Reply re: “imputed”Agency on article on Ontario Legislation tentatively addressing “Phantom offers” aka lying

Please read the full Opinion piece

Opinion: Bill won’t stop phantom offers By Vito Campanale

Nov 22, 2013, REM ONLINE

Vito Campanale CPA is broker of record of Century 21 First Canadian Corp. in London, Ont. 

Excerpt

I like the changes being proposed by this amendment to the act in Section 35, but the “phantom offer” provisions do not go far enough.

Currently there are several listing brokerages that post the listing on MLS and provide no other services.  These are referred to as “mere postings”.  Brokerages representing buyers who are interested in putting in an offer on these properties are instructed by the listing brokerage to deal directly with the seller. There may also be other brokerages that also instruct the buying agent, as part of their business model, to present offers directly to the seller, regardless of whether they provide them with more services than a mere posting.  There is no responsibility upon the listing brokerage (since they choose not to be involved in the offer process), or certainly the seller, to disclose whether there are competing offers. This certainly violates the spirit of Section 26 of the REBBA 2002 Code of Ethics.

Uncle Bob reply

Excellent point & suggested amendment re: phantom offers on ‘mere postings’ aka “do nothing for a fee – accept no responsibility and make a mockery of the system, by dancing back and forth across the edge of the line of Agency as per the REBBA”.

Further to the “dancing back and forth” aspect, how is it a mere poster can “be an agent for seller” when they upload the listing to their board and when they report the sale, but in-between and before and after those events, they are NOT agents of the seller?

Especially, when you and me, when we meet a few buyer and answer a few “client level” questions and offer a few recommendations on the “best practices” for researching a neighbourhood, or for viewing a property, or for de-coding our MLS(tm) info sheets, are automatically deemed by REBBA to be transformed into “an agent for” that buyer because “we have walked and talked like a duck”.

The CREA/REBBA rules/interpretations/guidelines that dictate the creation of this automatic-and-you-cannot-go-back, “imputed” agency, or “gratuitous” agency or “deemed” agency relationship created by the everyday-courteous/helpful use of words by the registrant (irrespective of any discussion/disclosures as contemplated by the Working with a Realtor(tm) brochure) is wholly incompatible with the CREA/REBBA rules/interpretations/guidelines that allow a mere poster to opt-out of Seller agency after uploading the listing data and then opt-in and then opt-out again after reporting the transaction.

Robert Ede

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