12 Most Common Agent Violations

The Ohio Division of Real Estate talks about the 12 most common violations seen in real estate.

1.) Not advertising properly

• Teams and individual licensees must include the
name of their broker and/or brokerage in at least
equal prominence to the licensee/team name in
all advertising.
• Teams must include – in all advertising – the name
of at least one licensed member of the team as
that person’s name appears on their license.

2.) Salespersons operating outside their brokerage

• Licensees must conduct all real estate services on
behalf of another, for compensation, in the name
of the brokerage with which they are affiliated,
and all monies collected should be maintained
and/or disbursed by the brokerage.


3.) Licensees allowing unlicensed individuals/entities to perform or engage in real estate services

• Unlicensed individuals/entities are prohibited from
engaging in real estate services as defined in ORC
4735.01 unless an exemption applies under ORC
4735.01 (I) and/or the unlicensed person/entity
is performing services in compliance with OAC


4.) Noncompliant trust accounts

• Brokerages must maintain general trust
accounts bearing the words ‘trust account’
or ‘special account.’
• Brokerage trust account records must be
maintained in compliance with OAC 1301:5-5-09.
• Brokerages engaged in providing property
management services must maintain a separate property management trust account in
compliance with OAC 1301:5-5-11.
• Brokerages engaged in property
management may maintain trust
accounts in the name of the property
owner pursuant to a written contract
with that owner, pursuant to OAC


5.) Allowing lock box access to unlicensed and/or unsupervised parties

• Licensees are prohibited from
releasing lock box codes without the
consent of the seller and/or the seller’s
authorized agent. It’s a good idea to
get such consent in writing.

6.) Not maintaining complete transactional files, including pertinent emails/texts

• Licensees must maintain complete
transactional files (including emails
and texts) connected to the transaction
for a period of three years from the
date of the transaction – even if the
transaction doesn’t close.

7.) Brokers signing blank applications

• Brokers must refrain from
pre-signing any application form
ahead of a salesperson/applicant.
When a broker signs one of these
forms, that broker is attesting that the
applicant is honest, truthful, and of
good reputation and has accurately
completed the ethical conduct and
legal history portion of an initial or
transfer/reactivation application.

8.) Not reporting convictions timely

• Licensees must notify the
superintendent, in writing, within
15 days of any of the occurrences
identified in ORC 4735.13 (C) including
felony convictions or crimes of moral turpitude. Remember, a change of
home address has to be reported
within 15 days as well.

9.) Not properly representing both clients in a divorce situation

• Licensees representing
sellers in a divorce situation
must fulfill their fiduciary duties
to both clients, including the
presentation of offers and obtaining
signatures on documents such as
the listing agreement and offers to

10.) Not presenting all offers

• Licensees representing seller
clients must timely present all offers
to their clients.

11.) Not obtaining and maintaining written

consent to all changes during the
• Licensees must obtain and be able to
demonstrate written consent
to all changes made to a contract
during a transaction – even if the
deal falls apart.

12.) Not disclosing material facts

• Licensees must disclose to any
purchaser all material facts of which
the licensee has actual knowledge
pertaining to the physical condition
of the property that the purchaser
would not discover by a reasonably
diligent inspection, including material
defects in the property, environmental
contamination, and information
that any statute or rule requires be
disclosed pursuant to ORC 4735.67.