CBC News recently put out a segment about realtors behaving in unethical ways.
CLICK HERE for the video.
First, I think it is important to establish that not every agent behaves this way. Many agents are capable of “double ending” deals without issue. With that being said, many agents choose not to enter a dual agency agreement due to the inherent risk involved.
As the seller, you would want to receive the highest amount possible for your property. As the buyer, you want to pay the least amount for said property. So how do we reach a middle ground when a single agent is acting for both parties?
The agent must exercise care and be very mindful of confidentiality. In this circumstance, a different relationship exists between the agent and both clients. The agent should be acting in more of an informative role. Present the information, provide a little direction, and leave the client to determine what the correct decision is for them moving forward. In a situation like this, the agent will write the contracts, but he/she will only be a mediator for the transaction.
In the CBC segment, it is clear that the agents are in breach of their fiduciary duty to act honestly (among many others). Does this behaviour happen? Yes. Does it happen often? Likely not as often as the news is portraying it to happen. It is evident that greed is the driving force for this behaviour. If you have been in a situation where behaviour like this has occurred, there are procedures and fines set in place to discipline agents behaving like this. However, it is impossible for the council to know of these instances unless they are reported.
It is very unfortunate that the few, dishonest people looking for quick pay checks are ruining the reputation of many honest, hard working agents who love their jobs. If you have any further questions about this article, or if you are not sure if you have been in a situation similar to this, please feel free to reach out to me and I will point you in the right direction.