N.J. Admin. Code § 11:5-6.9 - Consumer Information Statement

Current through Register Vol. 54, No. 7, April 4, 2022

(a) When applied to rental transactions which are not exempt from this rule, references to sellers and buyers, and to the various types of brokerage agreements and business relationships mentioned throughout this rule should be construed as indicating their appropriate counterparts in rental transactions. For example, references to sellers should be read as lessors or owners and references to buyers should be read as lessees or tenants, etc. As used in this rule, the following terms or phrases shall have the following meanings:
1. "Brokerage agreement" means a written agreement between a brokerage firm and a party describing the terms under which that firm will perform brokerage services as specified in 45:15-3. Brokerage agreements include, but are not limited to, sale and rental listing agreements, buyer-broker, lessee-broker, transaction broker, and dual agency agreements.
2. "Brokerage firm" means a licensed corporate, partnership or sole proprietor broker, and all individuals licensed with that broker.
3. Consumer Information Statement" means the Consumer Information Statement on New Jersey Real Estate Relationships as prescribed in (h) below.
4. "Informed consent to dual agency" means the written authorization by a party for the brokerage firm which represents them as their agent in a real estate transaction to also represent the other party to that transaction as an agent. Informed consent can only be obtained after the brokerage firm has disclosed to the consenting party all material facts which might reasonably impact on that party's decision to authorize dual agency, including the extent of the conflicts of interests involved and the specific ways in which each consenting party will receive less than full agency representation from the dual agent. In order to obtain informed consent it is also necessary for the licensee to first advise the consenting party of the other business relationships offered by that licensee and of those not offered by that licensee, and of that party's right to consult an attorney.
5. "Party" shall mean actual or prospective sellers, lessors, buyers or lessees of an interest in real estate.
6. "Short term rental" shall mean the rental of a residential property for not more than the 125 consecutive day time period specified in 46:8-19 as constituting the "seasonal use or rental" of real property, under the terms of an oral rental agreement or written lease which contains a specific termination date. Month-to-month tenancies are not considered short term rentals.
7. "Transaction broker" shall mean a brokerage firm which works with both parties in an effort to arrive at an agreement on the sale or rental of real estate and facilitates the closing of a transaction, but does not represent either party, and has no agency relationship with either party to the transaction. The New Jersey Real Estate License Law, 45:15-1 et seq., and the administrative rules promulgated thereunder do not mandate that licensees must act as agents when rendering real estate brokerage services.
8. "Business relationship(s)" means real estate licensees working as a seller's agent; a buyer's agent; a disclosed dual agent; or a transaction broker.
(b) Prior to acting as a dual agent, a brokerage firm must have the written informed consent of the parties to the transaction. Informed consent is not acquired through distribution of the Consumer Information Statement on New Jersey Real Estate Relationships as required by (e) and (k) below alone. At a minimum, licensees must also secure the signature of the party on a separate writing which confirms the party's informed consent to the licensee acting as a Disclosed Dual Agent for that party. Such a writing may be part of, or an attachment to a brokerage agreement.
(c) Licensees shall supply information with regard to their working relationship with parties to real estate transactions as provided in this section.
(d) Licensees shall comply with all requirements of this section when involved in:
1. Transactions which involve the sale of residential real estate containing one to four dwelling units or the sale of vacant one-family lots;
2. Residential lease transactions other than short term rentals. However, in short-term rental transactions, licensees shall include in all leases prepared by them a statement indicating that they are acting in the transaction either as an agent of the landlord, an agent of the tenant, a disclosed dual agent or a transaction broker; and
3. The securing of brokerage agreements on residential properties, including rental listing agreements on residential properties to be offered for short term rentals.
(e) All licensees shall supply information on business relationships to buyers and sellers in accordance with the following:
1. With respect to buyers:
i. All licensees shall verbally inform buyers of the four business relationships described in this section prior to the first discussion at which a buyer's motivation or financial ability to buy is discussed.
ii. If the first such discussion occurs during a business meeting on the buyer's real estate needs, licensees shall deliver the written Consumer Information Statement to the buyers prior to such a discussion. If the first such discussion is telephonic or in a social setting, licensees shall, after having verbally informed the buyer of the four business relationships, deliver the written Consumer Information Statement to the buyer at their next meeting. However, if prior to their first business meeting after such a discussion, any material is mailed, faxed or delivered by the licensee to the buyer, the Consumer Information Statement shall be included with such material.
iii. Where the written Consumer Information Statement has not been delivered to buyers as provided in (e)1ii above, licensees shall deliver the written statement to buyers no later than the first showing and, if no showing is conducted, no later than the preparation of an initial offer or contract.
iv. Those licensees who intend to enter into a buyer-brokerage relationship with such persons shall deliver the Consumer Information Statement no later than the commencement of their buyer-brokerage agreement presentation.
2. With respect to sellers:
i. All licensees shall verbally inform sellers of the four business relationships described in this section prior to the first discussion at which the seller's motivation or desired selling price is discussed.
ii. If the first such discussion occurs during a business meeting on the seller's real estate needs, licensees shall deliver the written Consumer Information Statement to the sellers prior to such a discussion. If the first such discussion is telephonic or in a social setting, licensees shall, after having verbally informed the seller of the four business relationships, deliver the written Consumer Information Statement to the seller at their next meeting. However, if prior to their first business meeting after such a discussion, any material is mailed, faxed or delivered by the licensee to the seller, the Consumer Information Statement shall be included with such material.
iii. On unlisted properties where the written Consumer Information Statement has not been delivered to sellers as provided in (e)2ii above, licensees shall deliver the written statement to sellers no later than their first showing of the property, and if no showing is conducted, no later than the presentation of an initial offer or contract.
iv. Those licensees who intend to enter into a listing or transaction brokerage agreement with a seller shall deliver the Consumer Information Statement no later than the commencement of their listing or transaction brokerage agreement presentation.
(f) The purpose of (e) above and (h) below is to require licensees to provide basic and introductory information to the public in a convenient and consistent manner, rather than a comprehensive explanation of agency law.
(g) The statement as supplied by the Commission shall be reproduced and delivered by licensees as required in this section as a separate item, with no deletions or additions, other than the optional additional text referred to in (g)1 and 2 below, and recited in (h) below.
1. Brokerage firms may acknowledge delivery of the Statement by procuring the signature of the party to whom it was delivered and the date of delivery in the appropriate place at the bottom of the Statement.
i. On transactions which result in fully executed contracts of sale or consummated rental transactions, copies of Consumer Information Statements on which receipt has been acknowledged as set forth in (g)1 above, shall be maintained as business records for six years in accordance with 11:5-5.4(c).
2. Brokerage firms may also indicate on the Statement the capacity in which they intend to work with the party to whom they deliver the Statement.
3. Regardless of whether brokerage firms choose to include on the Statement the additional information referred to in (g)1 and 2 above, all brokerage firms, as is required by (i) and (j) below, shall:
i. Indicate in all brokerage agreements the business relationship they intend to have with the other party to the agreement; and
ii. Indicate in all offers, contracts, or leases prepared by licensees the business relationship the firm has with respect to the parties named in those documents.
(h) The mandatory text of the Consumer Information Statement to be delivered by licensees as provided in (e) above is as follows:

