Your Relationship with a Real Estate Professional
This information explains the different relationships you can have with a real estate professional to buy, sell or lease property. Before you disclose confidential information to a real estate professional regarding a real estate transaction, you should understand what type of business relationship you have with that individual.
You can work with a real estate professional in one of the following ways:
As a client
If you are the client of a real estate professional, they work on your behalf. The real estate professional representing you has special legal duties to you, including:
Loyalty. They will act only in your best interests.
Full disclosure. They must tell you everything they know that might influence your decision in a transaction.
Avoid conflicts of interest. They must avoid any situation that would affect their duty to act in your best interests.
Confidentiality. They must not reveal your private information without your permission, even after your relationship ends. That includes:
- your reasons for buying, selling or leasing
- your minimum/maximum price
- any preferred terms and conditions you may
- want to include in a contract
When you become a client, you may be asked to sign a written agreement setting out your and the real estate professional’s responsibilities.
As a non-client
A real estate professional who is not representing you as a client does not owe you special legal duties:
No loyalty. They may be representing a client with competing interests to yours in a transaction. They must be loyal to their client, not you.
No duty of full disclosure. They do not have a duty to give you all relevant information.
No duty to avoid conflicts. They are not acting in your interests.
No confidentiality. They must share any information you tell them with their clients in a transaction.
As a non-client, a real estate professional may give you only limited services.