When it comes to real estate, you should demand an OLDCAR!
By working with a Realtor®, (whether you’re buying or selling) you get something very valuable…Fiduciary Duties.
What in the heck is that! Here’s a breakdown of that OLDCAR.
Obedience: Your agent must obey your instructions. An example would be where you might have multiple offers for your home. I (as your agent) would present these to you, however you may not want to work with one of the other agents (even though another offer might be for a higher price). I must obey your instructions. The only case where this doesn’t apply is if the instructions would be illegal (had to put this in…I know you’d never propose something illegal!)
Loyalty: A Realtor® owes you their Loyalty. This means that even though your agents’ commission could be reduced in a competitive situation. They would operate in your best interests…not theirs. You get peace of mind knowing that your agent has your back. Another duty that goes along with this is Confidentially. Personal information shared, remains confidential even after closing.
Disclosure: The agent must disclose “material facts” to their client. What are material facts?…anything known to the buyer or seller that might have swayed their decisions in the negotiation process.This isn’t just limited to that crack in the corner of the basement! If I were to find out that the other party was having financial difficulties, I would be obligated to share that with you. The bottom line is that this greatly increases your negotiating power.
Confidentiality: We discussed this duty in Loyalty. Interesting to note though, only a court order can relieve an agent of this duty.
Accounting: This duty pertains to the monies involved in the transaction.I am required to provide accurate accounting (and the whereabouts) of funds.
Reasonable Care: This pertains to the level of professional knowledge I owe you (either as a buyer or seller) throughout the entire process. This could include: Pricing, Inspections, Negotiations, Repairs or other areas of the transaction. If something comes up and I don’t have the answer, I an obligated to advise you on how to obtain the information.
So there you have it. Always go with the OLDCAR!