Browse Proptionary encyclopedia

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Reasonable Care and Skill

DEFINITION

Expectation that an agent will perform duties with expertise, knowledge, good faith, and with skill.

EXPLANATION

Agents are expected to possess a reasonable level of knowledge and skill in assisting principals. In hiring a licensee, a principal expects that he or she will be serviced with reasonable care and skill. An agent’s licensing is proof of his or her reasonable skill required to conduct real estate activities. Using reasonable skill and care includes the need to obey the directions of the principal.

Reasonable care and skill is one of the six major fiduciary duties real estate professionals owe their principals.

In the context of real estate, fiduciary duty is the assumed duty of an agent to act faithfully, loyally, confidentially, and is also an obligation by which the agent must act fairly and honestly. Fiduciary duties also include the promise that agents will act in a manner fitting to the interests and goals of the clients, which means agents owe clients the duty to explain, counsel, and advise their clients in order for them make informed decisions.

Agent Owes the Principal the Following Fiduciary Duties

·       Accounting

·       Confidentiality

·       Disclosure

·       Loyalty

·       Obedience

·       Reasonable care and skill

Expectations of Principals

When a buyer or seller employ the services of a real estate broker and agent, they have a reasonable expectation that their brokerage will act in good faith. Because real estate is a complex process, principals hire agents and brokers to assist them in their goal of buying, selling, or renting. In return for granting a commission upon the consummation of a transaction, a principal expects that the agent will use reasonable care and skill to execute a transaction. This means the principal is entitled to basic services including help with contracts, negotiating with buyers and sellers, and finding buyers and sellers.

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