The Transaction Broker Relationship
In Florida, residential real estate licensees may serve as a single agent, transaction broker, or maintain a no-representation status in a luxury real estate transaction. It is presumed that all licensees are acting as transaction brokers unless a single agent or no brokerage status is designated in writing to the customer. A transaction broker provides limited representation to a buyer, seller, or both in a real estate transaction but does not represent either in a fiduciary capacity or as a single agent. Limited representation allows a licensee to facilitate a real estate transaction by assisting both the buyer and the seller, but a licensee will not work to represent one party to the detriment of the other party when acting as a transaction broker to both parties.
In a transaction broker relationship, a buyer or seller is not responsible for the acts of a licensee. The duties of the licensee include: (1) dealing honestly and fairly; (2) accounting for all funds; (3) using skill, care, and diligence in the transaction; (4) disclosing all known facts that materially affect the value of the residential property and are not readily observable to the buyer; (5) presenting all offers and counteroffers in a timely manner, unless a party has previously directed the licensee otherwise in writing; (6) limited confidentiality, unless waived in writing by a party, and this limited confidentiality will prevent disclosure that the seller will accept a price less than the asking or listed price, that the buyer will pay a price greater than the price submitted in a written offer, of the motivation of any party for selling or buying property, that a seller or buyer will agree to financing terms other than those offered, or of any other information requested by a party to remain confidential; and (7) any additional duties that are mutually agreed to with a party.
Transaction brokers must disclose the nature of their relationship with a buyer or seller in all residential sales but not in commercial real estate transactions. Licensees are presumed to operate as transaction brokers unless one of the other two available brokerage relationships is created in writing.