EFFECTIVE DATE: April 5, 2022 REVISION DATE: April 22, 2022
Standard Operating Procedure Policy
PURPOSE: Provide guidance to all licensees regarding what can and cannot be required in order to show a property.
As many states’ regulators develop stricter guidelines and increased enforcement of real estate transactions, we have implemented the Standard Operating Procedure Policy.
It is important that you understand the policy is standard; applies to all VORO licensees; and is applicable to ALL states we are licensed and operate in. Moreover, the policy shall apply to all residential and commercial sales and rental transactions. In addition it applies to customers interested in viewing properties.
As a reminder, Fair Housing Laws require consistent performance by all licensees under the broker’s license. That is, what one agent does relative to policy must be done by all agents in all circumstances. Understand that Fair Housing focuses on the effects not the intent of licensees actions. So while you might not have intent to discriminate or to engage in
discrimination, the mere deviation from this and VORO’s Anti-Discrimination in Housing (Fair Housing) policies could make you liable for a fair housing violation.
I. Standard Operating Procedure for showing ALL commercial and residential properties offered for sale or rental.
- No identification to show a residential or commercial property for sale or rent. You cannot require a customer to present any form of identification in order to show them a property that is offered for sale or rental.
a. Clients may be required to provide identification for application purposes.
- No exclusive broker agreement is required for prospective buyers. Exclusive agreements can be helpful in ensuring the customer does not circumvent you and close a transaction with another agent when you initially showed them the property. However, if we make signing such agreements mandatory, it would have to apply to all customers. Doing so might cause some to not want to do business with you because of an exclusive agreement. You can still request it be signed, but it cannot be a requirement.
- Mortgage pre-approval is required to view properties offered for sale. All customers and clients interested in viewing properties offered for sale must have a valid written preapproval from a lender.
- It is important that you adhere to this policy consistently with ALL customers. Under no circumstances can you enforce the SOP for one or a group of customers and make an exception for others. This will create liability for a Fair Housing complaint.
II. Notice to Consumers
- VORO shall maintain an updated SOP policy that is prominently displayed on all consumer real estate sites.