No More Verbal Contracts
A buyer can currently be represented by a real estate agent based on a simple verbal agreement. But as of June 10, of this year, a buyer will have to sign a written brokerage contract with a real estate agent for the latter to act as the buyer’s representative.
In other words, without a written brokerage contract, the real estate agent can no longer represent the buyer nor defend their interests. This means that the agent is barred from:
- Advising the buyer on how much to offer for a property
- Submitting a promise to purchase in the buyer’s name
- Negotiating the transaction’s amount and terms for the buyer
However, the agent can, in a general manner, counsel the buyer, or in technical terms, provide “fair treatment.”
What Constitutes Fair Treatment?
Fair treatment means providing unbiased information to the buyer in any situation where the real estate agent is obligated to do so. Specifically, the agent must demonstrate that the information presented to the buyer who is not represented by their own real estate agent is accurate. The agent is also required to notify the buyer of any negative aspects regarding the property in question. The agent cannot, however, act in the buyer’s name nor defend their interests.
Prohibition of Double Representation
Have you signed a brokerage contract with an agent and would like to submit an offer to purchase for a property they have been mandated to sell? To protect your interests as a buyer, this agent will have to terminate the brokerage contract to purchase they have with you, free of charge.
This agent is likewise required to recommend that you be represented by another real estate agent during the transaction. If you choose to go ahead on your own, they will again have to treat you fairly, as explained above.