When you hire a Realtor he or she is required to meet their fiduciary duties to you. What this means is that the Realtor holds a legal and ethical relationship of trust with you and, in simple terms, defines how a Realtor must work on behalf of a client.
Tampa Realtor Sandy Ernst has extensive experience helping home buyers and sellers throughout the Tampa Bay area and explains below the primary requirements that a Realtor has to you as a fiduciary.
According to The National Association of Realtors (NAR), which oversees licensing of Realtor across the nation, there are six primary duties of a real estate fiduciary. They are:
- Reasonable care
Accounting: Under this defined fiduciary duty your Realtor is required to account for all documents and funds related to your transaction including a detailed reporting of all the pertinent documents and financials.
Disclosure: This means that your Realtor is obligated to disclose all relevant and material information that he or she knows of to you. Material facts, for example, are those that if known by the seller or buyer may have caused them to change their minds during the transaction.
Loyalty: Simply put, this means that your real estate agent should always be working with your, and your alone, best interests as the focus. This duty of loyalty prohibits him or her from accepting employment from any person whose interests compete with yours as the buyer or seller. Take, for example, if a Realtor purchases a property listed with his or her company then immediately sells it for a profit.
Confidentiality: Your Realtor must keep your information confidential which includes anything that might impact your bargaining position during the transaction. If your Realtor tells the other party that you need to sell quickly, for example, that would be a breach of your Realtor’s confidentiality duty. But this duty does not include an agent disclosing material facts concerning the condition of a property. To do so would be a misrepresentation of pertinent facts.
Obedience: This is what you think it is – your Realtor must obey your instructions – as long as they are legal and in accordance with your contract.
Reasonable Care and Diligence: This duty is a bit less specifically defined. The NAR defines Reasonable Care as a “duty to use his superior skill and knowledge while pursuing his principal’s affairs. This duty includes an obligation to affirmatively discover facts relating to his principal’s affairs that a reasonable and prudent real estate broker would be expected to investigate.” Basically, it’s the same standard of performance you would hold your doctor to.
Questions? Sandy is Ready to Help
If you have questions about any issues surrounding the listing, sale or purchase of a Tampa area home give Sandy a call for the direct answers you need.