This Independent Contractor Agreement (this “Agreement”) and Office Policy is hereby made and entered into on this day by and between Oakstrand Realty, (“Broker”), a Real Estate Brokerage Firm, is supervised and managed by the qualifying Real Estate Broker on record with the department of business regulations of the State of Florida.
The present Florida Real Estate Sales Associate or Broker Sales Associate (“Agent”) transferring his/her current and valid Florida Real Estate license with the State of Florida, with the license number as entered electronically, or manually, at the time of transfer.
By transferring your Florida Real Estate License with our office, you hereby acknowledge and agree to the terms of this Agreement.
Starting at the time of license transfer, either manually or electronically, the Broker and Agent agree to the following terms:
A. License activation: Agent hereby acknowledges and agrees that the Broker may refuse to accept the transfer of license, and/or activate the Agent’s license after reviewing Agent’s online application, in the case, but not limited to, a past or existing claim or a sanction recorded by the Department of Business Professional Regulation, or the Florida Real Estate Commission, or for any reason deemed reasonable by the Broker. In the case of refusal, the Agent’s registration fee will be refunded in full to the Agent. Any termination by Broker, after the Agent’s Real Estate license has been transferred will not qualify for refund by the Broker.
B. Employment status: Agent hereby acknowledges and agrees to be an independent sales associate or independent contractor, of the Broker. They will perform Real Estate activities in compliance with Florida Law and Chapter 475. Agent is not considered an employee of the Broker, and he will not be treated as such for health benefits, Federal or State Taxes, or any other benefits typically associated with an employee. Agent is responsible for paying his own income taxes, occupational taxes, local business taxes, self-employment taxes, and/or any other taxes, if any. No monies shall be withheld from the commissions due to the Agent, and no worker’s compensation will be provided. Agent shall receive the total amount of the agent’s commission share due without any withholdings; unless specifically requested by tax authorities or third parties, to collect a debt. Agent shall not receive, any form of payment or benefit other than the amount of commission due per closed and paid transaction that they bring to the Broker. Agent understands that as an independent contractor he shall not receive any benefit or minimum wage from the Broker. Agent has no authority to bind the Broker, unless specified in writing by the Broker. Agent is solely responsible for all fees related to conduct his/her business including marketing fees, transportation, fines, and/or insurance without any exception. Agent shall insure all transportation used to conduct business according to Florida Law.
C. Agent’s responsibilities: Agent hereby acknowledges and agrees to work in conformance and follow Florida Real Estate Laws, Federal Laws and any rules and regulations attached to the exercise of this activity. Agent shall also comply and follow the Broker’s Office Policy Manual, as part of the present agreement. Agent hereby acknowledges and agrees to follow and respect Fair Housing laws and principles, and understand that the non-failure to comply is grounds for the Broker to terminate this agreement without any refund of the registration fee.
D. Education and License Renewal: It is the Agent’s full responsibility to complete any required continuing education and pay for the fees, fines, or any dues related for maintaining a valid and active status. Broker has no responsibility or obligation regarding the Agent’s licenses, fees or renewal status.
E. Supervision of the Broker: Agent shall act and perform as an independent contractor without Broker’s supervision, except for what is required by Chapter 475; for which Agent is working under Broker’s supervision.
Broker may at any time and without any particular reason, launch an internal audit regarding Agent’s past or current transactions. The formal request will be made by certified mail to Agent’s mailing address, as registered with the Florida DBPR.
Agent will comply with Broker’s requests and will provide all documents related to the transactions including but not limited to emails with parties involved in the transactions, text messages and any other document either audio, video, in writing or contained in any electronic support related to the transactions. Refusal from Agent to fully comply with Broker’s request in a timely manner will authorize Broker to hold the payment of any commission due to Agent, even the ones not related to the transactions for which Broker requested an audit, and the immediate repayment to Broker of any commission already paid by Broker to Agent for which Agent did not cooperate fully to Broker’s inquiry.
Refusal or voluntarily omission from Agent to fully comply in writing with Broker’s request for information within 30 calendar days after reception of the certified mail authorizes Broker to keep the entire amount of the commission and to dispose of it, as he wants.
If it appears that Agent is not the procuring cause in a transaction or if Agent refuses to comply with Broker’s written request to establish that Agent is the procuring cause, or if Agent has lied on the “closing questionnaire form”, Broker will keep the entire amount of the commission and will be disbursed at the broker's discretion.
F. Communication, training and support: Agent hereby acknowledges and agrees that Broker’s supervision, and communication, does not include phone, or one-on-one support, but rather electronic support through emails and other electronic means.
