Estate & Trust Administration For Dummies
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The relationship between a real estate agent and a client is called a fiduciary relationship. Fiduciary means faithful servant, and an agent is a fiduciary of the client. In real estate, a broker or a salesperson can be the agent of a seller or a buyer.

Here's a list of the fiduciary duties that an agent owes her client:
  • Accounting: The agent must account for all funds entrusted to her and not commingle (combine) client/customer funds with her personal and/or business funds.

  • Care: The agent must use all of her skills to the best of her ability on behalf of the client.

  • Confidentiality: The agent must keep confidential any information given to her by her client, especially information that may be damaging to the client in a negotiation.

  • Disclosure: The agent must disclose to the client any information she receives that may benefit the client's position in a negotiation.

  • Loyalty: The agent owes undivided loyalty to the client and puts the client's interests above her own.

  • Obedience: The agent must obey all lawful orders that the client gives her.

About This Article

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About the book authors:

Margaret Atkins Munro, EA, has more than 30 years of experience in trusts, estates, family tax, and small businesses. She lectures for the IRS annually at its volunteer tax preparer programs. Kathryn A. Murphy is an attorney with more than 20 years of experience administering estates and trusts and preparing estate and gift tax returns.

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