Ontario Realtors Continue Representing Both Buyers and Sellers
Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Public and Business Service Delivery Minister Todd McCarthy recently expressed their support for real estate agents at the Ontario Real Estate Association’s (OREA) Power House conference in Toronto. They assured attendees that the new regulations coming into force will prevent “a very few bad apples [from painting] a broad brush against the whole real estate market.”
Trust in Real Estate Services Act
The extensive new regulations under the Trust in Real Estate Services Act, which passed in 2020, represent the second phase of regulatory changes under the legislation. This includes an updated code of ethics and increased disciplinary powers for the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO). However, the act was crafted to maintain realtors’ ability to represent both the buyer and seller in a single real estate deal, despite concerns about the practice and bans on it elsewhere in Canada.
Designated Representation Agreements
To address cases where clients do not consent to dual representation, the government is moving ahead with a suggestion from OREA’s 2019 proposal to create “designated representation agreements.” These agreements would assign separate agents at the same brokerage to represent each party in a deal, making one agent at a brokerage solely responsible for the interests of one client while allowing other agents at the same company to represent another party in the sale.
Consumer Choice and Protection
Michelle Sanborn, Ministry of Government and Consumer Services policy director, told the public accounts committee that the agreements are a necessary compromise, especially in small communities with few agents or brokerages. She said, “Multiple representations [by one agent] will continue to exist for consumer choice and for smaller communities with a limited number of agents, for example.”
Enforcement of Disclosure Requirements
PC MPP Donna Skelly remained skeptical, wondering how well the new disclosure requirements for dual representation will be enforced. She said, “This is probably the biggest purchase of anyone’s life or sale of anyone’s life. If you’re being represented by one person, you can’t possibly be getting the best representation when they’re representing both parties.”
In conclusion, while the new regulations in Ontario do not ban dual representation, they do impose new requirements on agents to disclose their status to each client and get their consent to the situation in writing. This aims to protect consumers while maintaining the flexibility and personal touch that real estate agents provide in the home buying and selling process.
Orginal article: Link To Article – provided by Kansas City Realtors