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Utah Real Estate Laws Regarding Agency

6.1.11. Failure to have written agency agreement. To avoid representing more than one party without the informed consent of all parties, principal brokers and licensees acting on their behalf shall have written agency agreements with their principals. The failure to define an agency relationship in writing will be considered unprofessional conduct and grounds for disciplinary action by the Division.

6.1.11.1. A principal broker and licensees acting on his behalf who represent a seller shall have a written agency agreement with the seller defining the scope of the agency.

6.1.11.2. A principal broker and licensees acting on his behalf who represent a buyer shall have a written buyer agency agreement with the buyer defining the scope of the agency.

6.1.11.3. A principal broker and licensees acting on his behalf who represent both buyer and seller shall have written agency agreements with both buyer and seller which define the scope of the limited agency and which demonstrate that the principal broker has obtained the informed consent of both buyer and seller to the limited agency as set forth in Section R162-6.2.15.3.1.

6.2.15. Fiduciary Duties. A principal broker and licensees acting on his behalf owe the following fiduciary duties to the principal:

6.2.15.1. Duties of a seller's or lessor's agent. A principal broker and licensees acting on his behalf who act solely on behalf of the seller or the lessor owe the seller or the lessor the following fiduciary duties:

(a) Loyalty, which obligates the agent to act in the best interest of the seller or the lessor instead of all other interests, including the agent's own;

(b) Obedience, which obligates the agent to obey all lawful instructions from the seller or lessor;

(c) Full disclosure, which obligates the agent to tell the seller or lessor all material information which the agent learns about the buyer or lessee or about the transaction;

(d) Confidentiality, which prohibits the agent from disclosing any information given to the agent by the seller or lessor which would likely weaken the seller's or lessor's bargaining position if it were known, unless the agent has permission from the seller or lessor to disclose the information. This duty does not require the agent to withhold any known material fact concerning a defect in the property or the seller's or lessor's ability to perform his obligations;

(e) Reasonable care and diligence;

(f) Holding safe and accounting for all money or property entrusted to the agent; and

(g) Any additional duties created by the agency agreement.

6.2.15.2. Duties of a buyer's or lessee's agent. A principal broker and licensees acting on his behalf who act solely on behalf of the buyer or lessee owe the buyer or lessee the following fiduciary duties:

(a) Loyalty, which obligates the agent to act in the best interest of the buyer or lessee instead of all other interests, including the agent's own;

(b) Obedience, which obligates the agent to obey all lawful instructions from the buyer or lessee;

(c) Full Disclosure, which obligates the agent to tell the buyer or lessee all material information which the agent learns about the property or the seller's or lessor's ability to perform his obligations;

(d) Confidentiality, which prohibits the agent from disclosing any information given to the agent by the buyer or lessee which would likely weaken the buyer's or lessee's bargaining position if it were known, unless the agent has permission from the buyer or lessee to disclose the information. This duty does not permit the agent to misrepresent, either affirmatively or by omission, the buyer's or lessee's financial condition or ability to perform;

(e) Reasonable care and diligence;

(f) Holding safe and accounting for all money or property entrusted to the agent; and

(g) Any additional duties created by the agency agreement.

6.2.15.3. Duties of a limited agent. A principal broker and licensees acting on his behalf who act as agent for both seller and buyer, or lessor and lessee, commonly referred to as "dual agents," are limited agents since the fiduciary duties owed to seller and to buyer, or to lessor and lessee, are inherently contradictory. A principal broker and licensees acting on his behalf may act in this limited agency capacity only if the informed consent of both buyer and seller, or lessor and lessee, is obtained.

6.2.15.3.1. In order to obtain informed consent, the principal broker or a licensee acting on his behalf shall clearly explain to both buyer and seller, or lessor and lessee, that they are each entitled to be represented by their own agent if they so choose, and shall obtain written agreement from both parties that they will each be giving up performance by the agent of the following fiduciary duties:

(a) The principal broker or a licensee acting on his behalf shall explain to buyer and seller, or lessor and lessee, that they are giving up their right to demand undivided loyalty from the agent, although the agent, acting in this neutral capacity, shall advance the interest of each party so long as it does not conflict with the interest of the other party. In the event of conflicting interests, the agent will be held to the standard of neutrality; and

(b) The principal broker or a licensee acting on his behalf shall explain to buyer and seller, or lessor and lessee, that there will be a conflict as to a limited agent's duties of confidentiality and full disclosure, and shall explain what kinds of information will be held confidential if told to a limited agent by either buyer or seller, or lessor and lessee, and what kinds of information will be disclosed if told to the limited agent by either party. The limited agent may not disclose any information given to the agent by either principal which would likely weaken that party's bargaining position if it were known, unless the agent has permission from the principal to disclose the information; and

(c) The principal broker or a licensee acting on his behalf shall explain to the buyer and seller, or lessor and lessee, that the limited agent will be required to disclose information given to the agent in confidence by one of the parties if failure to disclose the information would be a material misrepresentation regarding the property or regarding the abilities of the parties to fulfill their obligations.

(d) The Division and the Commission shall consider use of consent language approved by the Division and the Commission to be informed consent.

6.2.15.3.2. In addition, a limited agent owes the following fiduciary duties to all parties:

(a) Obedience, which obligates the limited agent to obey all lawful instructions from either the buyer or the seller, lessor and lessee, consistent with the agent's duty of neutrality;

(b) Reasonable care and diligence;

(c) Holding safe all money or property entrusted to the limited agent; and

(d) Any additional duties created by the agency agreement.

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