If you’re in the Ontario Real Estate biz, you’re probably aware that there’s been some buzz around double-ended deals lately. In case you missed it, as part of the phase one review of the Real Estate Broker’s Business Act 2002, the Province has proposed to change the laws regarding multiple representation, which would implement a system called Mandatory Designated Representation (MDR). This would eliminate the opportunity for agents to do “double-ended deals” (a deal in which the same realtor represents both the buyer and the seller) and instead appoint a different broker to represent either the buyer or the seller respectively. The Ontario Real Estate Board is naturally up in arms about this possibility, and have filed an appeal to modify these proposed regulations in order to “protect the consumers and their right to work with the representative of their choice.”
This has brought up an interesting debate here at ReaLawState internally. We find ourselves, as a hybrid of realtors and lawyers, asking whether the risk is really worth it. What risk, you ask? Well, in any scenario where you’re cutting corners or costs in one area, there are bound to be consequences in another- that’s just a fact of life. (We like to think of it as an elastic band, you stretch it in one place and it will give, but may change the shape of the band entirely.) Sure, let’s face it- there’s one major benefit to double-ending deals on both sides- and it’s financial. From a realtor’s perspective, double-ending a deal means a commission from both the buyer and the seller, and from the client’s perspective, chances are you’re saving about 1% on commission by using the same agent. However, regardless of which of these respective parties’ shoes you find yourself standing in, participating in a double ended deal is inevitably taking a risk, so we must ask ourselves how much that risk is worth to us.
From a buyer or seller’s perspective, the benefit of cutting costs is offset by risk of complications and an impacted level of service. When your agent has not only your best interest but also the best interest of the party on the other side of the deal, can they really have your best interest at all? There are some scenarios in which this is possible, but we would be lying if we said they weren’t rare. Complications equal time. Time equals hassle (and usually money.) When you’re trying to buy or sell a home or piece of property, is that 1% in savings worth a potentially drawn out deal, fraught with complications? And as a realtor or a lawyer, is it worth taking on these types of deals that may end up requiring a lot more of your time and attention than necessary?
We knew when we decided to pioneer an innovative style of firm that combines two distinct services into one that we’d have to carve our own path in various areas to ascertain the unique dynamic of our organization. So, here we find ourselves taking that first step. We take pride in our ability to handle all aspects of a real estate transaction, from the legal technicalities to all real estate related needs. We want to continue offering our clients in unparalleled, all-encompassing experience that’s completely hassle free. So, we intend to continue to handle all the needs of our clients, even when they come to us with a “double-ended deal” type of situation. We understand that each Multiple Representation situation warrants its own merits and therefore will be assessed on a case by case basis. In situations where appropriate, we will discuss your needs and, if necessary, we can bring in additional representation for one side of the deal. THAT’S how we plan to handle this whole double-ended deal conundrum, and continue redefining your real estate experience.
*All previous versions of this post are nullified.
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