CONSUMER INFORMATION STATEMENT ON NEW JERSEY REAL ESTATE RELATIONSHIPS

In New Jersey, real estate licensees are required to disclose how they intend to work with buyers and sellers in a real estate transaction. (In rental transactions, the terms "buyers" and "sellers" should be read as "tenants" and "landlords," respectively.)

1. AS A SELLER'S AGENT OR SUBAGENT, I, AS A LICENSEE, REPRESENT THE SELLER AND ALL MATERIAL INFORMATION SUPPLIED TO ME BY THE BUYER WILL BE TOLD TO THE SELLER.
2. AS A BUYER'S AGENT, I, AS A LICENSEE, REPRESENT THE BUYER AND ALL MATERIAL INFORMATION SUPPLIED TO ME BY THE SELLER WILL BE TOLD TO THE BUYER.
3. AS A DISCLOSED DUAL AGENT, I, AS A LICENSEE, REPRESENT BOTH PARTIES. HOWEVER, I MAY NOT, WITHOUT EXPRESS PERMISSION, DISCLOSE THAT THE SELLER WILL ACCEPT A PRICE LESS THAN THE LISTING PRICE OR THAT THE BUYER WILL PAY A PRICE GREATER THAN THE OFFERED PRICE.
4. AS A TRANSACTION BROKER, I, AS A LICENSEE, DO NOT REPRESENT EITHER THE BUYER OR THE SELLER. ALL INFORMATION I ACQUIRE FROM ONE PARTY MAY BE TOLD TO THE OTHER PARTY.

