1. Key Realty Knowledge Base
  2. Key Realty Policy Manual

Section 7: Risk

7.1 Client Care & Contact

7.2 Client Protection & Risk Management System

7.3 Conflict and Disputes

7.4 Conflict of Interest

7.5 Offer Presentation Guidelines

7.6 Giving Information


7.1 Client Care & Contact

Ongoing client contact is probably the primary way clients judge our performance.  Any client with whom you have a client relationship should be contacted a minimum of once a week.  

Additionally, calls should be returned as quickly as possible.  This is one of the most important core principles of our company.  Treat your clients with the care and consideration to which they are entitled.  

7.2 Client Protection & Risk Management System

7.2.1 Agreements in Writing

For the protection of all involved and In order to ensure complete understanding and comprehensive documentation, any agreement involving Key agents as subagents for the company or between Key agents must be complete, signed and in writing.


These agreements include, but are not limited to the following:

Listing agreements with the general public

Listing agreements involving agents as a principal

Exclusive Buyer Agency agreements

Referral agreements between agents

Team member and Team leader agreements


7.2.2 Documentation

Documentation of real estate transactions and communications is critical whether it’s responding to an inquiry from the Division of Real Estate, the IRS or even the attorney representing a disgruntled client or customer. Proper documentation includes copies of agency disclosures, listing forms, earnest money receipts, offers to purchase (even if not accepted) and acceptances of them, and any records of receipts and disbursements of all funds. Additionally, detailed communication records (telephone logs, text logs, emails) may be critical in the satisfactory reconciliation of disputes and arbitration cases.


7.2.3 Errors & Omissions Deductible Waiver

When a Key agent is involved in a lawsuit, the Key agent is responsible for the entire E&O Deductible, currently $5000

Key Agents will have the opportunity to waive their financial responsibility of the E&O deductible so long as the following requirements are met: 

America’s Preferred Home Warranty is presented to the client and signed (either acceptance or waiver). 

Vacant or Raw land
Commercial and multi-family

E&O still covers these sales, however, a home warranty is not applicable.  Therefore if a suit occurs, the agent is responsible for the deductible.


7.2.4 Home Warranties

Home warranties often reduce the stress of selling for an owner and of buying for a buyer, particularly for the first time home buyer. Additionally, home warranties have been shown to reduce costly post-sale litigation by providing low-cost solutions to many post-sale issues that arise. It is Key Realty company policy that Key agents always recommend that their buyers obtain a home warranty and that all buyers sign the Buyer Advisory form.

Nothing in RESPA prohibits brokers or agents from referring business to a home warranty company, however, it does prohibit the agent or broker receiving a fee for such a referral. Under RESPA and other HUD regulations, payment is only permitted for bona fide services that are actually performed by the agent.

To ensure RESPA compliance, any agents receiving fees from home warranty companies must:

Complete a Home Warranty Appliance data collection form
Fully disclosed to the consumer the compensable services that will be provided America's Preferred Home Warranty (APHW) 

America’s Preferred Home Warranty is Key Realty’s home warranty partner. All transactions are required to have the represented client sign either the acceptance or waiver section of the home warranty application or invoice with the exception of transactions for vacant or raw land, commercial sales and leases. America’s Preferred Home Warranty Compensation

Should an agent successfully sell a home warranty with APHW the agent credited for selling the warranty will be compensated $50 as long as the following conditions are met: 

  1. Agent successfully sold a home warranty with APHW and the client signed the APHW application or order invoice.
  2. The APHW Data Collection form is submitted to APHW within 30 days of the closing date.
  3. Key Realty receives the HW Referral commission from APHW, typically within 6-8 weeks after the closing date.
  4. Agent is an active Key Realty agent at the time the APHW referral commission is received. 

    Please note, Key Realty will automatically pay the agent the $50 HW referral fee upon Key Realty receiving the funds form APHW and the conditions above are met. No action from the agent is required for the $50 to be processed and paid to the agent. America’s Preferred Home Warranty Agent Credit Determination

The following will be used to determine which agent receives credit for selling the home warranty and become eligible for any potential home warranty compensation as described in section policy section 

The credited agent will also be responsible for turning the home warranty into the warranty company and completing the data collection form as described in policy section 

If the home warranty is activated at the time the listing is taken and offered in the MLS, the listing agent will be noted as the initiating agent and receive credit.

