Registering an Offer in Ontario
What does "registering" an Offer mean?
This is a term which causes confusion. The difficulty in part arises by reason of the fact that there is no such thing as “registration” of an Offer. We use that term frequently, and everyone in the business seems to know what it means. It seemed to mean calling the Listing Agent’s office to say that you have an Offer that you wish to present.
However, that has now gone by the wayside since Bill 55 and the phantom Offer legislation, which became effective 1 July 2015.
The “keyword” now is that the Offer must be “received”. That means “communication of the existence” of the Offer, not the Offer itself, not an Offer Document Summary and not 801.
The communication must be “in writing”. And, that means paper, fax, email or text. Even a photo would work, that is, a scan or copy of a photo of a statement that “you have an Offer”.
A phone call is insufficient. That does not meet the new “in writing” requirement.
The Bill 55 system is designed to enable RECO to audit the number of Offers. How could they do this if a phone call would be sufficient alone? A Buyer’s representative cannot refer to an Offer unless it has been signed and is in the possession of the Buyer’s Representative. A phone call from the prospective Buyer saying that “I just signed it and I will get it to you” is not enough.
Once they obtain it they may communicate its existence to the Listing Agent. Once the Listing Agent has the communication “in writing” then they are required to include it in the count and tell others that they have “received” that Offer.
You will appreciate that the Listing Agent has not seen either the Offer itself, the Offer Document Summary or an 801 at this point. Delivery and presentation are two other matters.
Brian Madigan LL.B., Broker