The Duty Of Confidentiality In Real Estate

In any Listing Agreement there is a point in time when the agency relationship ends.

A Listing Agreement, as it is widely known, is none other than a contract between the rightful titleholder of an interest in land (the 'Principal') and a duly licensed real estate firm (the 'Agent'), whereby the firm stipulates and Agreements to find a Buyer within a specified timeframe who is ready, willing and able to purchase the interest in land that is the subject matter of the contract while acting within the real of the authority that the Principal confers onto the Agent, and wherein beyondmore the Titleholder stipulates and agreements to pay a commission should the licensee ever be successful in finding such Buyer.

As in all contracts, there is implied in a Listing Agreement an element which is commonly known at law as an 'implied covenant of good faith and fair dealings'. This covenant is a general assumption of the law that the parties to the contract – in this case the titleholder and the licensed real estate firm – will deal fairly with each other and that they will not cause each other to suffer damages by either breaking their words Or otherwise break their respect and mutual contractual obligations, express and implied. A breach of this implied covenant gives rise to liability both in contract law and, depending on the circumstances, in tort as well.

Due to the particular nature of a Listing Agreement, the Courts have long since ruled that during the term of the agency relationship there is implied in the contract a second element that arises out of the many duties and responsibilities of the agent towards the Principal: a Duty of confidentiality, which obligates an agent acting exclusively for a seller or for a Buyer, or a dual agent acting for both parties under the provisions of a Limited Dual Agency Agreement, to keep confidential certain information provided by the Principal. Like for the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealings, a breach of this duty of confidentiality gives rise to liability both in contract law and, depending on the circumstances, in tort as well.

Pursant to a recent decision of the Real Estate Council of British Columbia ( ), the regulatory body empowered with the mandate to protect the interest of the public in matters involving real estate, a question now arises As to whether or not the duty of confidentiality extends beyond the expiration or otherwise termination of the Listing Agreement.

In a recent case the Real Estate Council reprimanded two licensees and a real estate firm for breaking a continuing duty of confidentiality, which the Real Estate Council was due to the Seller of a property. In this case the subject property was listed for sale for over two years. During the term of the Listing Agreement the price of the property was reduced on two occasions. This notwithstanding, the property extremely did not sell and the listing expired.

Following the expiration of the listing the Seller entered into three separate 'fee agreements' with the real estate firm. On all three occasions the Seller declined agency representation, and the firm was identified as 'Buyer's Agent' in these fee agreements. A party preceded a lawsuit as against the Seller, which was related to the subject property.

The lawyer acting for the Plaintiff approached the real estate firm and requested that they provide Affidavits containing information about the listing of the property. This lawyer made it very clear that if the firm did not provide the Affidavits voluntarily, he would either subpoena the firm and the licensees as witnesses to give evidence before the Judge, or he would obtain a Court Order ruling to the Rules Of Court compelling the Firm to give such evidence. The real estate firm, believing there was no other choice in the matter, promptly complied by providing the requested Affidavits.

As a direct and proximate result, the Seller filed a complaint with the Real Estate Council maintaining that the information contained in the Affidavits was 'confidential' and that the firm had delivered a duty of confidentiality owed to the Seller. As it turned out, the Affidavits were never used in the court proceedings.

The real estate brokerage, on the other hand, took the position that any duty of confidentiality arising from the agency relationship ended with the expiration of the Listing Agreement. The firm argued, moreover, that even if there was a duty of continuing confidentiality such duty would not precede or otherwise limit the evidence that the real estate brokerage would be subject to give under a subpoena or in a process under the Rules Of Court . And, finally, the realty company pointed out that there is no such thing as a realtor-client privilege, and that in the instant circumstances the Seller could not have foretold the firm from giving evidence in the lawsuit.

The Real Estate Council did not accept the line of defense and maintained that there exists a continuing duty of confidentiality, which extends after the expiration of the Listing Agreement. Council rule that by providing the Affidavits both the brokerage and the two licensee had breached this duty.

The attorney-client privilege is a legal concept that protects communications between a client and the attorney and keeps those communications confidential. There are limits to the attorney-client privilege, like for instance the fact that the privilege protects the confidential communication but not the under information. For instance, if a client has previously disclosed confidential information to a third party who is not an attorney, and then gives the same information to an attorney, the attorney-client privilege will still protect the communication to the attorney, but will not protect the Information provided to the third party.

