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Agents Responsibilities towards YOU!- Duty of Disclosure 6 of 6

This article is a 6 part series breaking down an agents fiduciary relationship with his or her client.

An agent has certain responsibilities owed to his/her client that must be followed by law. Consider these responsibilities, or “fiduciary duties”, as the agents constitution and your bill of rights. An agents fiduciary duties encompass:  the duties of care, confidentiality, loyalty, obedience, accounting, and disclosure.

Our last topic of focus will be the duty of disclosure.

It is the agents responsibility to present all relevant information to his client that could affect his their decisions, even if the client doesn’t know enough to ask for it (but your a passenger of so you are well versed in the industry of real estate.) In most cases, the agent could be held liable for damages for failing to disclose such information.

Some examples of information pertaining to the duty of disclosure:

  • existence of other offers- all offers must be reported to the client immediately until the sale is closed.
  • buyer’s financial position- the selling agent must report any negative info learned about the buyer at once. In respective turn, the buyers broker must attempt to keep his buyer’s financial condition confidential unless it would violate the agents duty to conduct business honestly.
  • commission split- a listing agent must provide the seller with any fee-sharing arrangements with cooperating brokers.
  • value of property- an agent should provide their true educated opinion and in no way inflate the price to acquire a listing or aim for a higher commission.
  • any provisions in the contract- an agent is required to explain any provisions. If client seeks more than a simple explanation the agent is required to direct their client to seek professional legal council.
  • property deficiencies- an agent must disclose all property deficiences or financing issues that would prevent them from conducting business honestly.

Agents are expected to respect all of these fiduciary duties. If they are in breath of any of their duties they may be subject to an assortment of penalties such as loss of commission or even loss of their license.

It’s important to familiarize yourself with these fiduciary responsibilites when dealing with agents.  It will only make your experience safer and smoother.

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