Agent/Client Confidentiality

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Real Estate

Now that you’ve decided to sell your Barrington area home, you will probably have a long discussion with your agent about why you are selling, and what you hope to accomplish. What kind of discretion can you expect from your agent about what you divulge?

Well, a lot depends on the sort of information in question. You can reasonably request that your agent keep personal information about you and your family confidential. For instance, if the reason you are selling is that you have a new job in another town, or that you are ill and must sell, you can ask that the information not be revealed to potential buyers. These items of information would be on the order of “insider trading”, and possibly give the buyer a bargaining advantage.

You won’t find any actual laws about this that are legally binding, per se, however, there are legal precedents about such matters. There is a Realtor Code of Ethics, which addresses these issues. A google search will yield the actual chapter and verse, so to speak, which is beyond the scope of this piece.

This practice of confidentiality only goes to a certain point. If you ask your agent to withhold information about the condition of your property, don’t expect cooperation. In fact, it would be unethical to keep such information secret. A crack in the foundation, a leaky roof, and mold in the basement are pertinent facts that a potential buyer has a right to know about before bidding on a property. In a way, it is the inverse situation to the one mentioned above about bargaining positions and insider trading. It gives the seller, rather than the buyer, the unfair advantage.

Prospective buyers may feel cheated if the agent doesn’t tell them that the owner has to sell quickly because of having a bid accepted on another property, but look at it this way: If you are someday the seller, you would want your personal information kept confidential, too. If an agent is willing to break a confidence to inform you, how can you trust that agent to keep your personal confidences?

The buyer can look at it the same way. If an agent is willing to withhold information about a property that is pertinent to its value, how can you trust that agent to disclose such information to you in future prospective transactions?

There are good reasons for the way an agent handles various pieces of information. Both buyers and sellers should respect the code of ethics that is there for the protection of all concerned.

If you have a property in Barrington to sell, or if you wish to purchase a property, please call me, Dean Tubekis, at (874) 809-8070. If you prefer, stop by our office at 530 South Hough St., Barrington, IL 60010. Feel free to browse my website, or follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest. I can help you with all of your real estate needs!


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