Client - Real Estate
A client is someone who has entered into an agreement with a real estate professional to have that real estate professional represent them in a real estate transaction.
A client can be a seller, buyer, landlord, or tenant who hires a real estate professional to assist them with their real estate needs. In a client relationship, the real estate professional must represent the client’s best interests at all times and assist them with the transaction.
A professional’s obligations to you as a client
When you enter into a client relationship with a real estate professional, their responsibilities to you include:
- undivided loyalty: Your professional will act only in your best interest and put your interests above all others, even their own. They must avoid any conflicts of interest.
- confidentiality: Your professional will keep all of your information confidential, including information about you, your property and the transaction, unless the law says they must disclose it or you agree to let them disclose it
- full disclosure: Your professional must tell you, in writing, the services they provide, and of any conflicts of interest that may occur in a transaction.
- obedience: Your professional must obey all your lawful, reasonable instructions.
- reasonable care and skill: Your professional must meet the professional standards of competency expected of a licensed professional.
- full accounting: Your professional must account for all money and property they receive while acting on your behalf.
Why would I want to be a client
- you want a real estate professional to represent you in a real estate transaction
- you want a real estate professional to provide advice in your real estate transaction
- you don’t have the knowledge and experience to proceed with a real estate transactions without assistance
Real estate professionals need to ensure their role is clear to clients, customers and third parties at all times. They must also not pressure or direct a consumer or customer to become a client. Your real estate professional has to give you a copy of the Consumer Relationships Guide to review before you enter into any service agreement. The Guide outlines the different types of relationships you can have with a real estate professional.
Your Written Service Agreement
If you’re the client of a licensed real estate professional in Alberta, they will ask you to sign a written service agreement. Written service agreements provide clarity about the roles and obligations between real estate professionals and their clients, and they reduce the potential for conflicts and confusion. Written service agreements:
- describe the role and services of the real estate professional
- outline the obligations of the real estate professional and you, the client
- set out the fees (if any)
- provide consent to collect, maintain, use and distribute a client’s personal information