NOV 23, 2017::Find a REALTORFind a HomeRealtor.orgDivision of Real Estate
Commercial/IndustrialOhio Housing Finance Agency

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Consumers...Housing Market Facts

NAR Battles Bad Press With Housing Facts For Consumers

The National Association of REALTORS has complained for some time that the media is distorting the news about housing. Now NAR is directly reaching out to consumers with little-known facts about housing.

NAR's new Web designed to give homebuyers and sellers information that illustrates the value of real estate as a long-term investment.

Why do you need to be told the obvious?

The NAR spends over $40 million annually on public service messages, but the news media typically turns a deaf ear. Real estate is local, but the media would have you believe that the losses of Detroit and San Diego are your losses, too.

The media sees NAR as self-serving and never gives the REALTORS credit for supporting and protecting many of the homeownership benefits that consumers enjoy today. For example, every year, someone in Congress proposes doing away with the mortgage interest rate deduction as a tax benefit, and every year NAR lobbyists battle back.

Here are some little known facts:

  • Home prices typically beat inflation by one or two percentage points.
  • Sixty percent of a homeowner's wealth comes from their home's equity.
  • The average homeowner's net worth is $171,000...nearly 46 times that of a renter's who has average net worth of $4,800.

Visit for more information.

How You Are Represented in a Real Estate Transaction

Ohio law requires that real estate licensees act as a fiduciary of their client and act in their client's best interest. In general terms, a licensee's fiduciary duties include:

  • Exercising reasonable skill and care in representing the client;
  • Performing the terms of any written agency agreement;
  • Following any lawful instructions of the client;
  • Complying with all requirements of the license law, along with other applicable statutes, rules and regulations. Those include the federal and Ohio fair housing
    laws and the Ohio landlord tenant act;
  • Disclosing to the client any material facts of the transaction of which the licensee is aware or should be aware in the exercise of reasonable skill and care and that are not confidential information under a current or prior agency or dual agency relationship;
  • Advising the client to obtain expert advice related to material matters when necessary or appropriate;
  • Accounting in a timely manner for all money and property received in which the client has or may have an interest; and
  • Keeping confidential all confidential information, unless the licensee is permitted to disclose the information. This requirement includes not disclosing confidential information to other licensees in the brokerage who are not agents of the client.

Duties of a seller's agent
In addition to their overall fiduciary responsibilities, licensees acting as seller's agents, whether they are listing agents or subagents, owe these duties to the seller:

  • To seek an offer to purchase at a price and with terms acceptable to the seller. Unless the seller directs otherwise, the listing agent is not obligated to seek additional offers once the property is subject to a contract of sale, lease or letter of intent to lease;
  • To present an offer to purchase to the seller in a timely manner, even if the property is subject to a contract of sale, lease or letter of intent to lease; and
  • To provide the seller with a copy of any agency disclosure form signed by the buyer, prior to presenting the seller with an offer to purchase. Seller's agents are forbidden from offering subagency to other brokerages or offering compensation to buyer brokers without the seller's knowledge and consent. But Ohio law specifically permits seller's agents, whether they are listing agents or subagents, to show alternate properties to buyers and to represent other sellers without breaching their duties to the seller.

Duties of a buyer's agent
Licensees acting as buyer's agents also must fulfill certain duties to their clients. These are in addition to their fiduciary duties described above. Those duties are:

  • Seeking a property at a price and with purchase or lease terms acceptable to the buyer. Unless the buyer directs otherwise, the buyer's agent is not obligated to seek additional purchase or lease possibilities if the buyer is a party to a contract to purchase property, or has entered into a lease or has extended a letter of intent to lease; and
  • Presenting any offer or counteroffer to purchase or lease to the listing agent in a timely manner, even if the property is subject to a contract of sale, lease or letter of intent to lease.

Buyer's agents are forbidden from offering subagency or accepting compensation from a seller's agent without the knowledge and consent of the buyer. But a licensee does not breach any duty or obligation to the buyer by showing the same properties to other buyers or by acting as an agent or subagent for other buyers, or as an agent or subagent for sellers, except that any dual agency relationship must be disclosed to a client.

For questions about what type of agency best serves your interests, contact a REALTOR today.

What is a REALTOR?

You're ready! You've decided to seize the unique opportunities presented by the current housing market. The single most important transaction in your lifetime should not be conducted without the expertise and assistance of trained and licensed professionals, and this is where REALTORS come in. And, chances are you may be buying or selling a home again. Developing a long-term relationship with a REALTOR is the best way to ensure you will be well-armed and informed when making your housing decisions.

What's Different About a REALTOR

Working with a real estate professional who is a REALTOR is in your best interest. Not everyone who sells real estate is a REALTOR. Possessing a real estate license does not afford instant REALTOR status--a distinction of which you need to be aware. A REALTOR is a member of local, state and national professional trade associations and, as such, has access to a vast array of educational programs, research and resources. By being a member, a REALTOR subscribes to a strict code of ethics, and pledges to provide fair treatment for all parties involved, protect the right of individuals to own property and keep abreast of changes in real estate practice through continuing education and interaction with other professionals.

As a member of the Ohio Association of REALTORS your REALTOR can tap into numerous resources, like immediate access to staff real estate attorneys, who can provide objective up-to-the-minute counsel. He or she receives up-to-date information on a wide variety of legal, financial and economic issues, and has access to an association with more than 80 years of experience in real estate. And, if things don't work out, arbitration is a choice your REALTOR can offer instead of lengthy and expensive legal proceedings.

The Right REALTOR for You

Like finding the right house, selecting a REALTOR you can trust and comfortably work with is paramount. Just as you wouldn't be casual in the selection of your doctor or your attorney, you shouldn't take the selection of your REALTOR lightly. Indeed, the best way to find such a professional is through recommendations from family and friends. Of course, you should interview several REALTORS before you choose one. If you are selling your home, you should ask the candidates how they plan to market your home, what pricing advice they can offer, and what other suggestions they can provide to further enhance the desirability of your home. Ask questions about the transaction to evaluate the REALTOR's knowledge. Ask for--and check--references. And, finally, ask yourself whether you will feel comfortable working closely with this individual in the months ahead.

Home Valuation
The information in the Ohio Valuation site will answer many of your questions about Ohio's property valuation process, property tax reductions and exemptions, and many of the tasks for which the County Auditor is responsible. If you have additional questions about the topics on this site, please contact your County Auditor.

A mortgage is probably the biggest loan you'll ever take out and it's important to look at all of your options before you sign on the dotted line. In this Field Guide you will find information on the many types of mortgages available, including creative financing options, links to real estate calculators, government programs, do's and don'ts of refinancing and much more. Click here for Guide.

Consumer Guide to Insurance Hurdles in Real Estate Transactions
Are you insurance cancellations, delays, and premium hikes? Have these new developments threatened your closing? "The New Reality of Property Insurance: What You Should Know" is a guide on how the current insurance market conditions may impact your real estate transaction.

For information on mandated disclosures and appropriate forms required in real estate transactions, click here.

Free download for pdf documents:

© 2007 OHIO ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS:privacy policy
IRC Section 6104 requires this organization to make certain forms available for public inspection.
Interested parties may contact Robert Fletcher, CEO at 614.228.6675 or