If you’ve spent any time reading up on the real estate industry, you may have come across the term “fiduciary.” It is not a word you hear used with regularity in general everyday conversation, but it’s important that consumers in our industry understand exactly what it means – especially given the recent conversation around dual agency in British Columbia.
With that in mind, we thought we’d put together a blog post to explain what fiduciary means and what a real estate agent’s fiduciary duties are.
Perhaps the quickest way to define fiduciary is as legally binding trust. In other words, a fiduciary is an individual (or an organization) that is legally bound to the highest standards of trust and good faith.
If your real estate agent or lawyer has a fiduciary relationship with you, they are ethically required to serve your best interests (even above their own). It is the most significant form of multi-party legal duty that exists in our judicial system, and you should be able to trust that your agent or lawyer is putting your interests first.
If you establish a fiduciary relationship with a real estate agent, your agent will have six fiduciary duties to you. So what are a real estate agent’s fiduciary duties?
- They must be loyal – your real estate agent must remain loyal to you throughout your transaction. They must put your needs ahead of their own. No exceptions.
- Committed to confidentiality – private information that you share with your agent should remain strictly confidential. This is of even greater importance when it concerns information that may be damaging to your position in negotiations.
- Care – your real estate agent must do their absolute best for you. 100% at all times. Everyone else comes second to you, including the agent.
- Full disclosure – if your agent learns of something that may strengthen your hand in negotiations, they must share it with you. No matter the consequences for them. If it is in your best interests, they must tell you.
- Obedience – your agent must follow all legal and ethical instruction that you give. They must do as you request.
- Accounting – your real estate agent must appropriately handle and account for all funds that you entrust to them. They cannot and must not mix your entrusted funds with their business or personal finances.
At Walker Real Estate, we hold ourselves to the highest ethical and professional standards. There are many great real estate agents in our industry – make sure you’ve got one working for you!
Whether you are looking to buy, sell or invest in Kelowna real estate, we can help you! We have a highly skilled team of agents who know the local market extremely well, and when you engage our services, we work tirelessly to do the best job we can for you. Please feel free to contact us – we would be delighted to chat with you.