Indiana Real Estate Brokers: Duties & Responsibilities

Instructor: Tara Schofield
Your business is just getting off the ground and you're excited to be a new real estate broker. You want to fulfill your obligation and responsibilities. You can get started by understanding the key points of this lesson.

Responsibilities of a Real Estate Broker

As a real estate broker in Indiana, you provide an important and valued service to your clients. If you represent a seller, you help that person go through the process of listing, negotiating, and selling their home. If you represent a buyer, you help your client understand their needs, view homes to find their ideal house, and negotiate an offer to purchase the home.

Either way, your services help with the sale or purchase of one of the largest transactions most people will participate in during their lifetime. Your job is very important!

Practicing within Scope of Expertise

As an agent, you have studied, practiced, and passed the national and Indiana state real estate test. This is evidence that you have the knowledge to help a buyer purchase a home or a seller sell their house.

It's your job to understand the real estate laws, accurately complete the paperwork, and protect your client through the process. However, you also need to know your limits. Don't make promises you can't keep or make guarantees that are beyond the scope of your license.

For instance, if you are acting as a real estate agent, it is not wise or appropriate to make statements that are outside of your knowledge. Such as telling your clients a roof on a house looks fine when you don't know anything about roofs nor have been up on the roof to look at the condition.

You can't tell your buyer that the furnace looks new and should last them 20 years when you don't know its age or condition. Your goal is to protect your client. They will make decisions based on what you tell them and you need to take care not to overstep your knowledge or boundaries as an agent.

Unauthorized Practice of Law

You are a real estate agent. You are not an attorney. The only legal act you can do as an agent is to fill out the templates for buying or selling real estate and the appropriate real estate forms that have already been created and approved by the Indiana Areal Estate Commission.

You cannot create your own forms or make changes to the forms beyond what is appropriate for agents. You can fill out approved contracts and eliminate areas of authorized contracts, but don't add sections you create to authorized contract forms or create new forms. If you find you need significant changes to an existing form, you need to consult an attorney to have a new form drafted.

Let's say your seller has a very complicated transaction, including multiple sellers with various demands that are beyond the scope of the typical sales contract authorized by the Indiana Real Estate Commission. You explain to your client that this sale will require a more specific sales contract that must be created by an attorney.

Your seller agrees to pay the attorney fee. You know of an excellent real estate attorney in your town who is able to create a valid, legal contract that meets all the needs of your client and all parties involved with the property.

Privacy

You will learn many personal details about your clients, their situation, and their motivations for buying or selling a house. As their agent, it is your job to keep their business confidential.

You cannot tell another agent any details that could affect the negotiation or completion of the sale. Let's imagine your client has lost their job and is desperate to sell the house. You need to keep this information private because it could affect how much a buyer offers for the house.

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