's fees.
24. FEES AND DUES
Fees and Dues which are the sole responsibility of the Associates include, but are not necessarily limited to, the following: Association of Realtor dues, Multiple Listing Fees, computer access charges.
All associates will received a copy of the Policy and Procedures Manual for Florida Equities and agrees to abide by its terms and all amendments which may be adopted by the company from time to time.