Before you disclose confidential information to a real estate licensee regarding a real estate transaction, you should understand what type of business relationship you have with that licensee.

There are four business relationships: (1) seller's agent; (2) buyer's agent; (3) disclosed dual agent; and (4) transaction broker. Each of these relationships imposes certain legal duties and responsibilities on the licensee as well as on the seller or buyer represented. These four relationships are defined in greater detail below. Please read carefully before making your choice.

SELLER'S AGENT

A seller's agent WORKS ONLY FOR THE SELLER and has legal obligations, called fiduciary duties, to the seller. These include reasonable care, undivided loyalty, confidentiality and full disclosure. Seller's agents often work with buyers, but do not represent the buyers. However, in working with buyers a seller's agent must act honestly. In dealing with both parties, a seller's agent may not make any misrepresentation to either party on matters material to the transaction, such as the buyer's financial ability to pay, and must disclose defects of a material nature affecting the physical condition of the property which a reasonable inspection by the licensee would disclose.

Seller's agents include all persons licensed with the brokerage firm which has been authorized through a listing agreement to work as the seller's agent. In addition, other brokerage firms may accept an offer to work with the listing broker's firm as the seller's agents. In such cases, those firms and all persons licensed with such firms are called "sub-agents." Sellers who do not desire to have their property marketed through sub-agents should so inform the seller's agent.

BUYER'S AGENT

A buyer's agent WORKS ONLY FOR THE BUYER. A buyer's agent has fiduciary duties to the buyer which include reasonable care, undivided loyalty, confidentiality and full disclosure. However, in dealing with sellers a buyer's agent must act honestly. In dealing with both parties, a buyer's agent may not make any misrepresentations on matters material to the transaction, such as the buyer's financial ability to pay, and must disclose defects of a material nature affecting the physical condition of the property which a reasonable inspection by the licensee would disclose.

A buyer wishing to be represented by a buyer's agent is advised to enter into a separate written buyer agency contract with the brokerage firm which is to work as their agent.

DISCLOSED DUAL AGENT

A disclosed dual agent WORKS FOR BOTH THE BUYER AND THE SELLER. To work as a dual agent, a firm must first obtain the informed written consent of the buyer and the seller. Therefore, before acting as a disclosed dual agent, brokerage firms must make written disclosure to both parties. Disclosed dual agency is most likely to occur when a licensee with a real estate firm working as a buyer's agent shows the buyer properties owned by sellers for whom that firm is also working as a seller's agent or subagent.

A real estate licensee working as a disclosed dual agent must carefully explain to each party that, in addition to working as their agent, their firm will also work as the agent for the other party. They must also explain what effect their working as a disclosed dual agent will have on the fiduciary duties their firm owes to the buyer and to the seller. When working as a disclosed dual agent, a brokerage firm must have the express permission of a party prior to disclosing confidential information to the other party. Such information includes the highest price a buyer can afford to pay and the lowest price a seller will accept and the parties' motivation to buy or sell. Remember, a brokerage firm acting as a disclosed dual agent will not be able to put one party's interests ahead of those of the other party and cannot advise or counsel either party on how to gain an advantage at the expense of the other party on the basis of confidential information obtained from or about the other party.

If you decide to enter into an agency relationship with a firm which is to work as a disclosed dual agent, you are advised to sign a written agreement with that firm.

TRANSACTION BROKER

The New Jersey Real Estate Licensing Law does not require licensees to work in the capacity of an "agent" when providing brokerage services. A transaction broker works with a buyer or a seller or both in the sales transaction without representing anyone. A TRANSACTION BROKER DOES NOT PROMOTE THE INTERESTS OF ONE PARTY OVER THOSE OF THE OTHER PARTY TO THE TRANSACTION. Licensees with such a firm would be required to treat all parties honestly and to act in a competent manner, but they would not be required to keep confidential any information. A transaction broker can locate qualified buyers for a seller or suitable properties for a buyer. They can then work with both parties in an effort to arrive at an agreement on the sale or rental of real estate and perform tasks to facilitate the closing of a transaction. A transaction broker primarily serves as a manager of the transaction, communicating information between the parties to assist them in arriving at a mutually acceptable agreement and in closing the transaction, but cannot advise or counsel either party on how to gain an advantage at the expense of the other party. Owners considering working with transaction brokers are advised to sign a written agreement with that firm which clearly states what services that firm will perform and how it will be paid. In addition, any transaction brokerage agreement with a seller or landlord should specifically state whether a notice on the property to be rented or sold will or will not be circulated in any or all Multiple Listing System(s) of which that firm is a member.

