Why do we ask homeowners or landlords to sign the Seller / Tenant Obligation to Secure Personal Belongings?
Q. Why do we use the Seller / Tenant Obligation to Secure Personal Belongings? A. Unfortunately, there is the potential for a risk of loss when allowing access to a seller’s property. Whether it be a broker tour, public open house, keysafe or private showings we owe it to property owners and tenants to advise them of that risk and recommend that they take appropriate precautions; of course all good advice should be memorialized in writing! The Seller or Tenant Obligation to Secure Personal Belongings is the perfect vehicle. This one-page form provides additional guidance beyond what is included in the Listing Agreement. You may find it interesting that Compass created the form at the request of a number of our founding agents in the Bay Area - #learnfromreality - Compass listens to your feedback! [Link to Seller or Tenant Acknowledgement to Secure Personal Belongings]
2. Q. Do you have any advice for agents on best practices for handling dual agency?
A. On the subject of dual agency, meaning when the same brokerage firm represents both buyer and seller, the best advice I can offer is to keep top of mind the fact, that each agent or the individual agent, has a fiduciary duty to both clients. In other words, they each owe the highest duty under the law to each other’s clients, simply put this means the agent’s duty is to act in the best interests of the client.
It is important to note that a recent carve out in the law limits the information that may be shared notwithstanding the fiduciary duty that is owed. Meaning there is a duty to NOT to share certain information which would be deemed confidential, this would include facts relating to the Buyer’s or Seller’s:
- Financial position
- Bargaining position OR
- Other personal information that may impact price including the Seller’s willingness to accept a price less than the listing price or the Buyer’s willingness to pay a price greater than the price offered.
In practical terms and as a best practice, be straightforward and honest when dealing with both parties, disclose what is known, as long as it does not fall into the confidential categories referenced above, document important events, conversations, and always provide accurate and complete written disclosure of information you discover or is made known to you. Remember the ABCs: - Assume Nothing - Believe No One - Confirm Everything in Writing