INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR AGREEMENT - GEORGIA - BLUE
LoKation® Real Estate LLC and its affiliated company LoKation® Referral LLC (Non-Board Affiliated) herein dually known as LoKation® and herein identified as “Broker” are licensed as qualifying real estate brokers in the State of Georgia and perform acts designated by the Georgia Real Estate Commission, enjoys goodwill and a reputation for dealing with the public, and maintains an office for the purpose of serving the public as a real estate broker.
Effective upon your acceptance of this agreement and all necessary documents and/or information has been received by LoKation®; you as the “Sales Associate” or “Agent” or “Associate” become an Independent Contractor for LoKation®. If you elect to have no Realtor Board or Realtor Association affiliation you will automatically be an associate of LoKation® Referral, LLC dba LoKation® and will not be required to have any Realtor board or association affiliation.
- Obligations of Associate
- Associate will use his/ her best efforts to procure real estate-related business for Broker and will conduct his/her business in a reputable manner and in conformance with all laws, rules, regulations and codes of ethics that are binding upon or applicable to real estate licensees, and with Broker’s office policy manual and Independent contractor agreement herein.
- Employment Status. Broker (LoKation®) retains Associate as an independent contractor to assist Broker in the performance of real estate-related activities. With respect to the clients and customers for whom service is performed within the scope of this Agreement, Associate will be construed to be an agent of Broker; otherwise, Associate will not be deemed a servant, employee, joint venture or partner of Broker for any purpose. Associate will not be treated as an employee for Federal tax purposes with respect to the services performed for Broker under this Agreement. Associate is responsible for paying his/her own estimated income tax payments, self-employment taxes, occupational taxes and other taxes, if any, to the appropriate governmental entities. Associate is responsible for all of their own business expenses including but not limited to licensing fees, Realtor association dues, etc. Broker will not withhold any taxes from compensation due to Associate, nor will Broker provide worker’s compensation insurance for Associate.
- Compliance. Associate recognizes and acknowledges the obligation to keep abreast of all legal and other issues that affect the real estate industry as they may change from time to time. Associate will not commit any act that violates Georgia real estate license law. Associate agrees to not market real estate services and/or recruiting of other Associate's in the State of Hawaii.
- License Renewal; Continuing Education; Dues. Associate will be responsible for timely renewing Associate’s real estate license and for completing all legally required continuing education in a timely manner and maintaining the records that evidence such completion as required by the Georgia Real Estate Commission. Associate will be responsible for paying all license fees, membership dues and fines.
- Broker Property. Associate acknowledges that all commissions, pending sales and listings taken during the term of this Agreement are Broker’s property. All programs, forms, data, keys, manuals, signs and other paraphernalia relative to the business of Broker are Broker’s property, as are all documents and other items pertaining to transactions. Upon effective cancellation of this agreement, Associate may request to transfer his/her listings to another Broker and the request will be granted if the sellers agree and permits the transfer in writing.
- Property of Others. In accordance with Georgia law, Associate will deliver to Broker by the end of the next business day following receipt any funds or other items that a consumer has entrusted to Associate in connection with a real estate transaction.
- Associate permits the Broker to use Associate’s name, testimonial, picture, recorded voice, or description in its training materials, advertising and/or other publications.
- Obligations of Company
- Broker Supervision. Associate will be deemed to be working under Broker’s supervision only to the extent required by the Georgia Real Estate Commission. Associate will perform all activities, including those activities Broker requires Associate to perform, independently without Broker’s supervision or control. Associate agrees to perform duties only in which they are licensed for within the scope as permitted in the State in which they are licensed. Further, Associate understands that providing any tax, mortgage/lending, and/or legal advice etc. would be considered outside of the scope of licensure and would be subject to termination of this Agreement.
- Broker will not be liable to associate for any expenses incurred by Associate nor for any of Associate’s acts. Associate will have no authority to bind Broker by any promise or representation, oral or otherwise, unless specifically authorized in writing in a particular transaction. Suits, whether for fees or otherwise, against clients, customers and others in the real estate business will be maintained only in Broker’s name. Associate is responsible for providing all tools necessary to perform the duties outlined. Associate will also be responsible for providing Associate’s own automobile and is responsible for transportation expenses including insurance in the minimum coverage amount of what is required by the state of Georgia. Broker will be named as an additional insured in all such policies.
