Buyer Agent: The Ontario Real Estate Association has developed a standard buyer agency agreement that brokers can use with clients. Any licensed real estate salesperson in Canada can legally act as a buyer's salesperson/broker. A buyer's salesperson performs services for you that a seller's salesperson can't, such as showing you reasons not to buy a particular property.
Bear in mind that the seller's salesperson (salesperson whose name is on the lawn sign) always works for the best interest of his/her seller. Brokerages have to disclose all relevant information they have on property defects to sellers. But brokerages must tell buyers only about material defects that render the property dangerous or unfit for habitation, not necessarily all defects in a property. That's where a buyer agency comes in handy, being free to talk about anything that can affect the buyer's interests.
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The seller usually pays all commission to the listing brokerage who, in turn, forwards the appropriate portion to the buyer’s brokerage. Alternatively, the buyer’s brokerage can be paid directly by the buyer and, therefore, this amount does not form part of the sale proceeds. In most transactions, the commission to the buyer’s brokerage is paid via the listing brokerage from the proceeds of the sale.
When a real estate company is a “seller's agent,” it must do what is best for the seller of a property. Seller Agency establishes a relationship in which the brokerage and its salespeople represent the interests of the seller exclusively. This agreement/contract sets out what the seller instructs the brokerage to do and what services are provided under seller agency.
Further, it provides that representatives of the seller will use their professional negotiation skills to seek qualified buyers and generally promote the listed property, while keeping information concerning the seller confidential and always acting in the seller’s best interests. The hallmarks of this relationship are good faith, full disclosure, competence, obedience, and accounting.
The seller has traditionally paid a commission directly to the brokerage. The listing brokerage then pays any brokers or salespeople within its employ and, if applicable, any co-operating brokerages involved in the transaction. The Seller signs the listing agreement with the brokerage.
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Occasionally a real estate company will be the agent of both the buyer and the seller. The same brokerage has an agency relationship with both the buyer and the seller in a real estate transaction. Multiple representation also occurs when different salespeople represent buyer and seller, and are employed by the same brokerage, including those who work in different branch offices. The brokerage or its representatives must advise the seller and the buyer of the dual aspect of representation and must be impartial when representing both parties. Both buyer and seller must give their informed consent to this form of representation.
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