Do You Have
an Agent?

Carolyne (Realty) Corp.
1-(888) SOLD-ONE


If you are interested in buying a house, you need to read this article about agency and representation.

Please visit: Are You "Represented"? (is the agent who showed you the house YOUR agent?)

Read this article. The information in the article is for your own protection. An informed consumer always gets the best deal. Educate yourself as to the new way the real estate industry is operating.

If you are thinking of selling your home, take a few minutes and read this article: Commissioning an Agent

When you hire an agent to sell your home, typically in the past you would have expected them to "sell it," not just list it. Now it's all about the negotiating skills your agent has when an offer is presented and the representation contract you have in place to be sure you are treated well, treated fairly, and still get the best deal. Although dual agency is covered in your listing contract, (and yes, your own agent can, in fact, sell your house), the current trend is for Buyers to have their own agent. Agents must ask many questions and make many inquiries of a caller wishing to view your property.

I personally believe that an honest agent absolutely can list and sell your home. I believe the agent can honestly work for both parties and get the best results for both sides. I have done this for homeowners and buyers for more than 26 years, and have excellent reference letters to prove it. See: Carolyne's Clients Speak, at . However, now we have legislation that says we must ask a caller if they already have an agent, and we must ask them if they understand agency and the caller will be asked at the first available opportunity to do so, to sign a piece of paper (not a contract) explaining that agency has been explained, that the material produced by the Ontario Real Estate Association has been read, and that the caller understands it. WE MUST ASK if they have signed any contract with another agent already. Read: Heads-up news on Buyer Agents and Buyer Agency (Have you already signed on the dotted line?)

Some callers are getting very upset that we are asking so many questions before taking them out to view houses. We must know exactly who is entering the homes of our listing clients. It is more than a safety issue. The agent showing the property will be asked questions by the viewer. How the agent responds to those questions is determined by the fiduciary duty owed to "the client." Who "IS" the client? And, we must be able to prove to other homeowners and their agents, exactly who we showed their homes to. It really makes sense. Don't you want to know who has been in your house? Callers who get frustrated by these questions are often not sincere Buyers but rather most often people just wanting to go out to look at houses to compare floorplans like they do with total freedom at builders' sites. The lookers often feel that by viewing enough resale houses they eventually will find the right one for them. They do not want to be obligated in any fashion, to a particular agent. It's all a matter of educating the public.

Many agents are insisting that callers must sign a Buyer Broker contract before they will show houses, right from the point of the initial contact. Many callers say (some screaming): "WE JUST WANT TO "SEE" THE HOUSE. Make the appointment." Back to square one with the questions: "Do you already have an agent?" "Do you understand agency? And representation?" "Will Carolyne, as an agent, be 'representing' you? Or the other side?" Carolyne must know the answer to this question, so she knows how to answer any questions you might have while viewing the property, without compromising the position of the owner, who in some cases is her client. If "you" are her client, she will treat you with the same respect and dignity afforded other clients. You really do need her on your side. But when she is "in the middle" she will treat both sides equally with respect and duty.

The real estate business is currently being conducted in a very different fashion than in prior times. The laws and the rules and regulations that govern our industry say that we, as licenced registrants, MUST do business in certain ways. We MUST follow the rules. We MUST have paperwork signed indicating whom we represent. No agent would list your house without a listing contract. Now you will find it more and more difficult to get an agent to show you houses, as a Buyer, without a Buyer contract.

Interview agents before you go looking at houses. Don't you want to do business with the best? No listing contract, the agent does not get paid. No Buyer contract, chances are good the agent will not get paid, and not only that could lose their license to practice real estate and or suffer large fines for not playing by the rules. When an offer is constructed, all the parties to the contract AND the agents involved must sign a separate document saying who represents whom. It all has to create a papertrail. Back to the question: WHO is representing you? The public often does not understand the complexities of the new way of doing business in real estate. The rules themselves have always been there. Now the industry is forcing agents to follow the rules or lose their licence or suffer very large fines. Yet, still, we cannot, and in fact must not, try to force people to do things they do not want to do. It really is all about relationship building initially. If you do not feel comfortable right from the get-go, find another agent to represent you. But a contract is a contract. Just as you have expectations of your agent, your agent has expectations of you. The agent is not obligated to take you as a client or a customer, either. He or she may feel threatened by your behaviour and will choose to just walk away and go deal with someone else who is more reasonable. Read: Working with a REALTOR® (Finding the Right REALTOR® - Do You Know How?)

Please read the articles at to help educate yourself, and protect your own interests. An educated consumer is the best kind of client. We want the best for you. We are not trying to be difficult. Ask your own agent to explain it all to you. If you have no existing contract (read, no agent), and would like Carolyne to represent you and be YOUR AGENT, please call. Otherwise, we are pleased and happy to help answer any questions your own agent might have.

There's a long list of consumer-friendly articles at our website, written by Carolyne. Please educate yourself before buying or selling. There are many danger zones and you need to understand this information. Our goal is to continue to have happy results for our clients. Yes. You can be a customer instead, if you prefer. Ask for an explanation of the term "real estate customer," along with the term "a duty of care." Find out what that means for you. If you are a client you get advice. It means you have a signed contract. If you are a customer, you get information only. Correct information, but information nonetheless. It's all your own personal decision as to how you will work and with whom. Carolyne is pleased to assist. Call 905-458-6711 and leave a message 24/7. Your call will be returned promptly. Carolyne wants the best for you, but she does insist on following the rules. We don't make the rules, but we do try our best to follow them.

Carolyne would like feedback on this information. Have you enjoyed reading this information and the articles at the web site? Did you find the information informative, and perhaps a little bit scary and or annoying? Please let Carolyne know by sending a note to her at . Much appreciated.


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©1998 by Carolyne Lederer PLEASE NOTE: this material is copyrighted by Carolyne Realty Corp. and may not be reprinted or duplicated in any form without the written consent of the copyright holder.