Although there are three types of agency relationships set out in Oregon statute, there is really only one basic set of agency duties. Whether representing a seller or a buyer or both, real estate licensees in Oregon owe everyone involved in the transaction (the seller, other principals and the principals’ agents) three legal duties. They are: (1) To deal honestly and in good faith; (2) To present all written offers, written notices and other written communications to and from the parties in a timely manner without regard to whether the property is subject to a contract for sale or the buyer is already a party to a contract to purchase; and (3) To disclose material facts known by the seller’s agent and not apparent or readily ascertainable to a party.
These three general duties apply without regard to the agency relationships. Although the duties are “affirmative” in the sense that they mandatory, they are not “fiduciary” duties like those that apply between agent and principal under the common law. Because they apply to all parties regardless of representation, it is critical to understand these general license law duties.
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