The Listing Agreement: All Realtor agency agreements must have definitive expiration dates

It is a violation of Ohio license law, and likely will void Ohio Realtor agency agreements, to fail to include in such instruments a firm expiration date.  There is no limitation as to how long the term of such agreements must be, but simply that they must expire on a date certain.

O.R.C. Section 4535.18(A)(28) provides that it is a violation of Ohio license law for:

Having failed to put definite expiration dates in all written agency agreements to which the broker is a party.

For purposes of this section, an “agency agreement” should be considered any listing agreement (whether for sale or lease and whether exclusive agency agreement or exclusive right to sell/lease), any property management agreement, and any contract for buyer representation.

Our attorneys once handled a case for a client under which he had entered into a settlement agreement with a client upon the early termination by the owner of a listing agreement. As a compromise, the Realtor agreed with the owner that whenever the owner decided to again place the house not he market, it would be with the subject Realtor.  The problem was that the Realtor did not list a definite expiration of the right to list, and thus, arguably, the agreement violated the referenced code section.

So, on standard listing agreements and non-customary agreements to list property for sale or lease, all must have definite expiration dates in them.


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