Walk a Kb or Two in my Moccasins- Nobody 'splained it to me like that!

Simple answers to Complex Questions and Complex Answers to Simple Questions. In real life, I'm a Greater-Toronto (Canada) Realtor with RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Ltd, Brokerage. I first joined RE/MAX in 1983 and was first Registered to Trade in Real Estate in Ontario in 1974. Formerly known as "Two-Finger Ramblings of a Forensic Acuitant turned Community Synthesizer"

Saturday, September 11, 2010

My realtor is acting as both seller's and buyer's agent.

From Zoocasa Ask the Pro's Section

Q..... My realtor is acting as both seller's and buyer's agent. This is my first experience as a seller, I did not know if there should be concern here. But it's becoming obvious that my agent is looking out for the buyer rather than me. I am very uncomfortable and want to put a stop to this. I haven't signed anything yet. Will the buyer or the agent have any claim against me if I do put a stop to this?

A.....Robert Ede

If you are concerned.
Make your concerns known verbally.

Then ask registrant to review with you the provisions in your existing Listing Agreement outlining his/her "modified" duties under a Multiple Representation situation.

If still unclear and uncertain, and time is not available for you to wait ... sign the deal subject to your lawyer approving the "form, content, price and financial terms" within the next 2 business days.

Tell Registrant you'll sign the offer if s/he'll convince the Buyer to allow the lawyer condition and meet with your lawyer after your lawyer has had an opportunity to review the agreement and any difficulties appear.

This clarification of the Multiple Representation procedure should allow everyone's self-interests to appear and the lawyer's approval condition allow you to contently proceed without compromising the "deal at hand".

What company will put your home on MLS for a fee-only?

From Zoocasa Ask the Pro's Section

Q.....What company will put your home on MLS for a fee-only?

A.... Robert Ede

Some Registrant with almost every Firm will.

This question is the nub of the debate caused by the Competition Bureau.

Let me respond in two parts - Part 2 first

It has always been totally legit, legal, okay and widely available you to pay a non-contingency fee rather than a on-successful-completion "contingent" commission.

For the last several (?5-10?)years, if you (as Seller) wanted to pay an upfront fee for a CREA member to place your property on "MLS"tm & thru that wholesale vehicle place it onto the retail www.realtor.ca and offer any amount "more than zero dollars" as a co-operating broker fee, you were/are fully within the rules, regulations and laws to do so.

And so is the Registrant.

It's just a matter of deciding on an asking price, a schedule of services and the 2 fee/commission amounts.

If the property doesn't sell then (as per every listing) after a suitable period of time evaluating the 4 decisions agreed at the outset.

Part 1

Until the Tribunal Hearing occurs (I hear it's been postponed into 2011) the Rules are in flux.
Locally TREB has existing rules that meet the Law & Regulations of the Ontario Real Estate and Business Brokers Act (REBBA)

Nationally, the Cdn Real Estate Association CREA has ratified changes that were proposed to the Competition Bureau (but not accepted by the Bureau.

Until the Ruling/Dismissal of the Tribunal .... no association is doing much rule-enforcing on members commissions, business models etc.

The question you ask cites the OLD name for the public website operated by CREA as a "retail" advertising vehicle for its members.

The New name is Realtor.ca

The OLD website name widespread created confusion of the retail website with the wholesale "Multiple Listing Service MLS" tm.

Many people (including apparently) the Competition Bureau think the old MLS.ca/New realtor.ca site is Public information.

Many regular folks think it is a public site, and wish access to it (as Sellers).

The Competition Burea sees it as a public site provided by a dominant player.

They think that the Dominant player should be forced to allow anyoneto post info on the site.

The REASON Sellers want to have access to the site is because it's the "best site".

The info is current.
The facts are accurate.
There is consistency in the info format and content.
An informed person has input the info under supervision of a firm, a code of conduct, a standard of ethics, Law & Regulation
The Solds are removed promptly.
There is a uniform system for contacting the person/firm offering the property.
The contact person knows what they are talking about.
The contasct person is educated by Law.
The contact person is obliged by law to treat the caller with "a duty of care".
The contact person is responsible for everything they say.
The contact person is required by law to disclose the various ways (contractual relationships) that registrant can be of service to the caller.
The contact person is accountable to a registerd firm that is accountable to a local association, a Provincial Regulator, a Provincial Registar and the Code of Conduct of each.

