In earlier years of organized real estate, when house hunting, Buyers often assumed that the REALTOR® squiring them around was working on their behalf – that is to say, in the best interest of the Buyers.
It seemed like an unfair playing field, and the evolution of Buyer Representation became a real opportunity.
The Real Estate Council of Ontario is the watchdog over all aspects of the industry. Licensed real estate professionals are governed by the real Estate Business and Brokers Act, 2002 edition. This includes a strict code of Ethics which REALTORS® must adhere to, including the provision that a salesperson “shall promote and protect the best interest of the registrant’s clients”.
There are, in Ontario, two levels of service a REALTOR® can provide to a Buyer., One is client service – where a Buyer authorizes a real estate brokerage to act on that person’s behalf – this is documented in a Buyer Representation Agreement.
Alternatively, a Customer Service Agreement may be signed, identifying that the REALTOR® working with a prospective Buyer is representing the interests of the Seller.
Immediately available to every prospective Buyer is a small pamphlet entitled Working With a REALTOR®. The contents will be reviewed and you will be asked to sign the Acknowledgement portion and indicate which form of representation you choose.
It’s essential that both the consumer and the REALTOR® understand clearly who’s working for who.