Real Estate Representation: Understanding Material Statements

Real estate Licensed Salespersons must abide by certain, specific, guidelines, in terms of ethics, integrity, and service. However, since, for example, a Listing Agent, owes his allegiance, to his client, as well as abiding by the laws regarding real estate, there are instances, where there might be, some confusion, about where one’s loyalty to his client starts and begins, as well as ends. This fine – line, often centers upon, whether a specific piece of information, is relevant, in terms of being, material, and what that means and represents. With that in mind, this article will attempt to briefly examine, review, and consider, a few of the core considerations, involved.

1. Client’s personal circumstances: An agent must maintain, the privacy, his client needs, and deserves! Some of these considerations include: the specific reasons, one might be selling; any financial needs of his client; time – period; any flexibility regarding price, etc. An agent’s ethics, demand fiduciary loyalty to those he represents, Informing, for example, a potential buyer, of your client’s house, any of the above information, may weaken, their negotiating ability. It is your ethical responsibility to do, everything, you can, legally and ethically, to serve them, and attempt to achieve their objectives, which may often include getting the highest possible price, in the shortest period of time, with a minimum of hassle or stress.

2. Personal knowledge: When a potential buyer asks a question, you should answer it, honestly, and as thoroughly as possible, within the restraints and restrictions of your ethical commitment, to the individual, you represent! This means, if you are asked about the schools, neighborhood, crime, etc, you should be the source – of – the – source, meaning, telling them, where their requested information, might be available, rather than your version of those facts.

3. Material statements: If you know about a material – issue, such as public information about certain public projects, etc, which might negatively impact property values, or enjoyment of the subject property, or any material defect, such as, personally known, structural issues, etc, you must disclose these.

Remember, an agent’s personal responsibility, as the property owner’s representative/ agent, includes protecting things, such as fiduciary/ financial personal information, any personal issues (marital, family, etc), etc, but, this does not preclude the legal necessity to disclose, in a honest, honorable manner, any and all, legally considered, material issues, the buyer, is entitled to. The more we all know, and understand, the better, the process, is served!

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