Tuesday’s post about the Concourse d’Elegance reminded me about the fiduciary duties that a REALTOR® has. You’re probably wondering what these two things can possibly have in common. Read on!
When you sign an agreement to have a REALTOR® act on your behalf as a Seller’s Agent or as a Buyer’s Agent, you establish what is known as an agency relationship. The agency relationship is a contract that gives the REALTOR® a fiduciary duty for 6 specific standards. We remember the standards by using the acronym OLD CAR: (Obedience, Loyalty, Disclosure, Confidentiality, Accountability and Reasonable Care/Diligence). The Concours d’Elegance was a display of antique automobiles – old cars – and that’s the connection. Let’s take a closer look at each of the fiduciary duties.
OBEDIENCE: The REALTOR® must follow your instructions, as long as they are lawful and ethical. For example, if you’re selling your home and tell him/her that you’d like them to be present every time a Buyer’s Agent shows the house, he/she must follow your instructions. They might point out the reasons why such instructions might be counter-productive (for example, what if your agent has a conflict and can’t be there when the potential buyer wants to see the house?), but if you insist, the standard of Obedience means they must do what you tell them to do.
If you’ve read some of my previous posts you know that I “call them like I see them”, so the next statement might ruffle a few feathers. In my mind, a good REALTOR® will follow your instructions even if you aren’t his/her client (i.e., haven’t signed an agency agreement). For example, let’s say your seller’s agreement with a REALTOR® expires because your house didn’t sell by the expiration date of the agreement. You’ll probably be contacted by several REALTORS® to see if you’re still interested in selling your home, and they’ll each try to convince you to pick them as your new Seller’s Agent. A REALTOR® normally uses the tax records to find the name and telephone number of a property’s owner. Those records usually indicate whether or not you’re on the “Do Not Call” list. In my mind, if it’s clear that you don’t want to be called, a REALTOR® should contact you by mail or by knocking on your door, but NOT by phone. Wouldn’t you agree?
Next time we’ll look at the fiduciary duty of LOYALTY.
Disclosure: I wrote this post; these are my personal views and do not necessarily reflect the views of Diane Turton, Realtors.
Leonard “Len” Dunikoski, GRI
Diane Turton Realtors – Rumson Office
8 West River Road
Rumson, NJ 07760
(732) 239-0739 (cell) (732) 530-6686 (office)