Five major changes for Ontario Realtors

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Five major changes for Ontario Realtors

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Wed Nov 20, 2019 8:54 pm

Five major changes for Ontario Realtors

The long awaited changes to the real estate agent and brokerage community in Ontario have just
had their initial release, mostly to positive reviews from the industry. The draft bill to change the
Real Estate and Business Brokers Act, 2002, which has not yet been approved and which
contemplates further changes, is located in the link below this newsletter. The New Act will be
called the Trust in Real Estate Services Act, 2002. Here are the main points you need to know

1. Real estate agents will be able to incorporate

The real estate industry has been requesting this for years, so that real estate professionals
could enjoy the same tax advantages of other professional groups, such as doctors, lawyers
and accountants. Incorporation should also provide extra protection from liability.
Incorporation is not for everyone and once the rules are clarified, agents must discuss this
with their own accountants to make sure that this is right for them. Still, great news.

2. No more customers, you are either a client or you are self-represented

There has been a lot of confusion over the years in trying to explain to a member of the
public as to whether they should become a client or customer of a real estate brokerage and
the differences between the two. While there currently is a duty to be fair to customers, there
was an extra level of care owed to clients. An agent can give advice to a client, not a
customer. This is easier said than done. Under the proposed new rules, you are either a client
of the brokerage, or you represent yourself. Makes it much simpler. Remember the old adage
“ when you represent yourself, you have a fool for a client.” Applies in just about everything
you do.

3. Multiple representation will still be permitted

This is also great news for the industry. Real estate brokerages will still be able to represent
both the buyer and the seller in the same deal. It is not clear whether the same agent will be
permitted to act for both the buyer and the seller. This will also have to be reviewed more
carefully when further clarification is provided.

4. Sellers may be able to disclose the highest price to a competing buyer

It appears that in a bidding war, a seller may obtain the option to disclose to one of the other
buyers the price that one of the buyers was willing to pay. This is currently not permitted
today. Again, the actual language will have to be reviewed to determine the circumstances
when this may occur

5. Penalties are increasing if you break the rules

It is proposed that fines to real estate agents and brokerages be increased to $50,000 for
any agent to $100,000 for the brokerages if you violate the rules, including the REBBA
2002 Code of Ethics. This is just part of the new protections to give the public more
assurance that real estate agents and brokerages are held to a higher professional

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