- Broker Responsibilities. Broker will negotiate all terms and conditions of fees charged to clients including but not limited to, the amount and payment date of commissions and fees. Broker will compensate Associate in proportion to Associate’s output with regard to real estate-related activities and not to hours worked by Associate. Such compensation will be solely through commissions as described below. In the event of conflict between Broker’s office policy manual and this Agreement, the terms of the office policy manual will prevail. Broker may deduct from Associate’s compensation any amounts due from Associate to Broker. When Associate performs any Brokerage service for Broker and Broker earns and collects a fee for such service, Broker will pay Associate within 3 days after the funds are collected and have cleared the companies banking institution.
- Benefits. Associate will be provided no minimum salary, vacation pay, sick leave or any other fringe benefit.
- Fees and Commissions
- Commissions and Fees. Associate will receive 100% of the earned commission minus $99.00 fee per commission per side and/or any past due invoices or expenses. In order to receive 100% of an earned commission, Associate agrees to pay by credit card $99 per month, every month beginning the day the Associate joined. The recurring payments will be debited on the same day the following months until the Broker or Associate terminates this agreement. Payments will be made promptly to associate only after the Broker has received a complete rental/sale file. If a party to the transaction or Listing Broker offers a premium, bonus, additional commission or other incentive, if such premium, incentive or bonus is in the form of money over $198, the bonus will be considered a separate commission and an additional $99 fee will be deducted from the commission. If the Associate is not current on their monthly dues the past due amount will be subtracted from any earned commission. Monthly fees are considered past due 5 days after due date each month if payment has not been received by Broker. It is the associate’s sole responsibility to ensure all payments are made in a timely manner and immediately report to the broker if a problem exists with the associate’s monthly payment method. There is no late fee or charge for the associate’s first late payment, however if it becomes habitual or occurs more than once broker will charge an additional $99 for late fees and charges for each late payment to cover administrative expenses.
- Compliance Fee. There is a quarterly Compliance Fee of $25 automatically billed to the Credit Card on file each quarter on the 15th of January, April, July, and October. If a billing date is within 30 days of the date of registration, Associate fee for that quarter will be waived.
- Abandoned Commissions. All commissions must be deposited or turned into the office immediately after closing (<72 hrs.). Any commission that has been received and goes unclaimed or is left as an incomplete file for a period of more than 30 days will be subject to a 10% administrative fee in addition to the standard transaction fee. If the commission remains unclaimed after 60 days, Broker will retain 50% of the value of the commission for administrative costs. If the commission remains unclaimed for more than 90 days, Broker may retain all of the commission. Associates subject to this provision will be given an opportunity for a one-time waiver and sign an acknowledgement form understanding this policy will be enforced for any violation thereon.
- Transaction/Processing Fees. In the event, Associate charges their client(s) a Broker Transaction Fee or Processing Fee or any other fee deemed as a processing fee in Broker’s sole discretion, Associate will be charged an additional fee based on their plan with the Broker. Blue Plan Agents will be charged an additional transaction fee for any amount charged over $198. Silver Plan Agents will be charged 50% of the difference or such fee and the transaction fee of their plan with Broker.
- Collection of Fees. Broker will not be required to prosecute or sue any party in order to collect any fee for services performed by Associate. However, if Broker incurs attorney’s fees and costs in the collection of or attempt to collect a fee, such amounts will be deducted from Associate’s commission in the same proportion as provided for herein in the division of the fee. Broker reserves the right to charge credit card or debit card on file when payments are due.
- Commission Disputes. LoKation® can retain up to fifty percent (50%) of any disputed commission that requires corporate, Managing Broker, or management intervention to receive such commission. This includes but is not limited to disputes with other brokerages, buyers, sellers, developers, boards, etc. Agent agrees to reimburse LoKation® up to $250 per hour to reimburse for any and all legal fees incurred or requested in regards to the agent’s disputed matter for legal counseling or advice review at the discretion of LoKation® Partners, Managing Broker or staff. Broker shall have the sole and final authority to decide (1) whether or not to pursue the collection of a disputed commission and (2) all questions regarding the entitlement to a commission between Associate and any other Associate.
- Commission Plan Changes. Agents are permitted to change commission plans within 30 days of affiliating at no cost. If an Agent moves from one commission plan to another commission plan, the Agent must close all existing/pending transactions under the current plan.
- Advance Payments. Associate has the option to pay any and/or all fees due from Associate to Broker in an annual prepayment basis. Broker will give a 5% discount on any annual fee paid
upfront by Associate that is due to LoKation®. All prepaid fees are non-refundable.
