Agents should really have at least 6 different frames of reference for the answers to any disclosure question relating to material facts:
- Representing the Seller as a Client
- Representing the Seller as a Customer
- Representing the Buyer as a Client
- Representing the Buyer as a Customer
- Acting in Multiple Representation
- Acting for Seller as Client and providing Customer Services to Buyer
Although, arising less frequently, providing “consumer” or “public” services to either or both parties is another option to consider.
There is also a difference on occasion between what you are legally authorized and/or obligated to do and what you might “ethically” prefer to do. Choosing ethics over legal obligations will result in a lawsuit.
And, don’t forget the missing choice: “you can walk away”. You don’t actually have to do the deal. Agents get in trouble when they miss this choice and “go for the money”.
Brian Madigan LL.B., Broker