The Broker, at Broker’s discretion only, shall determine to initiate one-on-one or phone contact with Agent. Agent understands and accepts that electronic communication may not be as direct as phone, or one-on-one contact, and accepts possible delays in Broker’s response.
Agent accepts to search the "Independent Contractor Agreement & Office Policy", "Training Materials", "Form Library" and "Knowledge Base" sections on the provided Online Back Office before contacting the Broker. Agent shall follow the mandatory training on the website before contacting Broker, and search the Q&A database before directing questions to Broker.
Agent shall contact the attorney in charge of a transaction while in a transaction, rather than contacting the Broker, as it is our intention to place Agent and customers under attorney’s legal authority and liability during the course of a transaction to better protect the customers and Agent.
Agent shall keep a fully functioning email address, and accepts that the email address communicated at time of registration is to be the primary mean of communication with Broker. Agent must inform Broker of any change of email with 24 hours. Broker is not responsible if communication is not received properly due to Agent’s email not functioning, or for any other reason.
G. Updated information and communication: Agent hereby acknowledges and agrees to maintain up-to-date records and contact information with the State of Florida and the Broker, including, but not limited to, phone number, email address, and physical address.
Broker is not responsible for financial loss, or cost of replacement, in case of Broker’s change of address. Agent may have to modify, change or replace all print, marketing documents and all documents, where Broker’s address is mentioned, at Agent’s sole cost. (Note: It is strongly encouraged that the Agent not mention the Broker’s physical address on marketing documents, but rather only the Broker’s website and phone number).
H. Escrow and monies: Agent hereby acknowledges and agrees that the Broker will not have an escrow account, and will not offer escrow facilities for Agent’s customers, under any circumstance. Therefore, Agent agrees not to collect any monies in Agent’s name, or in the Broker’s name. Any monies related to any type of transaction are to be payable and held in the escrow account of a Licensed Title Company, or in the Trust Account of a Florida Licensed Attorney at Law. Customer’s checks, or wire transfer, should be made payable, and given not later than the next business day, directly to the Title Company, or the Attorney in charge of the transaction.
I. Support and Facilities: Agent hereby acknowledges and agrees that the Broker has no obligation to offer or maintain facilities (other than the one required by Chapter 475), working space, conference room, assistant, marketing or any other support, for the Agent, including but not limited to, email with office domain name, printer, fax machine, desk, phone. Agent shall rely solely on the Agent’s own resources, tools, workspace, and technical support of any kind, even when related to a current transaction. In the event of visiting the office, Agent will need to make an appointment with Broker before visiting the office. No office visit without prior appointment will be honored. Agent hereby understands and accepts these limitations.
J. Prohibited activities: Agent acknowledges and agrees that the following are strictly prohibited without exceptions: all property management services, construction, remodeling or repair work for customers, short-term rentals or vacation rentals. Agent shall not operate or manage properties for others in any case. Agent shall not collect any monies for a third party, in regards to property management, and will not manage any property vacant or occupied, or act on behalf of any property owner, regarding compensated or non-compensated property management services. Agent shall not conduct any work, remodeling, repair of any kind on behalf of the owner of a property. Agent shall not ask for advance money from a customer, and shall not advance money in regards to a real estate transaction, or property. Agent acknowledges and agrees that this is violation to the Broker’s office policy, and the Broker may terminate Agent’s relationship with the Broker, at the Broker’s discretion. Should the Agent advance monies to a customer and violate the present Agreement, Agent will not ask Broker to withhold monies from customer, or ask closing agent to do so.
Agent must conduct the renting, selling, or managing of their own real estate property independently and not use our office or be affiliated with our brokerage if there is no commission paid or advertised. Since there is no commission involved, the Broker will not participate in the transaction. The Agent should not identify themselves as a salesperson for the Broker during any personal transactions that do not involve commission payments. However, the Agent must disclose their real estate license to their buyer or tenant as required by law, but should not mention the Broker's office name in any documents or business cards related to these transactions. In case of any issues related to such transactions, the Broker will not be involved or provide any support.
K. Indemnification: Agent hereby acknowledges and agrees to hold the Broker and the Firm, and all of its associates, partners, directors and employees, harmless from all claims, cost, expenses, lawsuits, including all fees and/or whatever the nature. That includes, but is not limited to, acts of negligence, misrepresentation, misconduct, non-respect of the present Agreement, or the present office policy, violation of any law, rule, code, local, state or Federal.