- Terms of Termination. Associates may cancel this agreement at any time by providing a notice via email. A Manager of the company must acknowledge receipt of such cancellation and your automatic billing will be canceled after your next payment has been deducted (making the contract a 30-day term). Failure by either party to maintain active licensure status pursuant to the Georgia Real Estate Commission, will be deemed automatic termination. Additionally, Broker may terminate this Agreement without notice at its sole discretion or for wrongful conduct by Associate. Associate will not, after termination of this Agreement, use to his/her own advantage, or to the advantage of any other person or entity, any information gained from the business of the Broker relating to property for sale, lease or rental, or Broker’s customers or clients. Upon termination of this Agreement, Associate will return all Brokers’ property to Broker with no copies made or retained by Associate.
- Compensation after Termination of Agreement. After termination of this Agreement, Broker will pay Associate any amount earned prior to termination less amounts owed to Broker and amounts Broker must pay another licensee to complete pending transactions for which Associate was responsible prior to termination.
- FMLS Listings After Termination. For those Associates using FMLS, the Associate will need to submit the corresponding FMLS Form for Listing Transfer to the Broker for execution and approval.
- Other Provisions
- Association Affiliation. All Associates licensed under LoKation® Real Estate LLC (Not LoKation® Real Estate Referral LLC) are required to join a Local Board of Realtors.
- Georgia MLS (GAMLS). Agents can elect to have access to the Georgia MLS (GAMLS) for $25 a month, which is added to the Associate’s monthly fees. Access to the GAMLS is optional for all Associates. Only Realtor Associates may elect to add access to the GAMLS at any time for a minimum of at least 6 months. Associate is responsible for any/all fees imposed by the GAMLS including but not limited to withdrawal fees.
- First MLS (FMLS): Associate is responsible for all fees charged by FMLS (.0012 of the sales price of each FMLS transaction). Any fines, additional fees, withdrawal fees, listing fees and any other fee charged by FMLS is the responsibility of the Associate. Associate agrees to list all properties located in the compulsory listing area of FMLS in the FMLS system.
- Supra eKey. The Associate is responsible for the purchase and expenses associated with the SUPRA e-Key. Associates with a GAMLS sponsored SUPRA e-key who discontinue GAMLS membership must contact SUPRA to transfer the key to FMLS. SUPRA e-Keys may be obtained from the SUPRA offices (FMLS 404-843-3672 or GAMLS 770-493-9000). Security of the Supra e-Key is the sole responsibility of the Associate. Broker is not responsible for Supra e-key renewal notification, invoicing and/or renewals.
- Fair Housing. Broker and Broker’s companies support and practice Fair Housing principles. Associate has been advised that failure to comply with Fair Housing principles will result in appropriate disciplinary action and possible termination of this Agreement. Associate warrants and represents that it is Associate’s intent to attend Fair Housing instructional programs, keep current on developments in Fair Housing on National, State, County and City levels as it affects real estate marketing and sales, and comply with the Fair Housing laws and regulations. Associate understands this acknowledgment, warranty and representation and agrees to it voluntarily. This would include but not be limited to websites, advertisements, conversations and communications.
- Policy and Procedures Manual. In addition to this document, upon activation, Associate will receive a manual containing standard policies and procedure guidelines that associate agrees to comply with. Associate shall read and is encouraged to print a copy and agrees to comply with the manual and such modifications, addenda and changes as may be incorporated therein from time to time. An updated version of this manual is always made available to all agents through the Agent Dashboard on Broker’s website. *if in review you decide you’re unable to comply, a full cancellation will be allowed within 7 days.
- Indemnification. Associate will indemnify and hold LoKation®, broker, its officers, directors and employees harmless from all claims, demands, suits, costs and expenses, including reasonable attorneys’ fees at all levels, of whatever nature and description to the extent based on Associate’s representations; acts; omissions; negligence; willful misconduct; or violation of laws, rules, regulations, codes of ethics, this Agreement or office policy manual. All costs and obligations incurred by associate conducting his/her independent business shall be paid solely by the associate, who will hold Broker harmless from any and all costs and obligations throughout the term of this agreement and beyond termination should any claim, demand, suit, cost, or expense arise from the period of time associate was affiliated with LoKation®.
