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Delaware Code Title 24. Professions and Occupations § 2936. Broker broker and salesperson as a statutory agent

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(a) Unless specifically hired as a common law agent by a written brokerage agreement, a licensee is a statutory agent and not a common law agent for any party. The broker may from time to time designate 1 or more associate brokers or salespersons licensed under that broker to be the designated associate broker or associate brokers or salesperson or salespersons of a client or clients to the exclusion of all others in the brokerage organization.

(b) Obligations and responsibilities.--A licensee shall to the extent applicable to their functions have the following obligations and responsibilities:

(1) Performing the duties required by this chapter;

(2) Performing the terms of the written brokerage agreement, if any;

(3) Exercising reasonable skill and care as a licensee;

(4) Advising the parties to obtain expert advice on material matters about which the licensee knows but the specifics of which are beyond the expertise of such licensee;

(5) Accounting in a timely manner for all money and property received;

(6) Helping to keep the parties informed regarding the progress of the transaction;

(7) Performing ministerial tasks to assist the parties in complying with the terms and conditions of any contract;

(8) Disclosing to all prospective buyers or tenants any adverse material facts actually known by the licensee;

(9) Informing the parties that they shall not be vicariously liable for acts of other licensees;

(10) Informing the parties that notice given to the designated licensee is considered notice to their client;

(11) Informing the parties that oral or written statements made by a licensee without the consent of the party do not bind the party and may not be relied upon by anyone as binding a party. As such, all statements and negotiations shall need to be authorized by or signed by the parties themselves to be binding on the parties unless otherwise stated in the brokerage agreement, agreement of sale, lease, or power of attorney;

(12) Complying with all requirements of this chapter and any rules and regulations promulgated pursuant to this chapter;

(13) Complying with any applicable federal, state, or local laws, rules, regulations, or ordinances; and

(14) Following fair housing and civil rights laws and regulations.

(c) Confidentiality.--The following information shall not be disclosed by a licensee without the informed consent of the affected party:

(1) That a buyer or tenant is willing to pay more than the purchase price or lease rate offered for the property;

(2) That a seller or landlord is willing to accept less than the asking price or lease rate for the property;

(3) What the personal motivating factors are for any party to a transaction;

(4) That a seller, buyer, landlord, or tenant will agree to terms other than those offered;

(5) Any material confidential information about the parties or property unless disclosure is required by statute or regulation or failure to disclose such information would constitute fraud or intentional misrepresentation;

(6) Any facts or suspicions regarding circumstances which may psychologically impact or stigmatize any real property pursuant to § 2927 of this title unless required to be disclosed by § 2927 of this title; or

(7) Any facts or suspicions that any party or someone in the community is a registered sex offender under subchapter III of Chapter 41 of Title 11 as amended from time to time, but if asked shall refer the person to the Delaware State Police to seek this information.

(d) Confidentiality exception.--For transactions of properties other than those marketed as:

(1) One-to-4 family residences; or

(2) Single family lots of land intended for 1-to-4 family residence;

designated agents who are not dual agents are exempt from subsection (c) of this section; instead, a duty of confidentiality by the agent to the client shall apply after a client relationship is formed.

(e) Actions permitted by agents.--An agent may do the following without breaching any obligation, duty, or responsibility to a customer or client:

(1) List and advertise competing properties for sale or lease;

(2) Show customers or clients alternative properties not owned by their broker's other clients;

(3) Show properties in which 1 customer or client is interested to their other customers or clients;

(4) Present offers on the same property for more than 1 customer or client:

(5) Disseminate information that is generally available to licensees. For example, providing information on comparable sales and the licensee's interpretation, advice, and opinion about this information with the customer or client retaining the authority to decide what to do with this information;

(6) Assist buyers and sellers in preparing offers and counteroffers, providing that the forms used advise the parties that they may seek legal advice prior to signing. Presenting all offers and counteroffers in a timely manner regardless of whether the property is subject to a contract for sale, lease or letter of intent unless instructed otherwise by the customer or client;

(7) Develop negotiating strategies or options for how to proceed with a transaction;

(8) Perform ministerial tasks;

(9) Serve as a single agent, sub-agent, or dual agent for the same parties in different transactions or different parties concerning the same property. For example, the licensee could be a statutory agent for the sellers in 1 transaction and a common law agent for the same people as buyers in another transaction;

(10) Cooperate with other licensees; however, for 1-to-4 family residences or single family lots of land intended for 1-to-4 family residences they shall not engage any common law subagents from other brokers or brokerage organizations;

(11) Disclose information concerning a transaction among the broker, designated associate broker(s) or designated salesperson(s), and office staff working for the brokerage organization on that transaction;

(12) Provide customers with factual information they request. Provide clients with relevant factual information. Tell clients about their choices of how to proceed and provide them with relevant information. Provide clients with information and advice when presented with questions from the client or a request for advice.

(f) No imputed knowledge.--There is no imputation of knowledge or information by operation of law among or between the customer, client, broker, associate broker, salesperson, brokerage organization and other licensees or persons within a brokerage organization.

(g) Notice.--Notice as defined by law or in the agreement of sale or lease given to a party shall be considered effective notice. Unless specified otherwise in the agreement of sale or lease, notice only given to a designated associate broker(s) or salesperson(s) shall also be considered effective notice to the client of that associate broker or salesperson. Notice to the broker is not considered notice to the designated associate broker(s), designated salesperson(s), or client. Notice only to the designated associate broker or salesperson is not considered notice to the broker, or the rest of the brokerage organization.

Cite this article: - Delaware Code Title 24. Professions and Occupations § 2936. Broker broker and salesperson as a statutory agent - last updated January 01, 2019 |

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