L. Legal forms: Agent hereby acknowledges and agrees not to use any type of legal binding forms, or any other forms, excepts for the ones offered in the Form Library of Broker’s "Online Back Office". If a client is represented by a real estate attorney, Agent shall transfer the offer the same day, to the buyer or seller’s attorney for review. Agent shall not offer advise, lecture or opine on an offer, and will work only under the close supervision of the customer’s attorney. Agents shall always forward any legally binding document(s) concerning Agent’s customer to the Florida Licensed Attorney in charge, and will not return an executed binding document to the other party unless it has been fully reviewed and approved by the customer’s attorney. Agent shall keep an up to date electronic folder in the "Online Back Office". provided by the Broker. Agent shall have to create a new folder for each new customer, and keep this folder accessible and updated at all times, to permit Broker to review it at any time. Details will be in the training section of Agent’s profile. In order to ensure compliance and timely processing, all executed documents must be uploaded to the "Online Back Office" using the transaction system within 48 hours of execution. Failure to do so may result in a Non-Compliance Fee of $100 imposed by Oakstrand Realty for any missing file, listing agreement, or contract that is 30 days past execution. This fee will be deducted from the Agent's commission disbursement in accordance with our compliance policies. Agent hereby acknowledges and agrees with this requirement.
M. Compensation: Broker is responsible to compensate the Agent, on a commission basis, per each referred transaction closed, and not by the hourly time or entire time spent working on said transaction. Agent shall receive 100% of the commission anytime a referred transaction is closed and the Broker receives monies and once any outstanding balance for dues, charges or fees to Oakstrand Realty are brought up to date. Agent shall arrange the Agent’s commission, to be disbursed directly by the Closing Agent directly at the closing, and will inform and supply the Broker of the executed contract, along with the transaction sheet sent to Broker the day a contract is executed. Should the Closing Agent not authorize to pay the Agent at closing, Agent shall receive the commission check, or wire, minus any bank fees, within ten (10) business days from the day the brokerage commission payment has been received and cleared by the bank. Clearance means that the funds are available to the Broker, including possible withholding of the funds by Broker’s bank, that the Agent accepts. Broker will withhold commission payment to the Agent, or will ask Closing Agent to do so, until all documents regarding the transaction are in the Broker’s hands, or electronically accessible and reviewed, to ensure compliance with Florida Law and Chapter 475.
If the Agent decides to pay-out part of Agents’ commission to a party involved in the transaction, as determined by Chapter 475, the amount of shared commission will be calculated from the Agent’s commission. Only the Broker can order payment, or pay the third party, in respect to Chapter 475. Broker will not co-operate with any “commission advance” program, service or companies.
Agent’s Buying or Renting own property: Since a commission will be paid, or is advertised by a third party to be paid, Broker must be involved and Agent may not elect to purchase or rent a property without disclosing and acting as a salesperson for the Brokerage.
Agent will not ask for part or the entire commission to be applied towards the purchase price. This is a violation of Chapter 475, since the commission belongs to the brokerage and not to the sales associate. Any part of the commission used in any ways without Broker’s consent will be considered a violation of Chapter 475, and Broker will actively pursue it.
If a property is advertised with a commission to be paid, and is finally purchased or leased by Agent or if Agent is associated in the transaction or has financial interest in the transaction and the amount of the advertised commission does not appear on the HUD, it is considered that the commission has been illegally and without Broker’s consent applied directly towards the purchased price. It is exactly as if the salesperson has been paid directly by the selling broker.
Agent can’t reduce the amount of a commission without Broker’s consent. The advertised commission to be paid belongs to Broker. Agent will seek Broker’s approval to negotiate the amount of the commission. Should any monies were to be given back to any parties involved in the transaction, it has to be done by the brokerage only, or by the closing agent with the Broker’s authorization.
If Broker finds out that Agent has purchased a property or has an interest in the purchase of a property, where part or the entire advertised commission amount has been applied towards the purchase price without broker’s approval, Broker may have to report this violation to the Florida DBPR, and will pursue the selling broker and the Agent, in payment of the entire amount of the commission plus legal and attorney’s fees.
In respect with Florida Law, Agent will select one the following options when Agent is also party of the transaction and when the payment of a commission is advertised or involved:
N. Compliance: Agent hereby acknowledges and agrees to maintain, as directed by Broker, a “cloud” filing system (hosted by the internet service chosen by the broker), so that the Broker may, at any time, without notification, look, search and review, the Agent’s “shared” cloud folders and access Agent’s files. Broker will make reasonable effort to provide a free cloud service to Agent. Agent will maintain in real time all his real estate files on the cloud, as directed by the Broker on the training section of the website.
