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what are the laws that can uncover a conflict-of interest…

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what are the laws that...
what are the laws that can uncover a conflict-of interest between a buyer and an agent when the agent is acting as a representative to both the seller and buyer
Submitted: 8 years ago.Category: Real Estate Law
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Answered in 44 minutes by:
4/1/2010
Real Estate Lawyer: TJ, Esq., Attorney replied 8 years ago
TJ, Esq.
TJ, Esq., Attorney
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 12,934
Experience: JD, MBA
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Hello and thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you.

I'm not sure I understand your question. Generally speaking, the laws don't provide the means to investigate conflicts of interest involving agents. Are you asking about laws that regulate agents, and penalties for violations? Here are the relevant Alaska laws on the topic:

AS 08.88.600. Licensee Relationships.

(c) A real estate licensee may provide specific assistance to both the seller and buyer, or both the lessor and lessee, in the same real estate transaction as a neutral licensee if the licensee complies with AS 08.88.610.

-AND-

AS 08.88.610. Authorization of Neutral Licensee Relationship.

(a) Before a real estate licensee begins acting as a neutral licensee, the real estate licensee may obtain preauthorization from a person to act as a neutral licensee in the person's real estate transaction by obtaining the written consent of the person.

(b) If preauthorization is not obtained under (a) of this section, when a buyer or lessee expresses an interest to the licensee in acquiring or leasing real estate and the licensee is representing the seller or lessor of the property, the licensee shall obtain written consent to act as a neutral licensee before the licensee shows the real estate.

(c) A written consent under this section must be provided on a separate form, may not be contained in another writing, and must be entitled "Waiver of Right To Be Represented."

So, the agent can represent both of you, but the agent must provide the written waiver prior to showing the property. Once the dual agency is created, here are the agent’s duties:

AS 08.88.645. Duties of Neutral Licensee.

(a) Unless additional duties are agreed to in a written document signed by the neutral licensee and the seller, buyer, lessor, or lessee, the duties of a neutral licensee are limited to the duties established for real estate licensees under AS 08.88.615 and the following duties:

(1) not to take action that the neutral licensee knows is adverse or detrimental to the interest of the persons to whom the neutral licensee provides services in the real estate transaction;

(2) to disclose a conflict of interest in a timely manner to all parties to whom the licensee provides specific assistance;

(3) to advise all parties to whom the licensee provides specific assistance for the transaction to obtain expert advice on a matter relating to the transaction that is beyond the expertise of the neutral licensee;

(4) not to disclose without written consent confidential information from or about any of the parties to whom the licensee is providing specific assistance to another party to whom the licensee is providing specific assistance in the transaction, except under a subpoena or another court order, even after the relationship with the party terminates;

(5) not to disclose without the consent of the person to whom the information relates

(A) that the buyer or lessee is willing to pay more than the price offered for the real estate;

(B) that the seller or lessor is willing to accept less than the asking price for the real estate; or

(C) that the seller, buyer, lessor, or lessee will agree to financing terms other than those terms offered.

(b) A neutral licensee does not violate the duties of a neutral licensee if, with written consent, the neutral licensee engages in the following conduct in a good faith effort to assist in reaching final agreement in a real estate transaction:

(1) analyzing, providing information on, or reporting on the merits of the transaction to each party;

(2) discussing the price, terms, or conditions that each party would or should offer or accept; or

(3) suggesting compromises in the parties' respective bargaining positions.

Last, if the agent violates any of the above laws, then this law provides your remedy:

AS 08.88.680. Causes of Action.

(a) A person may not bring an action against a neutral licensee for making a disclosure that is required or permitted under this chapter.

(b) In a civil action for the failure of a licensee to comply with the provisions of AS 08.88.600 - 08.88.695, the plaintiff's remedy is limited to the recovery of actual damages. This subsection does not limit a person's ability to take any other action or pursue any other remedy to which the person may be entitled under other law.

Have I satisfactorily addressed your concerns? If not, then please feel free to ask for clarification.

If the information that I provided is helpful, then please remember to click the green accept button so that I will receive credit and compensation for my time. Positive feedback is always appreciated as well. Thank you and good luck!

DISCLAIMER: Please be aware that only an attorney licensed in your state is authorized to advise you in legal matters, and that the limitations of this setting may prevent your legal issues from being thoroughly addressed. Accordingly, please understand that (1) by answering your question(s) I am not acting as your attorney, (2) my answer(s) should be construed as general information only, and (3) our discussion is not an adequate substitute for an in-person consultation with an attorney.



Edited by TJG, Esq. on 4/1/2010 at 6:18 AM EST
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