Buying or selling without a Realtor


Home buyers and sellers in Ontario now benefit from provincial legislation that came into effect on December 1, 2023. The Trust in Real Estate Services Act (TRESA) updated the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act (REBBA) of 2002, altering the real estate landscape. We’ve been talking a lot about the Realtor-client relationship, and this week we’ll discuss the option of choosing to purchase or sell a property on your own.

Under the new TRESA regulations, a buyer or seller who chooses to pursue an offer without entering into a client relationship with a licensed Realtor is considered a self-represented party. This means they have chosen to represent themselves in the transaction, and are accepting a unique set of rights and responsibilities. 

When it comes to real estate, going it alone is risky if you’re not a trained professional. Most of the time, you’re negotiating with a buyer or seller who is benefitting from the advice of someone experienced in the field. The Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO) advises buyers and sellers to always seek professional advice (ie. from a lawyer) before any real estate transaction.

If you choose to enter a real estate transaction on your own, you need to protect your best interests by confirming certain features of the property yourself, such as permitted uses and zoning. You will have to  determine the appropriate property value, decide how much you are willing to offer or accept for the home, confirm the appropriate terms of the agreement, prepare the paperwork, and if necessary, navigate multiple offers. 

As a self-represented party, it’s important to understand that any assistance you receive from a Realtor will be for the benefit of that Realtor’s client, not you. The agent on the other side of the transaction has a contractual obligation to put the interests of their client above those of anyone else. If you chat with an agent at an open house, they are obligated to share any information you divulge with their client, which may work against you if you decide to make an offer. If you happen to share why you are buying or selling, the amount you are willing to offer or accept, or your preferred terms of agreement, you may weaken your negotiating position.

If you choose to self-represent, TRESA prevents Realtors from sharing certain things with you. An agent cannot provide you with services, opinions or advice. They cannot encourage you to rely on their knowledge or skill, or inspire you to self-represent by steering you away from a relationship with another Realtor or brokerage.

Realtors must also be transparent by providing you a copy of RECO’s Information and Disclosure to Self Represented Party form and explaining it in detail before assisting you in any way. You will be asked to confirm that you received the form and understand the information it contains, so there is no confusion as to your position. 

PRO TIP: Very few buyers or sellers will choose to self-represent. Those who do can change their mind at any point in the buying or selling process, and enter into a client relationship with a Realtor. #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.