What Is a Real Estate Agent?
Real estate agencies or brokers usually collect certain documents from the client before closing the deal. These documents usually include the full name and address of the client, the full names and addresses of the parties involved in the transaction, the full text of the contract (both verbally and physically), names and dates of any payments or debits made, names and dates of commissions or other payments received, the names and addresses of any co-borrower or any other third party, the full names and addresses of all insurance companies which might be liable for or involved in the transaction, and the full names and addresses of any guarantors. These documents are referred to as “disclosures or disclosure statements.” The disclosures or disclosure statements may also include an Offer to Purchase or an Auction draft which is executed on behalf of the principal.
In a typical real estate agency, the principal and/or the agents, on behalf of the principal generally, act as fiduciaries to buyers and sellers. Under the law, these agents and professionals have a duty of loyalty to both the principal and to buyers who enlist their services. This means that they must act in the best interests of the principal and the buyers in order to act in the best interests of both. In many states, these professionals also have a legal duty to undertake reasonable acts in furtherance of their clients interest. In essence, these professionals are obliged to protect the interests of the clients and ensure that the principal’s legal and financial interests are protected from any unexpected loss. If you are looking for more tips, check out our Ontario office.
For instance, a real estate agency might have a record of having sold or bought lots of homes in areas where the demand for housing is high, and yet in those areas the real estate industry is experiencing low sales activity. The sellers would not likely to list their properties, for fear of being taken for an unfair advantage. This is why the documentations that these professional agencies keep meticulously track of are so important. If these records were lost, or if the real estate agency or professionals involved somehow tampered with or misrepresented the information contained therein, the integrity of the sale could be severely damaged. For these reasons it is vitally important that sellers and buyers fully understand the documentations that their respective real estate agents require them to create and maintain.