The duty of accounting requires the agent to account to the principal for any and all money or property of the principal’s coming into the agent’s hands. Accounting is rarely an issue unless money has been misappropriated. Misappropriation of a client’s money is a very serious breach of agency duty that can result in loss of license and even criminal sanctions.
Typically, the only client funds entrusted to real estate agents is the earnest money. Earnest money accounting and handling is separately regulated by statute and administrative rule in Oregon. Other than earnest money, the duty of accounting causes few problems in real estate as long as the agent is very careful to document any monies of the client that flow through their hands.
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