O. Legal action against third parties: Agent hereby acknowledges and agrees that the Broker has no obligation to sue any third party to collect unpaid dues or commission to the agent. If Broker decides to sue, all fees spent to collect such commission will be deducted before payment of the Agent’s commission. If the Broker decides not to sue a third party, the Agent will not sue the Broker for damages or any other type of compensation.
Broker may refuse to sign any form or contract, including but not limited to “Developer’s Broker registration form”, “Co-Brokerage Agreement” or any other document that may not be to the best interest of the Broker or may harm the Broker with legal or harsh financial consequences, in case of breach of contract. Agent accepts this prerogative from Broker and will not pursue by any venues the refusal from Broker to sign such a contract.
P. Errors & Omissions Insurance: On the event of a claim, Agent shall be responsible for the deductible amount ($5,000) as specified on the provided insurance. Agent shall immediately notify Broker of any circumstances likely to give rise to any kind of claim or complaint against Agent and/or Broker. In the event of a claim, lawsuit, license complaint or Arbitration demand which is not wholly covered by insurance, Broker may withhold from Agents’ commissions payable, an amount adequate to satisfy any amounts not covered, which Broker shall place in its Claims and Disputes Retention Account, pending settlement or other disposition of the matter. Broker may, in Broker's sole discretion, apply such sums as necessary to settle or to satisfy any such claim or award, and Agents agrees to cooperate fully in this regard. Agent understands that, from time to time, the Broker may deem it necessary to obtain legal consultation concerning one of Agents transactions, Agent agrees to reimburse and indemnify Broker for any Attorney's fee reasonably incurred by Broker to obtain legal advice concerning such transactions(s).
Q. Fees: Agent will pay a reoccurring administration fee of $60 annually to keep their license active with the brokerage. The agent shall earn 100% of any commission earned less a transaction fee for each successfully completed transaction. A transaction fee of 0.2% of the final sales price is to be paid to Broker with each sales transaction. For purposes of this Agreement, the phrase "sales transaction" shall be defined as the recording of the deed following the sale of real estate, where a commission is paid to Broker as a result of the efforts of Agent. A transaction fee of $100 shall be remitted to the Broker upon the completion of any of the following actions: the execution of a lease, a referral to another Oakstrand Realty agent, or a referral outside our established service area, which results in the payment of a commission to the Broker due to the Agent's efforts. In the event that a referral agreement is made with another brokerage for a client seeking to complete a transaction within our service area, a transaction fee of $250 shall be applicable. For the purpose of this clause, the service area is defined as the geographical region where Oakstrand Realty has an active agent providing real estate services for referrals at the time of the referral agreement. Agent agrees that Broker has the right to hold and/or apply any commissions owing to Agent, as may be necessary to pay for or secure any obligations of Agent hereunder.
Agent hereby acknowledges and agrees to accept that any reoccurring administration fee is only to permit the Agent to have an active license and have the legal right to work according to Chapter 475. Any other tools, training, support, or resources are not mandatory for the Broker, and are offered only on a complimentary basis with no obligation from the Broker. Once the Agent’s License has been activated, transferred or renewed with the Broker, the administration fee is not refundable under any circumstances. Any change of the Agent’s license status, may require a new electronic registration on the Broker’s website, with payment of the administration fee in full for the Agent’s license, to be active again with the Broker. The administrative fee will be renewed automatically, unless requested by the Agent in writing at least ten (10) business days in advance or cancelled through the online back office's "Manage Account" section prior to the renewal date. When payment for the reoccurring administration fee has been processed, the payment becomes non-refundable. The non-payment of the administrative fee may automatically change the status of the Agent’s license to inactive. It is the Agent’s responsibility to verify that administration fee payment has been made. The Broker has no obligation to inform the Agent that payment is due, or that payment has not been made, or that Agent’s license has been changed to inactive status, due to non-payment of the administration fee. The Broker can change the administration fee fourteen (14) days before administration fee payment is due by Agent, however, the Broker must inform and get approval from the Agent if the amount was to be changed.
R. Brokerage business model: If the Agent needs day-to-day supervision, regular phone support, one-on-one training, physical supervision, access to physical facilities, offices, conference room, computer, or regular access to the MLS, the Broker is not the most suitable brokerage for Agent. The Broker will provide supervision and conform to Broker’s supervision as defined in Chapter 475, however, the Agent needs to demonstrate a certain degree of independence and accept the Broker’s specific means of communication, and address any questions or legal situations primarily to the Florida Licensed Attorney representing the Agent’s customer.
