Um, YES, the Broker Owns the File

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Kristen Correa Real Estate & Reedy Creek Realty Services 0514644

Fresh out of an all week class, the first part is almost always about professional standards: ethics. The code. When the class content moved on from The Code of Ethics to The Rest of the Story we learned, over and over again, the CLIENT in in an AGENCY relationship with the BROKER. So, salesperson, licensee, Realtor®, the client may be yo mama, but they are the broker's client. They may be your BFF. They may be someone you share offices with, or sleep under the same roof with. But a real estate client belongs to the Broker. Shocked to see this post below by J Philip. Thought I would re-blog. Because we were taught in class today to BRING OUR PROFESSION UP! RAISE THE BAR. Above what we think individually. above what the law said. RISE UP. Know your stuff!

Original content by J. Philip Faranda License # 49FA1074963

The real estate forums on Facebook are often informative and engaging. And then there was tonight, where a licensee in a state where my license has reciprocity came out with this one: 

She claimed that her broker had no right to see the files on a transaction she was working on. No right. When shocked voices piped up about such an assertion, she went on to say that in her firm, files were locked away from the broker until a few days before the closing. There was some stuff about the agency relationship with the client and the "office," that exceptions could be made if there were a problem (imagine a problem coming up?) and then I got a headache.  


Here's the deal: In the states where I hold a license (NY and CT), every shred of paper related to a transaction file is owned by me as the broker. I not only have a right to see my firm's files, I have an obligation. 

The agency relationship the consumer has with the "office" is the agency relationship the consumer has with me as the broker. Not with the agent or associate broker. Me. THE broker. I think it is that way in all 50 states. 

I cannot think of a matter or scenario in this plane of existence where an agent's right to see, or manage a file supercedes their broker's ownership and responsibility for that very same file. 

The client belongs to the broker. 
The file belongs to the broker. 
Every piece of paper is for the broker's eyes first, last and always. 

The broker has complete and total vicarious liablilty for every action the agent takes on a file with a client or customer. Can we see the file? Folks, it belongs to me. It is my file. The client is my client. 

Yes. I can see the file. Let me rephrase that: Yes, I can see my file. 


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Posted by

Kristen Correa Real Estate

Comments (4)

J. Philip Faranda
J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY - Briarcliff Manor, NY

Thanks for the shout out. I am still floored at the misinfomation about this basic tenet! 


May 10, 2013 12:38 PM
Wallace S. Gibson, CPM
Gibson Management Group, Ltd. - Charlottesville, VA

This is so common - especially in today's world of self-branding - the broker is often forgotten in the transaction

May 10, 2013 08:18 PM
Joe Petrowsky
Mortgage Consultant, Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS # 2709 - Manchester, CT
Your Mortgage Consultant for Life

I'm not sure why this is so surprising. It has been that way forever. If a broker is ultimately responsible for the actions of his sales people, then it only makes sense.

Make it a great weekend!

May 10, 2013 08:26 PM
Charles Stallions Property Manager
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services - Pace, FL
Pensacola, Pace & Gulf Breeze Property Management

I agree with the consensus of the rest of your comments, I think everyone should be brokers and responsible for themselves

May 13, 2013 01:35 PM