DEAR DAVID: A real estate agent sent a mailout to everyone in our condo building. It showed a listing that recently sold, with the unit number, square footage, and how much the owner received. This seems highly unethical and I’m not sure how he got our names. I’ve contacted the director of the real estate company and received no response. – UNEASY
DEAR UNEASY: This is a common tactic that some Realtors use to drum up new business. They’re hoping that by sharing the square footage and selling price of the unit that sold, they can grab the attention of others in the building who may be ready to move.
Realtors have access to the Ontario land registry, which lists every property registered in the province, along with the name(s) of the owner(s). This is how the agent got your name.
Publishing a property’s selling price is not something Realtors are automatically allowed to do. There are apps and websites that post this information, but our regulations do not permit Realtors to advertise selling prices unless they have permission from both buyer and seller. In this particular case, I’d assume the agent gained permission through a “Schedule B”, which they would have included with the offer.
When a Realtor submits an offer to purchase a property, it always has at least one schedule attached to it. “Schedule A” tends to include clauses that describe how the balance of the purchase price will be paid (above and beyond the deposit), along with any conditions or warranties that round out the agreement.
There’s also often a “Schedule B”, which tends to consist of housekeeping clauses. A “Schedule B” might outline how much interest a buyer’s deposit will earn in the listing brokerage’s trust account, or the definition of a “business day”.
Recently, some agents have been building clauses into their offers which grant them permission to advertise a property’s selling price. This is not standard practice for every brokerage or agent (most of us go out of our way to protect your information). If an advertising clause appears in an agreement and is not crossed out by the buyer or seller, it basically gives the Realtor permission to do what they did in your building.
If the most attractive offer in a high-stakes negotiation includes an advertising clause, a seller or buyer may be reluctant to take it out of the agreement.
As annoying as this ploy might be, it’s not really a battle worth fighting. If you’re sensitive to having your sales information published, make sure your agent leaves advertising clauses out of your listing agreement, and instructs other agents to leave them out of their offers. That way, when the right offer comes in, you’ll be able to accept it without modification. #Advice #AskDavid #TheNegotiator
David is a top-selling Broker in Kitchener-Waterloo Region. He works personally with you when selling or buying your home. Call or text today for your free home evaluation! 519-577-1212.