If the home warranty is not offered offered with the listing and the buyers agent writes in a home warranty into the purchase agreement, the buyers agent will be noted as the initiating agent and receive credit.

7.2.5 Inspections

Due to the nature and expense of a real estate purchase, it is almost always in the client’s best interest to have a home inspection.  It is Key Realty company policy that Key agents always recommend that their buyers get a home inspection and that all buyers sign the Buyer Advisory form. 


7.2.6 Timely responses and follow-up

Frequently problems arise and matters escalate due to poor communication and lack of timely responses.  Additionally, a lack of responsiveness on the part of a Key agent reflects poorly on the entire company. Therefore, we will take disciplinary action if we receive repeated complaints regarding a lack of responsiveness from an agent.


7.2.7 Title Insurance

Due to the nature and expense of a real estate purchase, it is almost always in the client’s best interest to obtain title insurance. It is Key Realty company policy that Key agents always recommend that their buyers obtain title insurance and that all buyers sign the Buyer Advisory form.


7.3 Conflict and Disputes

7.3.1 Attorney Contact

Key agents are specifically prohibited from discussing any conflict or dispute with an attorney representing a client in an adversarial situation.  Please direct any inquiries from legal counsel to the broker or manager of the appropriate Key Realty Regional Office. 


7.3.2 Conflicts between Key associates

Disputes and conflicts between associates which cannot be resolved between the parties concerned shall be arbitrated by the Key Realty Regional Office manager or broker whose decision will represent the Company position.  


7.3.4 Conflicts with agents outside Key

Conflicts with agents outside the company that cannot be resolved by the Key agent shall be referred to the Key Realty Regional Office manager or broker, who will attempt to intervene in a constructive manner and resolve the situation.


7.3.5 Conflicts involving the public

In the event of a dispute with a client or member of the public, the Key agent involved should immediately contact the broker or manager of the appropriate Key Realty Regional Office.  

Agents are encouraged to immediately develop a written chronology and assemble all appropriate supporting documentation of any kind, including dates, times, emails, conversations, and logs.


7.3.6 Commission disputes with the public

When commission disputes occur with the public, the broker or manager of the appropriate Key Realty, Regional Office will attempt to intercede and negotiate a successful resolution of the situation.  If there are attorney’s costs involved, and/or litigation, that cost shall be borne by the Key agent involved. It shall be primarily the decision of the agent as to the extent of efforts to collect commissions earned in these situations.  


7.3.7 Commission disputes with agents outside Key

When there is a commission dispute involving agents outside of the Key Realty Regional Office, Key agents shall have the right to request a commission arbitration with the local Board of Realtors association in the area.  While the Key Realty Regional Office manager broker will endeavor to assist the Key agent and represent their interests, any arbitration filing fees and/or attorney fees shall be the responsibility of the agent. 


7.3.8 Easy-exit policy - Associates representing our firm

Key agents are reminded that Key Realty is an “Easy Exit” company, and part of our policies and core beliefs is that every effort should be made to resolve any disputes with the public or agents inside or outside the company amicably and quickly.  Conflict resolution is an integral and important part of our business model.  

Also, we do not attempt to intervene on an agent’s part to continue a relationship with clients who have lost trust and confidence in the agent’s ability to assist them.  Experience has taught us that the more prudent approach is to simply walk away.


7.4 Conflict of Interest

No sales representative licensed with a Key Realty Regional Office shall engage in any employment or activities which may conflict with the interests of the Company.


7.5 Offer Presentation Guidelines

Each contract should be presented to the seller in person, with a complete Seller's Net Statement and buyer prequalification letter from a reputable lender (if you can obtain one). 

While presenting the offer, take the seller through all the terms of the offer, understanding that in addition to the sale price, there are many items that go into a contract offer. For example, financing terms, closing date and / or possession date could be a determining factor.  All offers must be presented even if there is an accepted offer.


7.6 Giving Information

Unless specifically requested by a salesperson, an unlicensed person must not give out information, except to other offices, to a caller regarding a listing. All persons requesting information about the Company, its policies, procedures, etc. shall be referred to the broker and/or appropriate management personnel.