The conduct of Real estate agents and brokers in Ontario is governed by the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act, 2022 (REBBA). REBBA sets out specific obligations that real estate agents and brokers have to their clients. These obligations include:
Loyalty – acting in the best interests of their clients: Real estate agents and brokers actually have a fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of their clients. This means agents must put their clients’ interests ahead of their own, provide honest and unbiased advice, and must not engage in any activities that could create a conflict of interest.
Disclosure: Real estate agents and brokers are required to disclose all relevant information to their clients, including any potential conflicts of interest, such as a personal relationship with another party involved in the transaction, all offers received, any information that may affect the value or desirability of the property, and any past or pending legal actions involving the property.
Provide accurate and timely information: Real estate agents and brokers must provide their clients with accurate and timely information about properties, including any material defects or other issues that could affect the value or desirability of the property. Real estate agents and brokers must also keep their clients informed about the status of their transactions and respond promptly to any questions or concerns.
Confidentiality: Real estate agents and brokers must maintain confidentiality regarding any information their clients provide to them unless otherwise instructed by their client and except where disclosure is required by law.
Skill and care: Real estate agents and brokers must possess the necessary knowledge and skill to carry out their duties professionally, and exercise due care and skill in providing advice and service to their clients.
Act with integrity, professionalism, and accountability: Real estate agents and brokers must act with integrity and professionalism at all times and must be accountable for their actions and any advice or information they provide to their clients. Furthermore, they must not engage in any conduct that would bring discredit to the profession.
Provide written agreements: Real estate agents and brokers must provide their clients with written agreements that outline the terms of their relationship, including any fees, or commissions that will be charged.
Compliance with laws and regulations: Real estate agents and brokers must comply with all relevant laws and regulations related to real estate transactions.
Failure to fulfill these obligations can result in disciplinary action by the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO), including fines, suspension, or revocation of the agent’s or broker’s licence.
These obligations real estate agents and brokers have to their clients are designed to ensure that clients receive professional and ethical services when buying or selling property.
Please note these materials have been prepared for general information purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. Readers are advised to seek legal advice by contacting Frank Feldman* regarding any specific legal issues.