- Dividing Compensation with Other Licensees. If two or more associates participate in rendering a brokerage service to the public, or claim to have done so, Broker will determine, in Broker’s sole and absolute discretion, the amount of the fee due Associate. If such incentive is other than money (i.e., a cruise, trip, or other matter having economic value but not delivered in money), then such premium, bonus or incentive will go to Associate. If a non-monetary incentive goes to Associate, Broker will report the fair market value of the incentive as income to Associate, as Broker must collect and deliver the incentive to associate to preserve the respective legal positions of the parties.
- Errors and Omissions Insurance. Broker maintains Errors & Omissions insurance. We suggest that each Agent would secure their own E&O policy to protect their actions that do not pertain to the Broker's involvement. In the event a claim is filed with the Broker's policy, Associate understands that he/she is responsible for payment of the deductible amount for each claim on their behalf. The current deductible is $5000.00 and is subject to change without notice to Associates. Should any insurance claim arise as a result of Associate’s actions after the termination of this agreement, Associate understands they are responsible for any deductible and/or expense related to such claim. Each and every claim submitted by Agent, shall first be submitted to Broker. Broker in their sole and absolute discretion shall review the claim for merit prior to submitting any claim to its insurance underwriter. It is understood by Agent that not all claims submitted guarantee coverage for any losses that Agent may incur.
- Dual Agency and Two-Sided Transactions. LoKation® may permit dual agency if the Broker is notified in writing in advance and the request for dual agency is approved. Special scrutiny is applied to dual agency agreements to ensure that clients are well informed, treated equitably, and are operating in a transparent negotiation environment. However, instead of dual agency, the Company recommends that Associates assign buyers to designated agent for representation, (known as ‘designated agency’). Another option is to have buyers sign a customer agreement and designate them as unrepresented buyers, (known as a ‘two-sides” transaction). The Broker will charge the published transaction fee on both sides of a dual agency (when legally permitted) and two-sided transactions. For agents on split plans, the Broker will charge the published commission split on the second side for dual agency and two-sided transactions. Regular fees or splits apply to designated agent transactions.
- Payment to an Entity. LoKation’s default procedure is to pay Associate by name. The Georgia Real Estate Commission allows Brokers to pay commissions to an entity, however, the Associate must provide Broker with the following: (1) GAR Form CO-04 (or similar document) amending Agent’s independent contractor agreement; (2) Completed W9 for the Entity, (3) Acknowledgement that Entity is not an active real estate brokerage and (4) Entity must be in good standing with GA Department of Corporations.
- Contracts and Forms. REALTOR® members are permitted to use the GAR Forms at no additional fee. Agents choosing not to join a board may also use the GAR Forms if they pay GAR an annual licensing fee. Non-REALTOR Agents are entitled to use the free “RE forms” which are sponsored by FMLS and are commonly used.
- Confidentiality. Associate acknowledges that Broker may disclose confidential information to associate during the course of this Agreement. Any such information that is or should be reasonably understood to be confidential or proprietary to Broker, including mailing lists, customer and client lists, sales, costs, unpublished financial information, product and business plans, projections, marketing data, computer data, computer programs and supporting documentation, and Broker’s office policy manual are considered confidential property of Broker. Internet practices, marketing, online workplace, every feature, practice and function of www.joinlokation.com (and subdomains thereof) and www.lokationre.com and The Sphere, and any and all company websites are considered confidential information and practices of the broker. Associate will take reasonable steps and use due care during the term of this Agreement and for 60 months after its termination to prevent the duplication or disclosure of confidential information and practices.
- Real Estate Teams. Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary contained herein, if Associate works with or is a member of a team associated with the Broker, Associate shall enter into a written agreement with the team principal(s) and maintain with the Broker a current copy of the agreement. The team agreement must address among other things: (1) How Broker is to pay the Associate and the team its share of commission on real estate transactions involving the Associate; (2) How such payments will be affected if Associates are added to or leave the team or if the team stops operating; and (3) how the transaction fee or split commission should be allocated towards the applicable commission plans. Broker shall be the sole and final arbiter of any and all disputes arising between current and former team members regarding: (1) their entitlement to commissions; and (2) the meaning of any written agreement between team members dealing with questions of how Broker is to compensate current or former team members for their share of commissions earned.
- Dispute Resolution. This Agreement will be construed under Georgia law. All disputes between Associate and another associate in Broker’s firm will be resolved by Broker. All disputes between Broker and Associate will be mediated under the rules of the American Arbitration Association or other mediator agreed upon by the parties. The parties will equally divide the mediation fee, if any. In any litigation between Broker and Associate, the prevailing party will be entitled to recover reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs at all levels.
