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by Keeley Ward
KIC Realty

You’ve been interacting with realtors for decades, but in the last few years there has been a lot of negativity and controversy over how relationships have been managed, and who was responsible for what.


This has all changed.  Introducing the Trust in Real Estate Services Act.  This new set of rules and regulations took effect on December 1, 2023 and it will change how you interact with a realtor whether buying or selling a home.

Any consumer requesting assistance from a realtor must be provided the new REAL ESTATE INFORMATION GUIDE and the realtor is required to explain it to you.  This guide will explore  the only options that will be available to you when interacting with a realtor. You will be asked to acknowledge that you have received it, and it has been explained.

Whats New?  First, you will either be a CLIENT under contract and fully represented by your realtor, or you will be a SELF-REPRESENTED PARTY which means basically that!  You are representing yourself!  The realtor can provide some assistance but cannot give you any advice or services requiring their skill or knowledge. There is no in between, and you will be asked to choose either to accept a contract with a brokerage, or to sign a Self-Represented Party Acknowledgement form limiting the assistance you will receive.

Realtors now, can only provide services, guidance and advice to clients under contract.  This means we must be a designated representative to either the listed property, or buyer under contract to provide viewings, information beyond what is publicly available on the listing, or submitting/negotiating offers on your behalf.  

Let’s summarize what is in the Real Estate Information Guide:
1. Working With a Real Estate Agent:  This section describes the benefits of working with a real estate agent, what you can expect, and the responsibilities of clients.
2. Know the Risks of Representing Yourself:  This section explains the risks of choosing not to work with a real estate agent.
3. Signing a Contract with a Real Estate Brokerage:  When you work with an agent, you sign a contract with the brokerage the agent works for. These contracts are called representation agreements. This section highlights what you should look for before you sign.
4. Understanding Multiple Representation:  This means the brokerage/agent represents more than one client in the same transaction. This section advises how multiple representation works, the risks, and what to expect if you agree.
5. How to Make a Complaint:  Ontario brokerages and real estate agents are accountable for their conduct. This section advises how to raise a concern with the brokerage and with RECO.

Legal disclaimer: The content of the RECO Information Guide is intended to help buyers and sellers make informed decisions. This guide is not intended to act as a substitute for legal advice or as a replacement for the Trust in Real Estate Services Act, 2002. Readers are encouraged to retain qualified and independent legal counsel to answer any legal questions or address any legal issues. Where there is any discrepancy, the legislation will take precedence.

Do you have questions?  You can visit the REAL ESTATE COUNCIL OF ONTARIO website ( or contact myself or your trusted realtor and learn more.

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