Because of this, an analogy can be drawn up in the case of a realtor-client privilege during the existence of a Listing Agreement, whereby confidential information is disclosed to a third party such as a Real Estate Board for publication under the terms of a Multiple Listings Service agreement, but not before such information is disclosed to the real estate brokerage . In this instance the privilege theoretically would protect the confidential communication as well as the undering information.

And as to whether or not the duty of confidentiality extends past the termination of a listing agreement is still a matter of open debt, again in the case of an attorney-client privilege there is ample legal authority to support the position that such privilege does in Fact extend indefinitely, so that arguably an analogy can be infringed as well respecting the duration of the duty of confidentiality that the agent owes the Seller, to the extent that such duty extends indefinitely.

This, in a synopsis, seems to be the position taken by the Real Estate Council of British Columbia in this matter.

Clearly, regardless of duty of confidentiality that stems out of a Listing Agreement survives the termination of the contract is problematic to the real estate profession in terms of practical applications. If, for instance, a listing with Brokerage A expires and the Seller re-lists with Brokerage B, if there is a continuing duty of confidentiality on the part of Brokerage A, in the absence of express consent on the part of the Seller a Realtor Of Brokerage A could not act as a Buyer's Agent for the purchase of the Seller's property, if this was re-listed by Brokerage B. All of which, therefore, would fly right in the face of all the rules of professional cooperation between real estate Firms and their representatives. In fact, this process could potentially destabilize the entire foundation of the Multiple Listings Service system.

In the absence of specific guidelines, until this matter matter is clarified pursuant to the best course of action for real estate firms and licensees when requested by a lawyer to provide information that is confidential, is to respond that the brokerage will seek to obtain the necessary consent From the client and, if that consent is not forthcoming, that the lawyer will have to take the necessary legal steps to compel the disclosure of such information.

Reasons of Attraction for Online Shopping

In the competitive world all of us are running to save our precious time. The mass number of people do prefer online as the source of purchase as it is too convenient. The act of buying products is referred the word shopping. Sometimes this is done for a pleasurable activity and sometimes to get fulfill for your basic requirements like, food and cloth. We can see the outcome of this explosion all around us. The majority of the consumers preferred to shop online.

An individual can purchase almost everything based upon their choice and needs. Just on a single click all your essentials get delivered at your doorstep. Shopping through online is such an user friendly that you need not require to stand in a long queue to make your payment. Most of the people love online shopping because it makes things much easier and smoother. The business organizations preferred this channel as a scope to access into a worldwide network. The demands are increasing day by day.

The three important factors for every commercial organizations are acquisition, retention and enhancement can easily maintain. It helps out to reduce the pressure, save your energy while buying, and you can easily check and compare the value with other. The shoppers can shop more frequently through online portals. One can get almost everything in one place at a cheaper cost. A consumer living in any country of the world can consume their deserving product. The customers are also accepting it as a channel to give a gift that would be of superior quality, and also reasonable in price. The buying and selling through online plays an important role in many people’s lives. Online shoppers can select any time of the day or night to shop in a free mind, even you can do it from home or from your workplace. A person just needs to log onto the Internet, visit the preferred website to shop online and select the items based on their desires and easily get the delivery at the mentioned time. They can purchase a variety of things from shopping online.

Online Shopping has a numerous advantage. It is the shopping destination of the internet users across the country. E-commerce provides a way out of smarter shopping. It is designed with the modern technology for the development of internet. Shopping online permitted you to buy things without distracting your daily schedule. The English entrepreneur Michael Aldrich invented online shopping in the year of 1979. It is a strategy used to learn more about the customers need in order to make a stronger relationship with them. It’s an option to create lifetime customers by delivering on promises consistently. The market has already created its impact and has proven its uniqueness on the eye of the customer.