- Wire and Money Transfer. Associate is prohibited from providing, sharing, exchanging, instructing any form of wire transfer, money transfer, exchange of account information, or exchange of funds in any capacity for any and all transactions. All communication should be done directly between parties sending and/or receiving funds/information. Any Associate who is found to be providing such information will be in violation of this Agreement and hereby indemnifies Broker, its associates and its officers from any claim or dispute arising from such actions.
- Copyright. Associate is responsible for the content of all marketing, websites, print marketing, MLS Listings, etc. for the intellectual property and copyright protection of such images and content. Associates are forbidden from sourcing images and/or other content from Google, prior MLS Listings, or any other website or search engine that is not licensed, paid for, or approved to use in commercial marketing materials.
- Office Use and Keys. Our physical offices are available for use by all associates that have expressed consent from the broker. Keys and/or passwords to gain access to our offices may be granted upon request.
- Company computers are for work related use ONLY! No personal emails allowed. If you do not use a company email address you must open your emails from your own personal computer. LoKation® reserves the right to open, observe and research all email and Internet activity on company computers or emails. ABSOLUTELY NO BROWSING RANDOM WEBSITES OR OPENING PERSONAL EMAILS. In the event a virus infects the computer the responsible party will be required to resolve the problem.
- Conference Room Usage. The conference rooms are available on a first come first serve basis. You must contact an office staff member if you wish to reserve a conference room for a specific time.
- Escrow. LoKation® does NOT maintain an escrow account. All escrow services are provided by settlement agents identified in each purchase and sale agreement.
- Information/Verification: Associate agrees that the Broker shall have the right to perform credit, employment and other background investigations on Associate at any time the Broker deems useful, whether such investigation is conducted by the Broker or by an outside service or third party. Associate consents to such investigations and consents to the disclosure by any person or entity to the Broker of any financial, background or employment information conducted by the Broker or by any outside service or third party.
- Loss of Life. In the event of the death of an Associate, any purchase and sale agreements that are in due diligence or contingent status will immediately be reassigned to a successor Associate designated by the Company’s management, at its sole discretion.
- Modifications. Broker hereby retains the right, in its sole discretion, to adjust rules, requirements, dues & other fees or charges associated with this agreement with 30-days written or electronic notice.
- Property Management. LoKation® encourages its Associates to procure tenants for landlords and secure leases for tenants. However, the Broker does not support property management activity, prohibits Associates from engaging in property management activity on behalf of clients, and such activity is not covered under the Broker’s E&O policy. All Associates are permitted to manage their personally owned rental or investment properties.
- BROKER PRICE OPINIONS (BPOs): By accepting this agreement and conducting Broker Price Opinions, Associate acknowledges the below clause labeled, BROKER PRICE OPINIONS (BPOs). Associate agrees to turn any and all paperwork originated from conducting BPOs and the BPOs themselves into the office the day they are completed.
BROKER PRICE OPINIONS (BPOs): Associate agrees they are conducting BPOs at their own risk and it is not encouraged by LoKation® unless the Associate has been certified or trained by a state recognized institution for conducting Broker Price Opinions. Associate will indemnify and hold LoKation®, Broker, its officers, directors and employees harmless from all claims, demands, suits, costs and expenses, including reasonable attorneys’ fees at all levels, of whatever nature and description to the extent based on Associate’s representations; acts; omissions; negligence; willful misconduct; or violation of laws, rules, regulations, codes of ethics, any and all claims from Associate conducting Broker Price Opinions (BPOs). All costs and obligations incurred by associate conducting his/her independent business and/or the practice of Broker Price Opinions shall be paid solely by the associate, who will hold Broker harmless from any and all costs and obligations.
By accepting this agreement online during the registration process and signing electronically, you indicate you have read, understand and agree to be bound by this agreement. You also agree to the terms and conditions of the entire agreement with no modifications.
By accepting and signing this agreement electronically, I (Associate) hereby authorize LoKation® to charge the listed in your registration according to the terms outlined in this agreement. If the payment due falls on a weekend or a holiday, I understand that the payments may be executed on the following business day. I understand that this authorization will remain in effect until I provide a 30-day written cancellation request with acknowledged receipt from LoKation® and/or Manager for dba LoKation®. I understand my membership will be canceled after my last payment is due. I certify that I am an authorized user of this credit card and that I will not dispute the scheduled payments with my credit card company provided the transactions correspond to the terms indicated in this authorization form and independent contractor agreement document herein.