YOU MAY OBTAIN LEGAL ADVICE ABOUT THESE BUSINESS RELATIONSHIPS FROM YOUR OWN LAWYER.

THIS STATEMENT IS NOT A CONTRACT AND IS PROVIDED FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY.

(END OF MANDATORY CONSUMER INFORMATION STATEMENT TEXT)

...................

(OPTIONAL ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF RECEIPT AFTER TEXT OF CONSUMER INFORMATION STATEMENT.)

FOR SELLERS AND LANDLORDS

"By signing this Consumer Information Statement, I acknowledge that I received this Statement from (Name of Brokerage Firm) prior to discussing my motivation to sell or lease or my desired selling or leasing price with one of its representatives."

FOR BUYERS AND TENANTS

"By signing this Consumer Information Statement, I acknowledge that I received this Statement from (Name of Brokerage Firm) prior to discussing my motivation or financial ability to buy or lease with one of its representatives."

(OPTIONAL INDICATION OF IN WHAT CAPACITY FIRM INTENDS TO WORK WITH RECIPIENT OF CONSUMER INFORMATION STATEMENT AS PERMITTED BY (g)2 ABOVE):

I, ....................................., as an authorized representative
of ..................., intend, as of this time, to work with you as a
(indicate one of the following):
seller's agent only
buyer's agent only
seller's agent and disclosed dual
agent if the opportunity arises
buyer's agent and disclosed dual
agent if the opportunity arises
transaction broker only
seller's agent on properties on which
this firm is acting as the seller's
agent and transaction broker on other
properties
(i) In all brokerage agreements, brokerage firms must include the following:
1. A statement acknowledging receipt of the Consumer Information Statement; and
2. A declaration of business relationship indicating the regular business name of the broker and in what capacity the licensee servicing the agreement and their firm will operate as real estate licensees with respect to the other party to the brokerage agreement. The declaration of business relationship in all brokerage agreements shall contain, in print larger than the predominant size print in the writing, the following language:
I, ....................................., as an authorized representative
of ..................., intend, as of this time, to work with you as a
(indicate one of the following):
seller's agent only
buyer's agent only
seller's agent and disclosed dual
agent if the opportunity arises
buyer's agent and disclosed dual
agent if the opportunity arises
transaction broker only
seller's agent on properties on which
this firm is acting as the seller's
agent and transaction broker on other
properties
3. Where brokerage firms secure a written acknowledgement of receipt of the Consumer Information Statement on the Statement itself as provided in (g)1 above and include on the Consumer Information Statement a declaration of the business relationship they intend to have with the other party to the brokerage agreement as provided in (g)2 above, the attachment of a copy of the Consumer Information Statement to the brokerage agreement and the inclusion of a reference to the receipt of the Consumer Information Statement in the brokerage agreement shall constitute compliance with this section.
(j) Licensees shall disclose to consumers what type of brokerage services they will provide in the following manner:
1. Buyer-brokers shall verbally disclose to sellers that they are acting on behalf of a buyer prior to their first communication with the seller during which the seller's motivation to sell or desired price is discussed.
2. All offers, contracts or leases not exempt by this rule which are prepared by licensees shall include the following statements:

"By signing below the sellers (or landlords as applicable) and purchasers (or tenants as applicable) acknowledge they received the Consumer Information Statement on New Jersey Real Estate Relationships from the brokerage firms involved in this transaction prior to the first showing of the property."

3. In all offers, contracts, or leases, including leases for short-term rentals, prepared by licensees as permitted by 11:5-6.2(g), licensees shall include the regular business name of the broker with whom they are licensed and a declaration of business relationship indicating in what capacity they and their firm are operating as real estate licensees in that real estate transaction. The declaration of business relationship in all offers to purchase or to lease property, including those made on contracts of sale or lease documents prepared by licensees, shall contain, in print as large as the predominant size print in the writing, the following language: ................... and .......................... as its authorized

(Name of firm) (Name(s) of licensee(s)) representative(s) are working in this transaction as ..................... (indicate one of the following):

seller's agents
buyer's agents
disclosed dual agents
transaction brokers
i. In transactions in which more than one firm is involved, all licensee-prepared offers, contracts and leases, including leases on short-term rentals, shall contain, in the same size type and immediately following the declaration of business relationship set forth above, the following clause:Information supplied by.(Name of firm)...................................

