on a purchase agreement does a real estate agent legally have to disclose the fact they are an agent?
You need to specify whether you mean Purchase Agreement or HUD-1 Settlement Statement.
Quick Answer - In VA Must be on HUD-1, and cannot be on HUD-1 if not in purchase agreement.
Long Answer:Real Estate Agent Disclosure
The Statute of Frauds requires that all contracts regarding the transfer of real property must be in writing.
In Virginia only a licensed real estate broker, real estate sales person or attorney may receive a commission for the sale or purchase of real property.
To receive a Real Estate license in Virginia, you must meet the following requirements:
Real Estate Salesperson: Must complete 60 hours education in the principle of Real Estate, and must pass the State and National portions of the VA Salesperson Examination.
Real Estate Broker: Must complete 180 hours of education, pass the State and National portions of the VA Broker’s Exam and submit verification of experience. Required experience is actively engaged as a sales person for 36 out of the proceeding 48 months.
License Verification can be found:
A licensed salesperson cannot solely represent a party in the transaction. The sales person is an agent of the broker. All the actions of the salesperson are attributed to the broker. Once licensed a broker may represent either the buyer or seller in the transaction. Many states, VA included require that the broker disclose which interests they are representing.
The representation creates a fiduciary duty between the broker and the buyer/seller. This fiduciary duty requires that the broker act in the best interests of the buyer/seller. There are occasions where a broker may represent both the buyer and seller, this is known as dual agency, there are strict disclosure requirements and both parties must consent to the dual agency.
Once the broker’s affiliation is determined, and a sale has been negotiated, the terms of the contract must be memorialized in writing, as per the statute of frauds (described above), in order for it to be enforceable.
The settlement company will then prepare a HUD-1 statement to disclose all disbursements of funds to all parties. One of those parties is the Real Estate Broker. If the broker and his commission are not disclosed on the HUD-1, a violation of federal law has occurred if funds have been disbursed to him.
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