Confidentiality in Real Estates

There is another name for contract and that is Listing Agreement. This is an agreement between the title holder and a duly licensed real estate firm over an interest of land. In this letter of agreement the firm agrees to find the buyer within a specified time and who is willing to purchase the land as shown by the agent.

Now a real estate council has been formed to look into any discrepancies that arise in the case of breach of trust between the title holder and the real estate firm agent. In a recent case the council scolded a real estate firm and two licensees for breaching a duty of confidentiality. In this case it was seen that for over two years the subject property was listed for sale. It was also seen that the price of the property was reduced on two occasions during the term of the Listing agreement. Finally the listing expired and the agreed property was not sold. As the listing expired the listing entered into three separate fee agreements with the real estate firm. The firm was identified as Buyer’s agent as on all three occasions the seller disallowed agency representation. Hence a lawsuit was started on the seller.A  Listing agreement is a letter which as per the law is an implied covenant of fair dealing and completed in good faith. The covenant that is agreed upon between the title holder and the agent is that both will deal with each other fairly and they will not do anything to break their word and they will not cause any damage or otherwise break their mutual and respective contract. A break in the contract can lead to rise in liability to both and depending on the circumstances the end should be well.Due to the nature of the Listing agreement, the courts have ruled out any intervention in case of breach of trust as this is a letter of agreement signed between the title holder and the agent.

The lawyer acting on behalf of the title holder requested the agent to provide affidavits containing information about listing of the firm. The lawyer was very firm in his request that is the agent did not provide the affidavits then he would obtain a court order and compel the firm to give such evidence. The real estate firm in this case found that he had no other alternative but to provide the affidavits. The seller filed a complaint with the Council due to the final and forceful result. In the complaint the seller maintained that the information in the affidavit was confidential. It was very clear that the firm had breached the duty of confidentiality according to the seller. As a result the affidavit was not used in the court proceedings. The agent on the other hand stated that the duty of confidentiality ended with the expiry of the Listing agreement. The council ruled that both the agent and the two licensees had broken the duty. This is just a synopsis that seems to be taken by the council in this matter.

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