April 22nd - 2014

Being thorough in your real estate transactions

Thoroughness takes time - a commodity often in short supply in our line of work. The demands on our time, from client meetings and office work to family commitments, can make it difficult for REALTORS® to be thorough.

Man holds DONE sign and looks pleased

by Tim Barber

Man holds DONE sign and looks pleased

Thoroughness takes time - a commodity often in short supply in our line of work. The demands on our time, from client meetings and office work to family commitments, can make it difficult for REALTORS® to be thorough. The temptation to cut corners to gain a few extra minutes is always there.

Despite time pressures, it is vital to be thorough. We’re often dealing with a client’s largest financial investment – their house. If we fail to live up to our professional duties and responsibilities, the result can be disastrous for them and us. We’re one of Ontario’s most highly regulated professions, and REBBA 2002, together with our Code of Ethics, demands a high standard.

Precise, detailed completion of paperwork is sometimes lacking in transactions. It may be an honest mistake, but it’s easy to see when an Agreement of Purchase and Sale (APS) was completed in a rush, with missing fields or incorrect information. I recall receiving an offer on a listing during a competing offer situation. When we opened the envelope, the address was wrong and the offer price line was blank. I later questioned the colleague, who said she was so busy she barely remembered looking at it while her clients signed. As they say, speed kills.

We must explain fully to clients each and every clause in our documents. This can be a lengthy exercise, especially if they have questions. It may be tempting to gloss over sections or omit this task if we’re short on time, but we must avoid this pitfall at all costs! Court judgements show that a client’s lack of understanding in real estate transactions can mean steep civil judgements and fines against us. To prevent this, we must become intimately familiar with our documents so that we can talk knowledgably about them at any time. I also make a point of inserting solicitor review clauses whenever I can so that clients have the opportunity to get that important second opinion.

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Ontario Real Estate Association

Jean-Adrien Delicano

Manager, Media Relations

JeanAdrienD@orea.com

416-445-9910 ext. 246