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A Client-Focused Approach to Business and Real Estate Law

Do real estate brokers have a fiduciary duty to clients?

On Behalf of | Jul 30, 2021 | Commercial Real Estate |

As a real estate broker, you have a fiduciary relationship with your clients. To this end, you must meet the highest standard of care, which involves providing your clients with good faith, full disclosure and undivided loyalty, as well as exercising several other duties.

Understanding your duties to your clients as a fiduciary may help you avoid any breaches, which may have potentially serious consequences.

Accounting for funds

According to the California Department of Real Estate, the fiduciary duties you must fulfill as a real estate broker include providing an accounting for funds. State law requires you to provide timely accountings for all your clients’ funds and the property you receive.

Acting in the clients’ best interests

In your role as a fiduciary to clients, you must also act in your clients’ best interests at all times. Exercising candor, integrity, honesty and unselfishness, you must exclude all other interests, including those that may benefit you.

Following the clients’ instructions

Your responsibility as a fiduciary also requires you to follow the lawful instructions of your clients. For instance, if your client asks you to acquire a piece of property, you must do so, even if you disagree with the decision. State law requires you to act promptly and efficiently and disallows you from adding your interpretations to the instructions unless told to do so by your clients.

Keep confidential information private

In your role as a fiduciary, you may have access to confidential information. This may include details about your clients’ finances and business dealings. You have a duty to your clients not to disclose information that, if revealed, may undermine or otherwise adversely affect their positions.

Fulfilling your responsibilities to your clients as a fiduciary may help you avoid possible disputes and breaches of duty claims.