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Dear Forms Committee: Why do OREF forms use the term “agent” to describe the Realtor® in a transaction instead of “broker?”

There are several reasons that OREF has taken this approach when creating and revising our forms.


The primary reason is that when a form refers to an agent, it means the licensee representing the client. As you know, that licensee can have one of two licenses: a broker or a principal broker. If the form referred only to “broker,” there might be questions about whether that also means “principal broker.” To avoid that ambiguity, it is necessary to use a word that refers to both brokers and principal brokers. The word “agent” is a term the public is familiar with, and it focuses on the agency relationship, so it is very appropriate in these forms.


All comments and responses from OREF or its staff, managers, and volunteers are non-legal opinions made for general purposes. Each Forms subscriber must rely solely upon their Principal broker or personal legal counsel for specific advice and instruction. You and your client should independently confirm that the Form(s) you use are legally suitable for the purposes intended and that they are current with respect to all laws and regulations.