Creation of Agency Relationships: “Expressed Agency”, “Implied Agency” and “Ostensible Agency”

The relationship between an agent and a principal is fundamental in many business and legal transactions. Called “Agency Relationship,” it grants agents the authority to act and make decisions on behalf of the principals. But how exactly is this relationship established? There are mainly three ways through which agency relationships can be created: Express Agency, Implied Agency and Ostensible Agency. Let's explore each one in detail.

Express Agency

A Express Agency It is a relationship where all parties involved clearly define and express their intentions, usually in writing.

Key Features:

  • Explicit agreement: This type of agency is typically formalized through written contracts or agreements that list the duties, responsibilities, and powers of the agent.
  • Clarity: Both agent and principal are aware of the parameters of the relationship, ensuring transparency and clarity from the beginning.

Implied Agency

A Implied Agency arises from the behavior or actions of the parties involved, even if not explicitly stated.

Key Features:

  • Driven by behavior: Even without a formal written agreement, if the parties' actions suggest an agency relationship, there could be a Implied Agency.
  • Subtlety: It can sometimes be difficult to discern as it is based on the interpretation of actions and not written statements.

Ostensible Agency

Also known as “Agency by Estoppel”, a Ostensible Agency It emerges when a relationship is perceived to exist due to the behavior or recognition of the principal.

Key Features:

  • Perception of reality: Even if an official agency relationship does not exist, if a third party perceives that one exists due to the actions or statements of the principal, an agreement can be established. Ostensible Agency.
  • Possible liability: Principals must be careful, as they may be held responsible for an agent's actions if a perceived Ostensible Agency.


Establishing an agency relationship can be both explicit and nuanced. Whether formally defined through a Express Agency or subtly understood through a Implied either Ostensible Agency, understanding the subtleties of these relationships is essential. This ensures that parties are aware of their roles, rights and obligations, leading to smoother and more transparent transactions.

Legal and Tax Disclaimer

Please be advised that the content presented in this blog is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal or tax advice. The articles and information provided here are written from the perspective of a real estate agent affiliated with Keller Williams, and do not represent legal or tax counsel.

As the author, I am a licensed real estate professional under Keller Williams, holding Brokerage DRE License Number: #02197031. However, it is important to note that my expertise is in the field of real estate, and not in legal or tax matters. The insights and opinions shared on this blog are based on my experiences and knowledge in the real estate industry and should be treated as general guidance rather than definitive legal or tax advice.

For specific legal or tax concerns relating to any real estate transactions or investments, readers are strongly encouraged to consult with a qualified attorney or tax advisor who can provide tailored advice based on your individual circumstances and the latest legal and regulatory requirements.

The information on this blog is provided "as is" without warranty of any kind, and I, along with Keller Williams and its affiliates, disclaim all liability for any loss, damage, or misunderstanding arising from reliance on the information contained herein.

Related news

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get your FREE guide

Enter your email so we can send you your guide

Secure your space in our webinar.

Don't worry if you can't attend: we'll send you the recording!