S. Termination: This Agreement is valid and stays in force as long as the Agent has an active license with the Broker. This agreement terminates automatically when Agent’s License changes status, whatever the reason, or if the Broker has no more broker of records and/or terminates its activity. In that case, no reimbursement of any fee is due by the Broker, and the Broker will give no financial gain or any type of compensation to the Agent.
T. Protection of Contractor’s Listings and Contracts: In the event that the Agent decides to terminate their contractual relationship with the Broker for any reason, all listings acquired by the Contractor during the term of this Agreement shall be withdrawn and transferred to the Contractor's new brokerage. This transfer shall be made without penalty, provided that any outstanding balance for fees owed to Oakstrand Realty has been brought up to date.
In the event of any pending sales, they shall be referred to the Contractor's new brokerage with a referral fee that matches the transaction fee payable to the "Broker". If no referral takes place, Oakstrand Realty shall reassign the pending sale to another agent at the Broker's discretion, who will represent the client and brokerage for the remaining duration of the transaction. In this case, the commission split will be 50/50 of the commission balance after deducting the transaction fee.
U. Changes to Fee Plan: Agent understands that Oakstrand Realty may offer alternative plans to agents that have different recurring charges, transaction fees, or commission structures. The Agent may choose to switch from their current plan to a different plan offering by giving written notice to the Broker before the first day of any month. The new plan will take effect on the first day of the following month. The Agent may only make this election once every 12 months.
V. Broker's Marketing Authorization: The Agent gives permission for the Broker to use their name, photograph, and/or closing information for promotional, email, and marketing purposes unless the company receives a written request from the Agent to opt-out.
W. Do Not Call: The Agent is not allowed to solicit individuals on the Do Not Call list, and it is the Agent's responsibility to verify all phone numbers against the list.
X. Changes to this Agreement: From time to time, we may change this Agreement. We will provide you with thirty (30) calendar days notice of material changes via an announcement in the online back office, or via an e-mail to your registered e-mail address or any other email address you provide. It is your responsibility to check for any such notices. Your continued registration and license with an active status with our brokerage after the effective date of the change constitutes your acceptance of such changes.
Broker and Agent acknowledge electronic receipt and copy of this agreement and accept electronic signature of the present document effective at the time of online registration.
When you sign up for our service, we will ask you to provide contact information such as your name, address, telephone numbers, e-mail addresses, and payment information such as credit card number and expiration date.
We may ask you to complete user surveys, and to provide certain demographic information, such as age, gender, special interests, etc. You do not have to provide this type of information to use our service if you do not want to.
If you contact us for customer support, we may also ask you for information about your operating system, software and other technical matters.
When you visit our Web site we will capture your IP Address, time of and duration of visit, and time and duration of the pages on our Web site that you view. We may tie this information to the personally identifiable information we have about you.
We will also place a cookie that will identify you to us as a repeat visitor or a customer when you visit our Web site. See "What is a Cookie" below. We may tie this cookie to the personally identifiable information we have about you. [If we send you an e-mail, we may include a marker that will allow to identify e-mail that is opened and viewed.
We will use your personally identifiable information only as follows:
1. For payment purposes and to provide customer support;
2. To announce special offers or provide other information from time to time via e-mail. We may also send e-mail announcing special offers by our third parties, but we will not provide the third parties with your e-mail address or other personally identifiable information. If you do not wish to receive these e-mails, you may opt out of future e-mails at any time by following the instructions included in the e-mail.
3. To improve our service and the marketing of our service. For example, we may use the information we gather from user surveys, demographic data, and web site visits to help us improve or target our Web site and customize your visit. We will not provide any personally identifiable information about you to any other person other than: A) a law enforcement or regulatory agency at their request; B) a person or company who acquires our business; C) third parties who perform services on our behalf (such as payment processing), subject to the third party agreeing with us that it will keep your personally dentifiable information confidential; or As otherwise needed to protect or enforce or rights or the rights of others.
We absolutely do not transfer or sell your information for inclusion on third party e-mail or other marketing lists.
We may share aggregate statistical data about our customers with third parties, such as advertisers or suppliers. This aggregate statistical data will not identify you personally.
A "cookie" is an alphanumeric identifier that is unique to your browser. The cookie will identify your browser to us when you visit our web site so that we may customize your visit.
Our service is not available to children under the age of 13, and we will not intentionally maintain information about anyone under the age of 13.