(Name of firm)

has indicated that it is operating in this transaction as a __ (indicate one of the following):

seller's agent only

buyer's agent only

transaction broker

ii. The requirement to include the clause cited in (j)3i above in licensee-prepared offers, contracts and leases shall not apply with respect to firms whose involvement in a transaction was limited to merely referring a party to another firm.
(k) Licensees shall disclose to other licensees what type of business relationship they have with the party with whom they have a brokerage agreement, and with any other parties with whom they may be working, in the following manner:
1. In all written or computer generated notices directed to other brokerage firms through a Multiple Listing Service or otherwise, the listing broker shall indicate whether they are working as a seller's agent or as a transaction broker. On listings where the listing broker is operating as a seller's agent, such notices shall also state:
i. Whether subagency is offered;
ii. Whether the seller has authorized the sharing of the listing broker's compensation with cooperating subagents and/or transaction brokers and/or buyer brokers; and
iii. The amount of compensation offered to cooperating subagents and/or transaction brokers and/or buyer brokers.
2. When a licensee with a listing broker receives an inquiry about a particular property from any other licensee, the licensee with the broker shall, before providing any information to the inquiring licensee beyond general information previously circulated about the listing, verbally ascertain from the inquiring licensee the capacity in which that licensee is operating or intends to operate (buyer-broker, subagent, disclosed dual agent or transaction broker). Inquiries from other licensees in the listing broker's firm shall also be responded to as set forth in this subsection.
(l) In transactions where brokers seek compensation for their brokerage services from a party to the transaction whom they are not representing or working with, the business relationship with the party they are representing or working with and the compensation arrangement shall also be disclosed to both parties as required by 11:5-7.1.
(m) Notwithstanding anything appearing in (g) and (h) above to the contrary, where a brokerage firm is itself the owner of the property being sold by individuals licensed through the broker-owner of the property, a Consumer Information Statement, revised as provided in this section, shall be delivered to prospective purchasers in accordance with the provisions of this rule.
1. On the line immediately below the title of the Consumer Information Statement, the following text shall appear in print larger than the predominant size print in the writing:

As the holder of a New Jersey real estate license, I am required by law to inform you how I will operate in this transaction, should you pursue it, and to provide this statement to you.

My employer is the owner of the property(s) in which you have expressed an interest. For the purposes of its business relationship disclosure rules, the New Jersey Real Estate Commission deems brokers selling property they own and licensees employed or retained by such broker-owners to be operating as seller's agents when they sell property owned by the broker. The statements which follow with regard to licensees who act as sellers' agents apply to me and other persons employed or retained by the owner, particularly those statements concerning the obligation of sellers' agents to pass on to the sellers all material information they obtain with regard to the buyers' ability to pay.

Notes

N.J. Admin. Code § 11:5-6.9
New Rule, R.1995 d.110, effective 2/21/1995 (operative July 1, 1995).
See: 26 N.J.R. 3113(a), 27 N.J.R. 697(a).
Administrative corrections.
See: 27 N.J.R. 1191(a); 27 N.J.R. 1618(b).
Public Notice: Petition for rulemaking; Agency disclosure.
See: 27 N.J.R. 5058(b).
Public Notice: Notice of action on petition for rulemaking.
See: 28 N.J.R. 1412(d).
Public Notice: Notice of Action on Petition for Rulemaking.
See: 29 N.J.R. 385(a).
Amended by R.1998 d.245, effective 5/18/1998.
See: 29 N.J.R. 1663(b), 30 N.J.R. 1829(a).
Rewrote (a)6; in (e), rewrote 1iii, 2iii and inserted a new iv; in (h), amended the "Consumer Information Statement"; and in (j), amended the "declaration of business relationship" document and added a new (m).
Amended by R.1998 d.497, effective 10/5/1998.
See: 30 N.J.R. 2333(a), 30 N.J.R. 3646(a).
In (g), (j) and (l), changed N.J.A.C. references.
Public Notice: Notice of Action on Petition for Rulemaking.
See: 38 N.J.R. 2533(a), 38 N.J.R. 3672(a).

The following state regulations pages link to this page.



State regulations are updated quarterly; we currently have two versions available. Below is a comparison between our most recent version and the prior quarterly release. More comparison features will be added as we have more versions to compare.