Agency Law

Seller's Agent
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The Rideau Canal during
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When a real estate company is a "seller's agent," they are employed by the seller to sell the property. They must do what is best for the seller.

A written contract, called a listing agreement, establishes seller agency. It also explains services the company will provide, establishes a fee arrangement for the Realtor's services and specifies what obligations a seller may have.

A seller's agent must tell the seller anything known about a buyer. For instance, if a seller's agent knows a buyer is willing to offer more for a property, that information must be shared with the seller.

Confidences a seller shares with a seller's agent must be kept confidential from potential buyers and others. Unless otherwise authorized to disclose.

Although confidential information about the seller cannot be discussed, a buyer working with a seller's agent can expect a fair and honest service from the seller's agent and disclosure of pertinent information about the property.

Buyer Agent

A real estate company acting as a "buyer's agent" must do what is best for the buyer.

A written contract, called a buyer agency agreement, establishes buyer agency. It also explains services the company will provide, establishes the fee arrangement for the Realtor's services, normally covered by the seller, and specifies what obligations a buyer may have. Typically, buyers will be obliged to work exclusively with that sales representative for a period of time.

Confidences a buyer shares with a buyer's agent must be kept confidential, unless otherwise authorized to disclose.

Although confidential information about the buyer cannot be disclosed, a seller working with a buyer's agent can expect to be treated fairly and honestly.

Dual Agent

Occasionally a real estate company will be the agent of both the buyer and seller. The buyer and seller must consent to this arrangement in their listing and buyer agency agreements. Under this "dual agency" arrangement, the company must do what is best for both the buyer and seller. Coldwell Banker practices "LIMITED DUAL AGENCY", Meaning all information regarding both parties remains confidential unless otherwise authorized to disclose.

Since the company's loyalty is divided between the buyer and the seller who have conflicting interests, it is absolutely essential that a dual agency relationship be established in writing and specifically describes the rights and duties of everyone involved.

Who's working for you?


Often a buyer will work with one company and a seller will work with another. It may appear that the Realtor working with the buyer is working for that buyer in an agency relationship. That is not necessarily the case.

The Realtor working with a buyer may be a "sub-agent" of the seller. In this case, the Realtor is actually a seller's agent. While a seller's agent can provide many valuable services to a buyer, he or she must do what is best for the seller.



Coldwell Banker
Rhodes & Company Brokerage

100 Argyle Ave.
Ottawa, Ontario
K2P 1B6

Bus: (613) 236-9551
Fax: (613) 236-2692
Email: phyllis@keefe.ca
Toll Free: 800-771-2775 (Canada)

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