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Information Statement on
New Jersey Real Estate Relationships
In New Jersey, real estate licensees are required to disclose how
they intend to work with buyers and sellers in a real estate
transaction. (In rental transactions, the terms "buyers" and
"sellers" should read as "tenants" and "landlords," respectively.)
AS A SELLER'S AGENT OR SUBAGENT, I, AS A LICENSEE,
REPRESENT THE SELLER AND ALL MATERIAL INFORMATION SUPPLIED TO ME BY
THE BUYER WILL BE TOLD TO THE SELLER.
AS A BUYER'S AGENT, I, AS A LICENSEE, REPRESENT THE BUYER
AND ALL MATERIAL INFORMATION SUPPLIED TO ME BY THE SELLER WILL BE
TOLD TO THE BUYER.
3. AS A DISCLOSED DUAL AGENT, I, AS A LICENSEE, REPRESENT
BOTH PARTIES, HOWEVER, I MAY NOT, WITHOUT EXPRESS PERMISSION,
DISCLOSE THAT THE SELLER WILL ACCEPT A PRICE LESS THAN THE
LISTING PRICE OR THAT THE BUYER WILL PAY A PRICE GREATER THAN THE
AS A TRANSACTION BROKER, I, AS A LICENSEE, DO NOT
REPRESENT EITHER THE BUYER OR THE SELLER. ALL INFORMATION I ACQUIRE
FROM ONE PARTY MAY BE TOLD TO THE OTHER PARTY.
Before you disclose confidential information to a real estate
licensee regarding a real estate transaction, you should understand
what type of business relationship you have with that licensee.
There are four
Each of these
relationships imposes certain legal duties and responsibilities on
the licensee as well as on the seller or buyer represented. These
four relationships are defined in greater detail below. Please read
carefully before making your choice.
A seller's agent WORKS ONLY FOR THE SELLER
and has legal obligations, called fiduciary duties, to the seller.
These include reasonable care, undivided loyalty, confidentiality
and full disclosure. Seller's agents often work with buyers, but do
not represent the buyer's. However, in working with buyers a
seller's agent must act honestly. In dealing with both parties, a
seller's agent may not make any misrepresentations to either party
on matters material to the transaction, such as the buyer's
financial ability to pay, and must disclose defects of a material
nature affecting the physical condition of the property which a
reasonable inspection by the licensee would disclose.
Seller's agents include all persons licensed with the brokerage firm
which has been authorized through a listing agreement to work as the
seller's agent. In addition, other brokerage firms may accept an
offer to work with the listing broker's firm as the seller's agents.
In such cases, those firms and all persons licensed with such firms
are called "sub-agents." Sellers who do not desire to have their
property marketed through sub-agents should so inform the seller's
A buyer's agent WORKS ONLY FOR THE BUYER.
A buyer's agent has fiduciary duties to the buyer which include
reasonable care, undivided loyalty, confidentiality and full
disclosure. However, in dealing with sellers a buyer's agent must
act honestly. In dealing with both parties, a buyer's agent may not
make any misrepresentations on matters material to the transaction,
such as the buyer's financial ability to pay, and must disclose
defects of a material nature affecting the physical condition of the
property which a reasonable inspection by the licensee would
A buyer wishing to be represented by a buyer's agent is advised to
enter into a separate written buyer agency contract with the
brokerage firm which is to work as their agent.
A disclosed dual agent WORKS FOR BOTH THE
BUYER AND SELLER. To work as a dual agent, a firm must first
obtain the informed written consent of the buyer and seller.
Therefore, before acting as a disclosed dual agent, brokerage firms
must make written disclosure to both parties. Disclosed dual agency
is most likely to occur when a licensee with a real estate firm
working as a buyer's agent shows the buyer properties owned by
sellers for whom that firm is also working as a seller's agent or
A real estate licensee working as a disclosed dual agent must
carefully explain to each party that, in addition to working as
their agent, their firm will also work as the agent for the other
party. They must also explain what effect their working as a
disclosed dual agent will have on the fiduciary duties their firm
owes to the buyer and to the seller. When working as a disclosed
dual agent, a brokerage firm must have the express permission of a
party prior to disclosing confidential information to the other
Such information includes the highest price a buyer can afford to
pay and the lowest price the seller will accept and the parties'
motivation to buy and sell. Remember, a brokerage firm acting as a
disclosed dual agent will not be able to put one party's interests
ahead of those of the other party and cannot advise or counsel
either party on how to gain an advantage at the expense of the other
party on the basis of confidential information obtained from or
about the other party.
If you decide to enter into an agency relationship with a firm which
is to work as a disclosed dual agent, you are advised to sign a
written agreement with that firm.
The New Jersey Real Estate Licensing Law does not require licensees
to work in the capacity of an "agent' when providing brokerage
services. A transaction broker works with a buyer or a seller or
both in the same sales transaction without representing anyone.
A TRANSACTION BROKER DOES NOT PROMOTE THE
INTERESTS OF ONE PARTY OVER THOSE OF THE OTHER PARTY TO THE
TRANSACTION. Licensees with such a firm would be required to
treat all parties honestly and to act in a competent manner, but
they would not be required to keep confidential any information. A
transaction broker can locate qualified buyers for a seller or
suitable properties for a buyer. They can then work with both
parties in an effort to arrive at an agreement on the sale or rental
of real estate and perform tasks to facilitate the closing of a
A transaction broker primarily serves as a manager of the
transaction, communicating information between the parties to assist
them in arriving at a mutually acceptable agreement and in closing
the transaction, but cannot advise or counsel either party on how to
gain an advantage at the expense of the other party. Owners
considering working with transaction brokers are advised to sign a
written agreement with that firm which clearly states what services
that firm will perform and how it will be paid. In addition, any
transaction brokerage agreement with a seller or landlord should
specifically state whether a notice on the property to be rented or
sold will or will not be circulated in any or all Multiple Listing
System(s) of which that firm is a member.
OBTAIN LEGAL ADVISE ABOUT THESE BUSINESS RELATIONSHIPS FROM YOUR OWN
THIS STATEMENT IS NOT A CONTRACT AND IS PROVIDED FOR INFORMATIONAL
DECLARATION OF BUSINESS RELATIONSHIP
I, __________________________________________________ (name of
as an authorized representative of
intend, as of this time, to work with you as a: (indicate one of
( ) seller's agent ( ) buyer's agent
( ) seller's agent and disclosed dual agent if the opportunity
( ) buyer's agent and disclosed dual agent if the opportunity
( ) transaction broker
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