Some exclusive features make it more popular like you can get free shipping delivery as well as cash on delivery. The expectations of all the customers are different according to each of their age, gender, experience and culture. You want to purchase an item that are not available in your hometown area you can easily order it through online shopping. Lots of people considered it as a perfect way of shopping for getting the attractive offers at discount rate. The goodwill of online shopping helps to enhance the business. Growth and development of the industry indicate the development of the economy. It is one of the easiest technique to focus on the customer needs so that it’s in a position to provide total customer satisfaction and build customer loyalty. It fulfills all of your needs for every occasion.

Demonetisation: Impact on E-Commerce Platforms

India is still recovering from the unexpected demonetization of rs 500 and rs 1000 notes. A huge change is encountered in the routine of every business and the e-commerce industry has not been spared even. One of the most significant economic change in the lifetime of Indians experiencing vast spread tremors. While some people were hailing it as a masterstroke move against against black money, terrorism, and currency counterfeiting. Whereas, certain section of people were creating hue and cry against it. This change is placing a tremendous impact on trade and consumer demand. A lot of discussions and discussions are already going on these topics, so I will spare you on that!

The e-commerce platforms are reeling under pressure due to undelivered orders because a lot of customers have opted for COD, but are still offering the old currency notes only. Such drastic economic change has led to an increase in the use of cashless services but the e-commerce platforms are finding it very difficult to complete orders that have been marked for cash on delivery.

On one hand, there have been a huge increase in digital payments but on the other hand the percentage of undelivered online purchases too have gone up. All of this has claimed in huge returns as the customers who place online orders and choose for COD mode for payments, urge the delivery person to accept the old currency notes or take back the order.

Due to demonitisation, the e-commerce platforms have stopped COD mode of payment which is credited for close to 60% of online shopping in the country. COD is one of the popular payment options for a large section of India consumers who shops online. This is due to the sheer convenience it offers to its customers who wish to receive their orders first and pay later.

In order to compensate, these platforms have added credit card on delivery as one of the payment options to put customers at some ease who are running out of cash. More discounts are offered by restructured websites on online payments as well as zero cost EMI schemes.

The spokesperson of amazon has said that the company has incurred ten times growth due to credit card on delivery mode. However, this is not helping the sellers much who have complained that these efforts are not compensating for the loss incurred over COD mode.

No doubt, there will be a lot of inconvenience in the initial period but in the long run, everyone is hopeful of a better growth, reduction in cash on delivery services, along with a quick return investment.

Evaluating Credit Card Offers: Essential Terms You Must Understand

Credit card offers, they're everywhere! They appear in your mailbox. They pop up while you're surfing the Internet. They're in slick brochures next to the cash register or gas pump. They're in full-page ads in the Sunday papers.

If you need a new credit card, how do you choose? You should evaluate each offer carefully, and to do that you must understand these essential terms.

Annual Percentage Rate (APR) :

The interest rate charged on your account balance. (But see "Balance Calculation Methods," because the rules for computing interest from your balance and your APR can vary.) Your statement will typically show the APR and a monthly and / or daily rate based on the APR that's actually used to calculate your Monthly interest. There may be several APRs applicable to different portions of your balance, for example an introductory rate, a regular purchase rate, and a regular cash advance rate.

A fixed APR is set by the credit card company, which can generally change it with as little as 15 days advance notice, especially if you run afoul of any of the "gotchas" in the terms. These "gotchas" are often very consumer-unfriendly. For example, many companies these days reserve the right to raise your rate if you've been late on a payment to another, unrelated company.

A variable APR is tied to some widely used economic index, such as the Prime Rate. It may be stated as "prime + x%, currently y%," for example "prime + 7%, currently 13.5%." This means that when the Prime Rate is 6.5%, your APR is 13.5%. When the Prime Rate goes up or down, so does your APR. But beware, because some of the same "gotchas" apply to variable APRs as to fixed APRs. Read the fine print. It may state that if you're late with one payment, your APR will no longer be variable but will rise to an exorbitant fixed rate, usually over 20%.

The penalty APR is the rate to which your APR will immediately be raised when you violate any of the "gotchas" in the terms. This rate is usually at least 50% higher than the regular APR. Again, be sure to read the fine print to see what situations will trigger the penalty APR. You'll often see these: failure to pay this or any other account on time, exceeding your credit limit on this or any other account, excessive credit balances on your accounts in aggregate.

