BUYER AGENCY AND BUYER AGENCY AGREEMENTS
What is it? Why? What does it mean to YOU.
The Real Estate Council of Ontario, in their new Code of Ethics, commencing January 1, 2000, has now made it mandatory for ALL Real Estate Agents in Ontario to enter into Written Representation Agreements (both with Sellers and Buyers) at the earliest possible time. Thus BUYER AGENCY AGREEMENTS.
CUSTOMER vs CLIENT – The difference is extremely important. As a “CLIENT” – The Agent owes YOU the HIGHEST LEVEL of FIDUCLIARY DUTIES – competence, diligence, FULL DISCLOSURE, obedience, loyalty, CONFIDENTIALITY, and full accounting. The Agent SHALL endeavor to protect and promote YOUR best interests.
AS a “CUSTOMER” – Agents must only deal Fairly, Honestly and with Integrity and not mislead YOU about a property transaction.
WRITTEN REPRESENTATION AGREEMENTS ARE NOW MANDATORY IF YOU ARE GOING TO BE REPRESENTED AS A “CLIENT”. If a Buyer won’t agree to a Buyer Agency Agreement, then he/she can only be treated as a CUSTOMER and therefore, CONFIDENTIALITY IS OUT THE WINDOW. Any information gathered from the BUYER MUST be divulged to the SELLER- ie. How much the BUYER is willing to pay for the Property.
According to Aland Johnston, Mgr. Of complaints, compliance and discipline at The Real Estate Council of Ontario, “It is in the buyer’s best interest to sign a representation agreement.
As a “CLIENT” we can ADVISE YOU about values, things to watch out for/concerns (shore road allowance, septic, etc.), negotiation strategies, conditions in Offers, etc. We look out for YOUR BEST INTERESTS. As a “CUSTOMER” we must only provide you with information without advice.
We only ask that you work with us in OUR AREA, for NINETY DAYS. If you choose to look in another area, eg. Haliburton, you should seek an agent there.
If other Agents are not discussing this with you, BE ASSURED, they are not working for YOU. It’s the LAW.
NOTE: Some of the above information is from an article written by Alan Silverstein-lawyer in the Toronto Star, March 11, 2000 entitled “Home Buyers: Make sure to sign agency agreement with your realtor”.