This pamphlet describes agency relationships and the duties and responsibilities of real estate licensees in Oregon. This pamphlet is informational only and neither the pamphlet nor its delivery to you may be construed to be evidence of intent to create an agency relationship.
An "agency" relationship is a voluntary legal relationship in which a real estate licensee (the "agent") agrees to act on behalf of a buyer or a seller (the "client") in a real estate transaction. Oregon law provides for three types of agency relationships between real estate agents and their clients:
The actual agency relationships between the seller, buyer and their agents in a real estate transaction must be acknowledged at the time an offer to purchase is made. Please read this pamphlet carefully before entering into an agency relationship with a real estate agent.
Under a written listing agreement to sell property, an agent represents only the seller unless the seller agrees in writing to allow the agent to also represent the buyer. An agent who agrees to represent a buyer acts only as the buyer's agent unless the buyer agrees in writing to allow the agent to also represent the seller. An agent who represents only the seller or only the buyer owes the following affirmative duties to their client, other parties and their agents involved in a real estate transaction:
None of these affirmative duties of an agent may be waived, except #10, which can only be waived by written agreement between client and agent.
Under Oregon law, a seller's agent may show properties owned by another seller to a prospective buyer and may list competing properties for sale without breaching any affirmative duty to the seller. Similarly, a buyer's agent may show properties in which the buyer is interested to other prospective buyers without breaching any affirmative duty to the buyer.
Unless agreed to in writing, an agent has no duty to investigate matters that are outside the scope of the agent's expertise.
One agent may represent both the seller and the buyer in the same transaction, or multiple buyers who want to purchase the same property only under a written "Disclosed Limited Agency" agreement, signed by the seller, buyer(s) and their agent.
When different agents associated with the same real estate firm establish agency relationships with different parties to the same transaction, only the principal broker (the broker who supervises the other agents)will act as a Disclosed Limited Agent for both the buyer and seller. The other agents continue to represent only the party with whom the agent already has an established agency relationship unless all parties agree otherwise in writing. The supervising principal broker and the agents representing either the seller or the buyer have the following duties to their clients:
An agent acting under a Disclosed Limited Agency agreement has the same duties to the client as when representing only a seller or only a buyer, except that the agent may not, without written permission, disclose any of the following:
No matter whom they represent, an agent must disclose information the agent knows or should know that failure to disclose would constitute fraudulent misrepresentation. Unless agreed to in writing, an agent acting under a Disclosed Limited Agency agreement has no duty to investigate matters that are outside the scope of the agent's expertise.
You are encouraged to discuss the above information with the agent delivering this pamphlet to you. If you intend for that agent, or any other Oregon real estate agent, to represent you as a Seller's Agent, Buyer's Agent, or Disclosed Limited Agent, you should have a specific discussion with him/her about the nature and scope of the agency relationship. Whether you are a buyer or seller, you cannot make a licensee your agent without their knowledge and consent, and an agent cannot make you their client without your knowledge and consent.