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How You Are Represented in a Real Estate Transaction

Duties of a Seller’s agent
Duties of a Buyer’s agent
Required disclosures/forms
Mortgage Field Guide
Consumer Guide to Insurance Hurdles

Ohio law requires that real estate licensees act as a fiduciary of their client and act in their client’s best interest. In general terms, a licensee’s fiduciary duties include:

  • Exercising reasonable skill and care in representing the client;
  • Performing the terms of any written agency agreement;
  • Following any lawful instructions of the client;
  • Complying with all requirements of the license law, along with other applicable statutes, rules and regulations. Those include the federal and Ohio fair housing
  • laws and the Ohio landlord tenant act;
  • Disclosing to the client any material facts of the transaction of which the licensee is aware or should be aware in the exercise of reasonable skill and care and that are not confidential information under a current or prior agency or dual agency relationship;
  • Advising the client to obtain expert advice related to material matters when necessary or appropriate;
  • Accounting in a timely manner for all money and property received in which the client has or may have an interest; and
  • Keeping confidential all confidential information, unless the licensee is permitted to disclose the information. This requirement includes not disclosing confidential information to other licensees in the brokerage who are not agents of the client.

What is a REALTOR?
REALTOR_LOGOYou’re ready! You’ve decided to seize the unique opportunities presented by the current housing market. The single most important transaction in your lifetime should not be conducted without the expertise and assistance of trained and licensed professionals, and this is where REALTORS come in. And, chances are you may be buying or selling a home again. Developing a long-term relationship with a REALTOR is the best way to ensure you will be well-armed and informed when making your housing decisions.

What’s Different About a REALTOR
Working with a real estate professional who is a REALTOR is in your best interest. Not everyone who sells real estate is a REALTOR. Possessing a real estate license does not afford instant REALTOR status–a distinction of which you need to be aware. A REALTOR is a member of local, state and national professional trade associations and, as such, has access to a vast array of educational programs, research and resources. By being a member, a REALTOR subscribes to a strict code of ethics, and pledges to provide fair treatment for all parties involved, protect the right of individuals to own property and keep abreast of changes in real estate practice through continuing education and interaction with other professionals.

As a member of the Ohio Association of REALTORS your REALTOR can tap into numerous resources, like immediate access to staff real estate attorneys, who can provide objective up-to-the-minute counsel. He or she receives up-to-date information on a wide variety of legal, financial and economic issues, and has access to an association with more than 100 years of experience in real estate. And, if things don’t work out, arbitration is a choice your REALTOR can offer instead of lengthy and expensive legal proceedings.

The Right REALTOR for You
Like finding the right house, selecting a REALTOR you can trust and comfortably work with is paramount. Just as you wouldn’t be casual in the selection of your doctor or your attorney, you shouldn’t take the selection of your REALTOR lightly. Indeed, the best way to find such a professional is through recommendations from family and friends. Of course, you should interview several REALTORS before you choose one. If you are selling your home, you should ask the candidates how they plan to market your home, what pricing advice they can offer, and what other suggestions they can provide to further enhance the desirability of your home. Ask questions about the transaction to evaluate the REALTOR’s knowledge. Ask for–and check–references. And, finally, ask yourself whether you will feel comfortable working closely with this individual in the months ahead.