Who Loves Ya Baby?
Who remembers Kojak? The NY crime series starring Telly Savalas from the late seventies? If you don’t remember the show, you may remember his bald head, that he preferred Tootsie Roll pops to cigarettes and his main catchphrase was “Who love you Baby?” Kojak always had our back, didn’t he?
In real estate, your Broker always has your back, after all it’s one of the six fiduciary duties of which we’re charged. Maybe it’s time to have a little six talk, but before we do that, a primer on fiduciary. Real estate brokers are deemed to be a fiduciary, one of the highest duties of law. Other examples include guardians, trustees and executors. As a fiduciary, the broker owes certain specific duties to his principal, in this case, a seller, buyer, or landlord according to the listing contract or agreement signed.
LOYALTY – No wonder this one comes first, as it’s one of the most important and sort of acts as an umbrella to the others. A real estate broker is obligated at all times to act in the best interests of his principal, including his own interests. This keeps able brokers from buying properties from their principals at an agreed price, and then turning around and selling for a profit.
CONFIDENTIALITY – A broker is obligated to safeguard his principal’s confidences and secrets. However, a broker cannot withhold material facts or misrepresent the condition of the property.
DISCLOSURE– If the three main words for a buyer are location, location, location, then the main three words for an agent is disclosure, disclosure, disclosure. A broker is obligated to disclose just about everything. If his principal is the Seller: all offers to purchase are to be presented, the identity of the potential buyers, any facts affecting the value of his property, information concerning the ability or willingness of the buyer to complete the sale including offering a higher price, the broker’s relationship to, or interest in, a prospective buyer, a buyer’s intention to subdivide or resell the property at a profit, or any other information that may affect the seller’s ability to obtain the highest and best terms of the sale. If the principal is theBuyer: The broker must reveal to the buyer any willingness of the seller to accept a lower price, any facts relating to the urgency of the seller’s need to sell, the broker’s relationship to, or interest in the seller, any facts affecting the value of the property, the length of time the property has been on the market and any other offers or counteroffers that have been made, and any other information that would affect the buyer’s ability to obtain the property at the lowest price and most favorable terms.
OBEDIENCE– A broker is obligated to obey promptly and efficiently all lawful instructions of his principal. A good example of this is when a Landlord says “I don’t want children” (not allowed under most situations) or a seller says, “I love my neighbors, but they would kill me if I sold to XYZ kind of people” Way out of line, and definitely against the law, or “You can tell people we’ve had ten people sleep here easily since I added the extra rooms” (what they aren’t saying is the home may have a two or three bedroom septic permit). Obedience only goes as far as the law provides.
REASONABLE CARE AND DILIGENCE– A broker is obligated to use reasonable care and diligence in dealing with his principal’s affairs and act as a competent real estate professional. Brokers are licensed and should use their skills and real estate knowledge and act prudently.
ACCOUNTING-A broker is obligated to account for all money or property belonging to his principal that has been entrusted to him, including money, deeds, or other documents that relate to his principal’s transactions.
Now, tell me….who loves ya baby? That’s right, it’s your broker, we’ve got your back, and I’m glad we got to have this little six talk.
Jeannie and Tucker Chambers are broker/owners of Chambers Realty & Vacation Rentals located at 401 N. Fifth Street. They don’t have bald heads (yet) and don’t imbibe on Tootsie Roll pops (much), but “We’re suckers for our wonderful clients- we love ‘ya baby!”
(Taken from Investing at 4118 ft /Highlands Newspaper also seen at www.HighlandsInfo.com)