Flat Fee Listing $89.00

What is a Fiduciary?

Man shaking hands with a realtor
Man shaking hands with a realtor
Photo by Kindel Media on Pexels

I am your Fiduciary and your Single Agent. I chose to represent my customers as a Single Agent as a Flat
Fee real estate broker. Real estate agents in Florida can serve as Single agents or Transaction agents for
their clients. What’s the difference between the two? In Florida, we have a transaction broker
classification, which is a restricted agency classification. The agent is only assisting with the transaction
and has no fiduciary responsibility to the buyer or seller. In essence, the agent acts as a middleman to
assist the transaction and owes minimal secrecy to both parties.

Put, as a single agent, I act as a fiduciary for my clients. With loyalty or secrecy, I represent the Buyer. I
decided to work as a single-agent flat-fee broker. My fiduciary responsibilities are the most significant
legal requirements. In addition to any responsibilities or obligations outlined in a listing agreement or
other contracts of employment, as a fiduciary and as your Flat Fee Broker, I shall be held by the law to
owe specific particular duties to you, the seller. Among the specific fiduciary responsibilities are:

• Loyalty
• Confidentiality
• Disclosure Obedience
• Reasonable care and diligence
• Accounting

In Florida, over 95% of real estate agents work as Transaction Agents, or fence-sitters, with no loyalty to
either the Buyer or the Seller.

Here’s an excellent example. As your only representative, I must keep everything you tell me a secret,
including the lowest price you could accept. I must inform you if I discover the price a buyer is willing to
pay. If I were acting as a transaction agent, I would tell the Buyer whatever you tell me, including your
lowest price and any other offers you may have.

Black’s Law Dictionary defines fiduciary Duty as “a duty of utmost good faith, trust, confidence, and
candor owed by a fiduciary (such as a lawyer or corporate officer) to the beneficiary (such as a lawyer’s
client or a shareholder); a duty to act with the highest degree of honesty and loyalty toward another
person and in the best interests of the other person.” When operating as the Flat Fee Agent, I have
several fiduciary responsibilities to my Seller.

1. Duty of Care

On behalf of the customer, the agent must use all of the abilities to the fullest capacity. It requires
Association Leaders to operate honestly, in good faith, and with reasonable care when carrying out their
responsibilities. Directors must attend meetings, adequately prepare for them, and actively participate
in deliberations, as well as seek counsel from third-party professionals such as attorneys or accountants
when appropriate.

2. Duty of Confidentiality

Any information supplied to the agent by a client must be kept secret, especially anything that might be
harmful to the client during a negotiation. It requires Association Leaders to keep board meetings and
deliberations private. It forbids the revelation of any non-public material to which an Association Leader
has access due to their position. When robust discussion and open talks occur, the association’s best
interests are served, which needs Association Leaders to have faith that their colleagues will likewise
maintain their responsibility of secrecy.

3. Duty of Loyalty

The agent owes the client complete allegiance and prioritizes the client’s interests over her own. It
necessitates complete allegiance and responsibility of loyalty to the organization. The association’s best
interests must take precedence above personal interests, and it is forbidden to utilize an Association
Leader’s position or information obtained via such position for personal advantage. Conflicts of interest
must be avoided, disclosed, and resolved by association leaders. If a conflict of interest cannot be
addressed, an Association Leader’s duty of loyalty may oblige them to abstain from voting, engaging in
discussion, and maybe hearing arguments.

4. Duty of Obedience

The agent must follow all authorized commands given by the customer. It requires Association Leaders
to act in compliance with and support the association’s mission, bylaws, rules, policies, and applicable
laws and regulations. Association Leaders must support, assist in the implementation, and carry out the
activities determined by the association’s board of directors under the duty of obedience. Even if the
Association Leader disagrees with the action chosen on a specific topic, Association Leaders must avoid
undermining a board of directors’ decision.

5. Duty of Accounting

The agent must keep track of any monies entrusted to her and not mix (combine) client/customer funds
with personal or corporate cash. It requires Association Leaders to develop and execute correct
accounting systems and controls to secure, protect, and maintain association assets. Leaders of
associations should verify that money is used for legal reasons.

6. Duty of Disclosure

Any information received by the agent that may benefit the client’s position in a negotiation must be
disclosed to the client. All relevant and material information that an agent understands and that is
related to the scope of the agency must be disclosed to his principal. The duty of disclosure requires a
real estate broker representing a sale to inform the seller of the following information:

❖ Any offers to buy the seller’s home.
❖ All potential buyers’ identities are revealed.
❖ Any information that has an impact on the property’s value.
❖ Information on the buyer’s capacity or desire to finish the transaction or offer a greater price.
❖ Relationship with, or interest in, a potential buyer by the broker.
❖ The goal of a buyer is to subdivide or resell the property for a profit.
❖ Any additional information might impact the seller’s ability to get the best price and terms while
selling his home.

A buyer’s agent is required to inform the buyer of the following information:

✓ The seller’s readiness to accept a lesser price.
✓ Any information about the seller’s pressing need to sell the property.
✓ Connection with, or involvement in, the purchaser of the property for sale by the agent.
✓ Any information that has an impact on the property’s value.
✓ The amount of time the property has been on the market and any previous offers or
counteroffers placed on the property.
✓ Any other data that may impact the purchaser’s opportunity to buy the property at the best
rates and terms.

Disclaimer: An agent’s duty of disclosure to his principle should not be confused with a real estate
broker’s responsibility to disclose any known material information about the property’s worth to non-principals. The duty of a real estate broker to treat all people fairly and honestly underpins this need to
disclose knowing significant facts. The presence of an agency connection has no bearing on this
obligation of honesty and fairness.