When searching MLS London Ontario homes it is important to understand Agency Relationships. As a potential MLS London home buyer or seller you should understand the type of representation you are given and how the agency will deal with potential conflicts.
MLS London - Sole Agency
When one brokerage, its broker, associate brokers, and associates (the Seller's Agent) represents the seller in a real estate transaction and another brokerage, its broker, associate brokers, and associates (the Buyer's Agent) represents the buyer, this is referred to as sole agency. Each Agent owes the above-mentioned duties to its Client.
Furthermore, depending on whether you are a buyer or a seller, you will be presented with specific statutory obligations in the brokerage service agreement if you choose to enter into an agency relationship with the brokerage.
MLS London - Dual Agency (Multiple Representation)
When one brokerage represents both the buyer and seller in a transaction, this is referred to as dual agency. Dual Agency occurs when one person in the brokerage works for both the buyer and the seller, or when different representatives from the same brokerage work for both. The Dual Agent is the brokerage, which includes its broker and all of its associate brokers and associates.
Dual Agency makes it difficult for the brokerage to discharge the fiduciary obligations owed to the buyer and seller, specifically the obligations of:
- utmost loyalty to the buyer and seller (acting solely in the best interests of the buyer and seller, and avoiding conflicts of interest that may arise between the buyer and seller)
- confidentiality of information obtained from the buyer or seller
- full disclosure of all facts that may influence the buyer's or seller's decisions
Dual Agency is only permitted by law with the fully informed and voluntary consent of both the buyer and the seller because fiduciary obligations must be limited. After reading this guide, you may agree in principle to dual agency representation. However, before making an offer, the Agent must obtain your written consent, at a time when you are aware of the other party's identity and the facts of the transaction.
The Dual Agent will assist both the buyer and seller with the transaction, but the Dual Agent is limited to providing services that do not require:
- exercising discretion or judgement
- providing confidential information or advice
advocating on either party's behalf
Furthermore, the limitations mean that the brokerage helping you with MLS London home transaction, including all of its representatives, cannot disclose:
- that the buyer is willing to offer a higher price or terms other than those contained in the offer to purchase
- that the seller is willing to accept a lower price or terms other than those contained in the Seller Brokerage Agreement
- the motivation of the buyer or seller wishing to purchase or sell the property
- personal information relating to the buyer or seller wishing to purchase or sell the property.
Material facts known to the Dual Agent, on the other hand, will be revealed. The Dual Agent will disclose
- any material latent defects affecting the MLS London property
- any material facts relevant to the buyer's ability to purchase the property to the seller
Finally, the Dual Agent will fulfil all other obligations to each Client that do not conflict with the interests of the other Client.
MLS London - Customer Status
A customer is a buyer or seller who does not have an agency relationship with a brokerage. Customers are members of the general public who make their first contact with a brokerage representative (e.g., attending an open house, inquiring about or arranging to view a listed property). Customers may wish to enter into an agency relationship with a brokerage in the future. Until they do, they are customers rather than clients.
Even at the point of making an offer on a home, the buyer or seller may be in a customer status relationship.
· if a buyer client wishes to negotiate with an owner who is selling his or her own property, the seller is a customer.
· When an agent represents a seller with whom the agent has a long history (e.g., a developer, a relative), the buyer should have a customer relationship with the agent. (However, such buyers can always choose another brokerage to represent them.)
When existing clients are faced with a dual agency transaction and Dual Agency is not an option, customer status may be required.
Customers have the right to be aware that the brokerage is not their agent and does not owe them any fiduciary duties – this become very important looking for MLS London homes. The brokerage will provide services to help the customer complete a transaction as long as the services do not require the exercise of discretion or judgement, the provision of confidential advice, or advocacy on the customer's behalf.
Looking for MLS London? Search MLS listings today to find you next dream home. Contact Realtown owner Yasir Khan, Sales Representative at RE/MAX.