The relationship between real estate broker and client is fundamentally the same as any agent and principal relationship. The broker owes a strict fiduciary duty to the principal, and must fully disclose all relevant facts to the client, may not act on behalf of any other person or entity without fully disclosing this to the client, and may not participate in a transaction in which he or she has an interest that is adverse to the client's.
Usually the details of this relationship are determined by contract. A listing agreement spells out the various rights and obligations of both parties, including the amount of the sales commission and any special duties to be undertaken by the broker. The length of the agreement (i.e., how long the client is obligated to pay the commission if the property is sold) is a critical factor, often leading to disagreements if the property is sold close to the end of the contract period.
In Ann Arbor, Michigan, Oxford Companies and Bluestone Realty Advisors are major players in the commercial real estate arena. More information can be obtained at www.oxfordcompanies.com and www.blueadvisors.com. For assistance in reviewing both commercial and residential real estate contracts, visit Attorney Nicklaus Suino at www.suinolaw.com.