The Real Estate Encyclopedia
What Responsibilities Does The Listing Agent Or Broker Have?
Category - Home Selling Questions - General Home Selling FAQ's

Most of the responsibilities of the Broker are specified in the listing agreement.  The seller has a right to expect the agent to protect the property, including proper care of the keys within a lockbox and counseling the owner as to the care of a vacant property.  The agent is also responsible for informing the seller, as a listing agent, of ways to improve the marketability of the property and to keep the seller informed of any activity that occurs, providing the seller with copies of any signed documents or offers, as well as keep copies of all records pertaining to the property.  State laws determine the length of time the documents are to be kept. 


The acronym COALD describes the duties of the agent to the principal or client as follows:


       Carea broker should exercise reasonable care and skill as a professional while transacting the business of the client.  For a client who is a seller, this includes identifying the correct list price, representing the property to its greatest advantage, informing the seller of tax consequences and marketing the property.  For a buyer client, this means helping the buyer find the right property and negotiating a suitable price and purchase terms. 

       Obediencethe broker or agent must act in good faith and follow the client's instructions based on the terms of the contract; however, the agent is not responsible for following illegal instructions.

       Accountabilitythe agent is responsible and accountable for all funds or deposits, as well as property of others that comes into his or her possession.

       Loyaltythe agent should be loyal and place the client's interests above those of all others.  This includes obtaining the best offer from a buyer when representing a seller or helping the buyer make the best offer when purchasing a home, explaining offers to a client, and representing only the interests of the client.

       Disclosurethe agent has to keep the principal informed, disclosing all facts and information that could affect the transaction both with buyers and sellers.  If representing a seller, the agent must disclose if the buyer is willing to offer more for the property (if such a fact is known to the agent).  If representing the buyer, an agent needs to disclose all defects and if the seller would take less for the property (if such a fact is known to the agent). 

Home Selling Questions - Agent, Offer & Commissions FAQ's
Home Selling Questions - General Home Selling FAQ's
Home Selling Questions - Listing & Agreements FAQ's
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