Agency relationships are based
on one person representing the best interests of another. Real
estate agents are licensed by the state to represent a person
in the sale or management of a property. North Carolina state
laws, the REALTORS Code of Ethics and a general principle of
agency law define the responsibility of the agent.
The type of relationship formed between the agent and the client
is called a fiduciary relationship. A fiduciary relationship
is one based on trust and confidence because of the agent owes
the following duties to the client:
- Safeguard and account for any money handled for you.
- Be loyal and follow reasonable and lawful instructions.
- Act with reasonable skill, care, and diligence.
- Disclose to you any information, which might influence your
decision to buy or sell.
The courts strictly enforce the agency duties so that the client
can rely on the agent putting the client's interest before that
of anyone else. The courts also require the real estate agent
to be fair and honest in all aspects of the transaction. In short,
the agent owes its' allegiance to the client.
The source of compensation does not, in and of itself, determine
agency. The buyer, seller, or both parties can pay the compensation.
However, there must be full disclosure as to who is paying.
In real estate transactions, an agency relationship is formed
between the Real Estate Broker and the client. The client generally
works with a sales agent who is associated with the Broker. The
client may either be a buyer or a seller. If you wish to be represented
as a buyer or seller, it is required that you put your agreement