This topic seems to come up very frequently, in my Nevada classes. “When should I present the Consent to Act form?”
Although there are varying opinions on this subject, I’ll share mine. And, should your view differ, please don’t hesitate to comment on this post. Sharing information and opinions is a vital component of our success as Nevada Property Management professionals!
As a matter of personal/office policy, I never introduce the Consent to Act form.
It is my policy to only represent owner/landlords in my property management and leasing business. Therefore, a Consent to Act form is never needed in my practice. I’ve been told by a number of Nevada Property Managers that their broker’s policy is to present both the Duties Owed and the Consent to Act form, at the very beginning of a relationship with a client. Although I’m led to understand that’s often done, it’s not what I would consider to be a “best practice” in our industry.
Here’s why –
In Nevada, at least in the beginning of the client/agent relationship, we owe the very highest level of care to our owner/clients. That is what they expect from us, and is why they retain our services, in the first place. However, when we begin acting in the interest of two opposing parties in a real estate transaction, we are not acting in a fiduciary capacity for either one, any longer. Our duties/responsibilities to the original client are reduced, when we begin acting for both sides in a transaction. That’s what the Consent to Act form tells both parties (in a ‘softened’ way). Acting for opposing parties in any real estate transaction presents a natural conflict of interest. That’s why we have to seek specific permission of our clients, before we embark down that path.
In my view, when the two forms (Duties Owed and Consent to Act) are presented together, at the beginning of a relationship, it serves to minimize the value of the “Consent.” After all, at that moment, there really isn’t a dual representation situation in existence. So, the client is, intentionally or unintentionally, led to believe that the form is a “just in case” document.
Then, if the Consent to Act, and its meaning, are never discussed again (why would they be?), the implications and true significance of the “Consent” are given much less attention than the client/s deserve. For these reasons, I feel the Consent to Act form should only be introduced when it is actually needed – at the time the agent is seeking permission from his/her client to act as an agent for both parties in the transaction. Lastly, in reviewing the Nevada Real Estate Division’s opinion on Agency Disclosure in our state, I interpret their bulletin on the topic to be in agreement with my view.
As always, I encourage you to discuss this with your broker, and/or legal counsel, before changing any of your policies or procedures, as they pertain to Agency matters.
Please share your views! Comments are most welcome. Thanks for reading.