PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY
Subject of Possible Rule Making: Handling of earnest money in real estate transactions. Will amend WAC 308-124C-010 Licensee's responsibilities, 308-124C-020 Required records, and 308-124E-013(4) Administration of funds held in trust.
Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: RCW 18.85.040(1).
Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: In recent years, the real estate industry has allowed for buyers and sellers to negotiate an earnest money which could be delivered by any designated person to a third party other than the broker. These earnest moneys have sometimes not been delivered, receipts have not been obtained, and the third party holders (such as escrow and title companies) have not responded to demands for refund or forfeiture in the way a real estate broker is required to respond. The proposed rule amendments would require that real estate licensees obtain receipts for earnest money, deliver all receipts to brokers, and disclose to consumers the risks in depositing earnest money with third party holders.
Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: None.
Process for Developing New Rule: Negotiated rule making; and agency study.
Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication by contacting Jana L. Jones, Real Estate Program, Department of Licensing, P.O. Box 9015, Olympia, WA 98507-9015, phone (360) 664-6524, fax (360) 586-0998.
April 10, 2003
Jana L. Jones