Nikki Salgat, associate counsel to the Arizona Association of Realtors, recently posted a blog discussing the standard of care regarding real estate professionals.
“Standard of care is generally defined as the degree of care an ordinary, reasonable and prudent person would exercise in given circumstances,” Salgat wrote in the posting on the Phoenix-based association's website.
In the posting, she said that the standard of care (“required either by law or custom”) is not the same for every homebuyer.
“The standard of care may vary depending on the facts, as well as the skills and knowledge of your client," she wrote. "For example, a first time buyer would most likely require more guidance than someone who routinely invests in real estate."
If the standard of care is not met in a buyer’s opinions, they could potentially file a lawsuit. If a lawsuit is brought against a real estate agent, a peer, typically a broker, may offer an opinion as to whether the agent met or fell below the standard of care, Salgat wrote.
Salgat wrote that Arizona law regarding standard of care says: “At a minimum, an understanding of the general purpose and legal effect of any real estate practices, principles and related forms, including agency contracts, real estate contracts, deposit receipts, deeds, mortgages, deeds of trust, security agreements, bills of sale, land contracts of sale and property management, and of any other areas that the commissioner deems necessary and proper.”
Salgat wrote that the best way Realtor can make sure they meet the standard of care is to stay educated, attend classes and trainings and read relevant statutes and rules.