It's the best site, because the best selection is on there.

It's the best because it's a subset of the info the Realtor-members use themselves.

AaaaH, a subset.

yes not everything's on there.

Even though there is no charge to a registrant per listing submitted, the registrants have paid for the infrastructure and system refinements since the mid 1990's.

So it is not at all unreasonable for a Seller to want to get on the "best" site.

The site where justa-bout every serious buyer starts looking.

No it's perfectly reasonable.

Now we're just quibbling about:
a) who should answer the inquiries;
b) who should be responsible for the integrity of the data entered;
c) who should be responsible for giving info the the caller (is it "caveat emptor" or "full seller disclosure" or somewhere in-between)
d)who can be sued for doing wrong;
e) what's wrong and who'll enforce it;
IF a registrant is the Listing Broker .... we know all the answers. If not .... all the questions are murky. (never mind the answers)
AND OF COURSE ... how much should it cost? i) Registrants point of view & ii) Sellers point of view.

another day

When will we be able to list without agents?

From Zoocasa Ask the Pro's Section

Q... When will we be able to list without agents?

A... Robert Ede

Your real/root question (that was prompted by poor facts in the newspaper coverage of the Competition Bureau's self-serving 2009 crusade against the Canadian Real Estate Association) is when can I list my home on MLS.ca for no/little commission?

You might try to considered this instead: Is my objective to realize the greatest "net amount" of money for my property? or to obtain the satisfaction of not paying a commission?

These two objectives are almost always mutually exclusive.

The "MLS"tm Price that is available to a Seller by paying both a)a Listing Broker and b)paying a Buyer's representative "some kind of fee" is not often available to a non-"MLS"tm Seller.

It's not available because the Buyer won't pay it:
1)rarely is the non-"MLS"tm Seller able to create the urgency/fear-of-loss atmosphere;
2)the Buyer's first reason for offering the non"MLS"tm Seller less is "you're not paying any commission, so I'm offering you 94% of (optimally)"appraised value;
3)if this thought does not occur to the Buyer ... it certainly will occur in the mind of his Lawyer, Friend, Advisor or Registerred Broker-cut-out-of-the-deal.

Sadly it's a bit difficult to offer-for-sale and negotiate-to-conclusion "both ways" to thereby make an actual comparision of the method producing the "greatest net".

If you live near the GTA I can show you how to go about it .... but I cannot do that for free.

Should I drop my List price? ....again?

From Zoocasa Ask the Pro's Section

Q ...Do we need to drop our price again, or could the Realtor be the problem? My home has been on the market for six weeks and not one showing. The broker did an open house after I asked him about holding one. He never initiates updates and after four weeks on the market he said we should drop the price. We did drop the price but have not gotten any interest. Do we need to drop our price again, or could the Realtor be the problem?

A...Robert Ede

Today (by end of September 2010, the market may be + or -different) the choices are one of the "Two P's" tm Patience or Price Reduction.

Answer two questions:
1) Optimally, when would you like the proceeds from your sale?
2) Do YOU think prices in your neighbourhood will be higher next spring, or will they be lower?

NB no one knows the answer to #2 & no one but you, knows what YOU think.

Question #1 is a test of your motivation ie Money "on time" has $$value,

Q#2 is a test of your resolve.

Your Agent is your servant. You decide, s/he makes recommendations and You decide.

Based on your decisions on timing and price, the registrant may resign from their responsibility by terminating the Listing Agreement.

Why? because if your "plan" is unworkable .... when it DOESN'T work ... you're going to blame them for that failure.

Selling your property has got to be a mutually agreed "joint" effort, your Listing registrant is making promises to you via that Listing Contract ... if they know at the outset that they (registrant) cannot deliver they should not accept the responsibility (nevermind not getting paid for their time).

Here's q#3 - Why not pay the Listing Broker 25% of the commission you've currently promised on "successful compleion" as a non-refundable, non-contingency, "retainer" today!

See how this clarifies the Seller/Registrant relationship & changes the channels of communication!!

You'll have demonstrated tangible "$$ proof" of your seriousness, and explicitly shown (both parties) that s/he "owes" you a duty (as per REBBA and Agency common Law).

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