Every two years, the National Association of Realtors conducts a survey of its member boards to determine what issues Realtors face. The 2011 Legal Scan was recently published and indicates that Realtors nationally continue to be concerned about (1) the lack of education of Realtors regarding agency issues; (2) the nuances of buyer brokerage; (3) the nuances of dual agency; (4) fiduciary duties; and (5) disclosure of short sale issues.
The focus of responses to NAR’s Legal Scan related primarily to basic Agency Law issues. Agency issues consistently appeared as one of the top three current issues and focused on breach of fiduciary duty, dual agency, agency relationship disclosure and buyer representation. There was a general perception that Realtors need better education tools to deal with Agency Law issues. Surprisingly, the Legal Scan reviewed 108 new statutes and regulations specifically addressing agency issues. Just as New York State has moved to designated agency, it was noted that designated agency and transactional brokerage are now the focus of many legislative initiatives nationally. Transactional brokerage is becoming more prevalent with the elimination of traditional fiduciary duties mandated by Agency Law.
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