Seller Induces Agent to Attend and Provide Opinion of Value
From time to time an Agent will want to list their “own” property. They are relatively new to the business and unsure about the price, both for the Listing itself, timing, duration and ultimate acceptable sales price.
So, under a ruse of seeking a Listing Presentation for the purposes of Listing a property they will secure the “advice and assistance” of a qualified agent who serves the area. Naturally, there’s no chance of a real “listing”, this person will do it on their own.
Here’s an interesting question:
“I received an inquiry to attend, examine a property and advise what I thought to be a reasonable price to list. I was surprised to find that the next day it was listed by that very same person as the Seller. I am upset that I was use and wasted my time. Is there anything I can do?”
Obviously, this is a person “too cheap” to pay for an opinion of value, and without any friends in the business who will offer this information for free.
Bottom line is that they knew at the outset and deliberately planned to steal your time and advice.
You are not without recourse. Under the Act (s.34, 35), they have falsified information and furnished false information. Under the Code, they have not treated you with fairness, honesty and integrity.
They have made an inaccurate representation, and failed to use their best efforts to prevent error, misrepresentation, fraud or any unethical practice. This seems to be conduct which is disgraceful, dishonourable, unprofessional and unbecoming. See Code s3, 37, 38 and 39.
Real Estate and Business Brokers Act, 2002 (REBBA)
34 No registrant shall falsify, assist in falsifying or induce or counsel another person to falsify or assist in falsifying any information or document relating to a trade in real estate.
Furnishing false information
35 No registrant shall furnish, assist in furnishing or induce or counsel another person to furnish or assist in furnishing any false or deceptive information or documents relating to a trade in real estate.
CODE of ETHICS under REBBA (O. Reg. 580/05)
Fairness, honesty, etc.
3. A registrant shall treat every person the registrant deals with in the course of a trade in real estate fairly, honestly and with integrity.
37. (1) A registrant shall not knowingly make an inaccurate representation in respect of a trade in real estate.
(2) A registrant shall not knowingly make an inaccurate representation about services provided by the registrant.
Error, misrepresentation, fraud, etc.
38. A registrant shall use the registrant’s best efforts to prevent error, misrepresentation, fraud or any unethical practice in respect of a trade in real estate.
Unprofessional conduct, etc.
39. A registrant shall not, in the course of trading in real estate, engage in any act or omission that, having regard to all of the circumstances, would reasonably be regarded as disgraceful, dishonourable, unprofessional or unbecoming a registrant.
Abuse and harassment
40. A registrant shall not abuse or harass any person in the course of trading in real estate.
The definition of trade under the Act is as follows and would extend to this interview, interaction and the service requested:
“trade” includes a disposition or acquisition of or transaction in real estate by sale, purchase, agreement for purchase and sale, exchange, option, lease, rental or otherwise and any offer or attempt to list real estate for the purpose of such a disposition, acquisition or transaction, and any act, advertisement, conduct or negotiation, directly or indirectly, in furtherance of any disposition, acquisition, transaction, offer or attempt, and the verb “trade” has a corresponding meaning;
Under the circumstances, there are two remedies:
- A complaint to RECO, and
An action in Small Claims Court.
Only the lawsuit will provide compensation for the time wasted, but a Complaint resulting in a Discipline Decision should appear on the registrant’s Profile as it shows on the RECO website for 5 years.
This situation points out the need to use an experienced and qualified real estate agent, simply completing the course requirements and registering is really not enough.
Brian Madigan LL.B., Broker