Balance Calculation Methods:

These are important to understand, because your APR is only part of the story when it comes to calculating the interest you'll be charged each month. The other part is how the balance is calculated to which the APR is applied. In any case the balance is multiplied by the daily or monthly interest rate. But the balance calculation is not as straightforward as you might think.

1. Two-Cycle Balance. This is the worst method from a consumer's point of view because it can lead to the highest interest calculations. Unfortunately, it's also becoming the most widely used method. To calculate the balance, add together the average daily balances for the current billing period (sometimes even including new charges) and the previous period. Here's why this is so unfriendly to you. Say you have run a balance for a few months and finally pay it from $ 200 down to zero at the end of May. You think it's safe to use the card in June for a new $ 100 purchase, and if you pay the $ 100 by the end of the June grace period, you will not owe any interest on it. But you're wrong. Since your average daily balance in May was not zero (say it was $ 120), and since you used the card in June, your interest will be calculated on May's average balance again, so even if you pay the whole June purchase in June, you Will still owe additional interest. In other words, you must wait two months, allow the account to cycle once with a zero balance, before it's safe to use it again – "safe" in the sense that you will not incur extra interest if you pay the balance in full By the end of the grace period.

2. Average Daily Balance. This was once the most common calculation method and is still popular. Add the daily balance for each day in the billing cycle, then divide by the number of days in the cycle. Depending on the terms, this may or may not include new charges.

3. Adjusted Balance. This is the best method from a consumer's point of view, but it's rapidly going the way of the dodo. Take the balance at the beginning of the billing cycle, then subtract any payments or other credits recorded during the cycle. Do not include new charges during the cycle. For example, if your beginning balance was $ 1200, and you paid $ 400 during the cycle, the balance to which your monthly rate will be applied is $ 800, regardless of any new charges.

Balance Transfer:

This means that you're charging card X to pay off (all or part of) the balance on card Y. So the balance is, in effect, transferred from card Y to card X. Why would you want to do this? Usually to take advantage of an introductory low interest rate when applying for a new card. Look closely at the terms. Sometimes these introductory rates last only a few months. The best ones are for the life of the balance. You will often have to pay a transaction fee equal to 3% of the balance transferred. Sometimes these fees are capped at $ 75 or so. Be sure to see whether or not the transaction fee excepts what you'll save in interest. If so, do not do it. Sometimes the credit card company will agree to waive the fee, especially on a new account. Do not be afraid to ask.

Cash Advance:

A cash loan charged immediately to your credit card account. Usually there is no grace period for paying off a cash advance, which means you'll be charged interest starting from the day of the loan, even if you pay it in full by the end of the billing cycle. Also this type of charge may have a higher APR than purchases or balance transfers. Check your terms. Note that some kinds of transactions, like buying casino chips or lottery tickets, may be valued as cash advances. This can also apply to writing a purchase check to your own bank account. Be sure to read the fine print.

Credit Limit:

The upper limit on your account balance. Exceeding it may result in penalties. Be very careful if your balance is close to the limit ("maxed out"), because you can exceed it without charging anything new if you fail to pay enough. Remember that just because the company has approved you for a certain limit does not mean you can afford to take on that much debt.

Disclosure Chart:

An important portion of the Terms and Conditions statement. It's a little bit like the Nutrition Statement on a food package because the law dictates what has to be listed here. If you can not stand to read all the fine print, be sure that you read this part.

  1. Fixed APR or APRs after any introductory rate (s) have expired
  2. Rule (s) for calculating variable APR (s) if applicable
  3. Grace period
  4. Annual fee if applicable
  5. Minimum per-cycle finance charge
  6. Additional fees if applicable, such as cash advance fees
  7. Balance calculation method
  8. Late payment and delinquency fees
  9. Over limit fees

Grace Period:

The time, calculated from the account cycle date, during which you can pay the balance in full without having any interest charged. This usually applies only to purchases, and only if you've paid the previous month's balance in full and on time. (Sometimes even that's not enough. See "Two-Cycle Balance" calculation method for an additional "gotcha.")


This can be very misleading. It does not mean the company is guaranteeing to issue you the card in the offer. It just means that they chose you to receive this offer based on some general screening of your credit report. They always reserve the right to deny or alter the offer based on a more detailed examination of your records.