Are You Guilty of Implied Agency When In A Customer Relationship?

Many Realtors do not understand the fact that even though you have a signed contract with someone stating that they are in a “Customer Status” relationship with you, this can quickly become an “implied agency relationship” based on what is shared between the Realtor and the Customer. If the Realtor provides the Customer with information outside of what is allowed in a Customer relationship, the courts would consider you to be in an agency relationship with that person based on your actions and not the written contract.

When in a Customer Status relationship with a buyer or seller, you cannot:

  • Give the Customer a suggested list or purchase price
  • Provide advice that requires the Realtor to exercise discretion or judgement (give your opinion)
  • Give advice to a Customer (whether a buyer or a seller)
  • Advocate on the behalf of the Customer (can’t side with the Customer)
  • Provide the Customer the name of a preferred service provider (one single provider)
  • Provide information to a Customer that is not in the best interest of your Client
  • Withhold any relevant information from your Client given to you by the Customer

You can provide the Customer with the following

  • Standard forms necessary for the sale of the property
  • Preparation of the contract in accordance with the Customer’s instructions (cannot offer advice)
  • Presentation in a timely manner of all offers and counter offers between the buyer and the seller
  • Conveying in a timely manner information between the buyer and the seller
  • Keep Customer informed regarding the progress of the transaction

The Realtor, at their sole discretion, may also provide:

  • Real Estate statistics and comparable property information
  • The names of real estate service providers, but the Realtor cannot recommend any particular service provider


-Written by Lindsey Smith, CIR REALTY – Manager of Operations and Realtor Development


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