REALTORs have an obligation to represent the best interests of their clients, buying or selling. But how can they do that fairly when representing both the buyer and the seller at the same time? Sources say, ‘they can’t.’
Many people are in favour of the news that the Ontario government is now proposing; banning the act of ‘double-ending’ listings. The Ontario Real Estate Association itself calls the act problematic, while also calling for an overhaul of the 2002 provincial rules and code of ethics.
The news of this proposal comes after an announcement earlier this year of a 16-point housing plan. One of the focuses of this plan is to ensure buyers and sellers alike are fairly represented, with the main idea being ‘one agent cannot fairly represent both the buyer and the seller’.
These kinds of deals aren’t rare though, with 1-in-10 sales being double ended. If Ontario were to ban this practice, this province would be the fourth province to do so. British Columbia, Alberta, Nova Scotia and Manitoba have all barred the practice within the past year.
The province’s proposal states: “These competing interests may make it challenging for registrants involved in these types of transactions to meet their obligations to their clients or to be able to advocate effectively on behalf of either party”.
As it stands now, double-ending is allowed in the Ontario marketplace, given the clients represented by the agent agree in writing. It is important clients understand the risks involved with double ending listings.