An "agency" relationship is a voluntary legal relationship in which a licensed real estate broker or principal broker (the "agent"), agrees to act on behalf of a buyer or a seller (the "client") in a real estate transaction.
Oregon law provides for three types of agency relationships between real estate agents and their clients:
Seller's Agent - Represents the seller only;
The actual agency relationships between the seller, buyer and their agents in a real estate transaction must be acknowledged at the time an offer to purchase is made. Please read this pamphlet carefully before entering into an agency relationship with a real estate agent.
Generally, licensees must maintain confidential information about their clients. “Confidential information” is information communicated to a real estate licensee or the licensee's agent by the buyer or seller of one to four residential units regarding the real property transaction, including but not limited to price, terms, financial qualifications or motivation to buy or sell. “Confidential information” does not mean information that:
a. The buyer instructs the licensee or the licensee's agent to disclose about the buyer to the seller, or the seller instructs the licensee or the licensee's agent to disclose about the seller to the buyer; and
Duties and Responsibilities of Seller's Agent
Under a written listing agreement to sell property, an agent represents only the seller unless the seller agrees in writing to allow the agent to also represent the buyer. An agent who represents only the seller owes the following affirmative duties to the seller, the other parties and the other parties' agents involved in a real estate transaction:
1. To deal honestly and in good faith;
1. To exercise reasonable care and diligence;
of the agency relationship; and
None of the above affirmative duties of an agent may be waived, except #7. The affirmative duty listed in #7 can only be waived by written agreement between seller and agent.
Under Oregon law, a seller's agent may show properties owned by another seller to a prospective buyer and may list competing properties for sale without breaching any affirmative duty to the seller.
Unless agreed to in writing, an agent has no duty to investigate matters that are outside the scope of the agent's expertise, including but not limited to investigation of the condition of property, the legal status of the title or the seller's past conformance with law.
Duties and Responsibilities of Buyer's Agent
An agent, other than the seller's agent, may agree to act as the buyer's agent only. The buyer's agent is not representing the seller, even if the buyer's agent is receiving compensation for services rendered, either in full or in part, from the seller or through the seller's agent. An agent who represents only the buyer owes the following affirmative duties to the buyer, the other parties and the other parties' agents involved in a real estate transaction:
termination of the agency relationship; and
None of these affirmative duties of an agent may be waived, except #7. The affirmative duty listed in #7 can only be waived by written agreement between buyer and agent.
Under Oregon law, a buyer's agent may show properties in which the buyer is interested to other prospective buyers without breaching an affirmative duty to the buyer.
One agent may represent both the seller and the buyer in the same transaction, or multiple buyers who want to purchase the same property, only under a written "Disclosed Limited Agency Agreement” signed by the seller and buyer(s).
Disclosed Limited Agents have the following duties to their clients:
1. To the seller, the duties listed above for a seller's agent; and
a. That the seller will accept a price lower or terms less favorable than the listing price or terms;
Unless agreed to in writing, an agent has no duty to investigate matters that are outside the scope of the agent's expertise.
When different agents associated with the same principal broker (a real estate licensee who supervises other agents) establish agency relationships with different parties to the same transaction, only the principal broker will act as a Disclosed Limited Agent for both buyer and seller. The other agents continue to represent only the party with whom the agents have already established an agency relationship unless all parties agree otherwise in writing. The principal real estate broker and the real estate licensees representing either seller or buyer shall owe the following duties to the seller and buyer:
You are encouraged to discuss the above information with the licensee delivering this pamphlet to you. If you intend for that licensee, or any other Oregon real estate licensee, to represent you as a Seller's Agent, Buyer's Agent, or Disclosed Limited Agent, you should have a specific discussion with the agent about the nature and scope of the agency relationship. Whether you are a buyer or seller, you cannot make a licensee your agent without the licensee's knowledge and consent, and an agent cannot make you their client without your knowledge and consent.