The National Association of Realtors (NAR), is a trade association of real estate professionals. It has a code of ethics, first adopted in 1913, and was one of the first codifications of ethical duties adopted by any business group.
The code ensures that consumers are best served when NAR members co-operate with each other to further clients’ best interests.
The leadership of the NAR has devised the code and it is frequently revised and updated.
It is not the result of any legislation, nor subject to approval by any legislative body.
An escrow dispute occurs when there are conflicting demands regarding the disbursement of escrow funds
In the event of an escrow dispute, the broker must:
- notify the FREC within 15 business days of receiving the conflicting demand
- choose one of the four settlement procedures within 30 days of receiving the conflicting demand
A business day is a normal working day
Weekends and legal holiday are not considered normal working days
An escrow account is an account maintained for the deposit of money being held in trust for others
It is not uncommon for a broker to collect a deposit from a buyer when preparing a purchase contract; the deposit does not belong to the broker, but is being held in trust for the buyer until the contract is accepted or rejected by the seller
In this case, the deposit must be placed in an escrow account
To commingle (sometimes known as intermingling) is to mix funds belonging to a broker with those of other parties such as buyers, sellers, tenants or landlords
Funds belonging to the other parties are held in trust and must be kept in a separate escrow account
Commingling/intermingling is an illegal practice
An escrow account can be held at a:
- Commercial bank
- Savings association
- Credit Union
The institution where the escrow account is held must be in the State of Florida
The account can be interest-bearing or non interest-bearing
If the account is interest-bearing, all interested parties must agree in writing who shall receive the interest earned
A broker who receives an earnest money deposit must place the funds in an escrow account no later than the end of the third business day after a sales associate or other employee of the company received it
If the broker chooses not to operate an escrow account the funds must be deposited in an attorney’s trust account or with a title company