Brokers/sales representatives or real estate brokerages are now governed by a new act (as of Dec 1st, 2023) called Trust in Real Estate Act. An agent is legally obligated to look after the best interests of the client they are representing and be loyal to them.

We as brokers/sales representatives believe it is important that the people we work with understand the type of representations that now exists under the new Act.

In Real Estate, there are different possible forms of representation:

  • Client Representation (Buyers & Sellers)
  • Self Representation (individuals who have chosen to represent themselves)
  • Multiple Representation (Designated sales representative representing more than one client with interest in the same transaction)

It’s important for you to understand the different types of representation, should you consider buying or selling any real estate. Be sure you have your broker/sales representative explain what the differences are.  You can refer to the Real Estate Council of Ontario Information Guide for more information.

It is best for you to have a contract up front with any agent working for you, so that your best interests are looked after. The following are descriptions of the different types of representation provided by the Real Estate Council of Ontario.


Client Representation

A real estate brokerage representing a buyer, or a seller must do what is best for them while providing valuable information, advice, and guidance through the many steps of real estate transactions.

A written contract, called a buyer representation agreement or listing agreement, creates a relationship between the clients and the brokerage/sales representative, and establishes client representation. It also explains, for example, services the brokerage/sales representative will provide, establishes a fee arrangement for the brokers/sales representatives services and specifies what obligations a client and the length of time for the contract. Refer to page 6 of the Real Estate Council of Ontario Information Guide.

Information a client shares with the sales representative must be kept confidential.


Multiple Representation

Multiple representation means a designated representative or brokerage represents more than one client, with competing interests, in the same transaction. This can happen in different ways, depending on the type of representation agreement you and the other clients have with the brokerage.  For example, Multiple representation exists when the same real estate agent is the designated representative for both the buyer and the seller in the same transaction, or for two or more buyers interested in the same property.

Multiple representation is not permitted unless each of the clients involved agrees in writing.

What to expect before you agree to multiple representation

The brokerage is required to provide you with a written disclosure that explains:

  • how the brokerage’s duties or the designated representative’s duties to you will change;
  • the differences in the services you will receive; and,
  • any change to how much you pay the brokerage.

Until this information is disclosed in writing to all clients in the transaction, and they all agree in writing, the brokerage or designated representative cannot take any further steps on behalf of any of the clients. Confidential information you provided to the brokerage or the designated representative when you were represented cannot be shared without your written consent.


Self Representation

If you are involved in a real estate transaction and are not a client of a real estate brokerage, you are considered a self-represented party. This means that you have chosen to represent yourself, which has different rights and responsibilities. Very few buyers or sellers make this choice. There are significant risks to representing yourself in a real estate transaction if you do not have the knowledge and expertise required to navigate the transaction on your own. You will be dealing with a seller or buyer who is benefitting from the services, opinions, and advice of an experienced real estate agent.

If you choose not to work with a real estate agent, it will be your responsibility to look after your own best interests and protect yourself. This may include things like:

  • making inquiries about zoning, permitted property use, or any other aspect of the property;
  • determining what you believe to be the value of the property you are buying or selling;
  • determining how much you are willing to offer or accept;
  • navigating competing offer situations;
  • deciding what terms you want to include in an offer or agreement of purchase and sale; and,
  • preparing all documents.

As a self-represented party you must be aware of the risks of representing yourself. Agents you are talking to that are representing a client cannot:

  • provide you with any services, opinions, or advice;
  • do anything that would encourage you to rely on their knowledge, skill, or judgement; or,
  • encourage you to represent yourself or discourage you from working with another real estate agent or brokerage.

Any assistance the agent offers you:

  • is a service to their client, not you;
  • is in the best interests of their client, not you; and,
  • is to help their client sell or buy a property.

If you’re concerned about completing a transaction on your own, or you need advice from a real

estate agent, you can choose to become a client of a real estate brokerage at any point during the



Advantages of Client Representation:

If you are a seller, an agent can:

  • Advise you on market conditions and the best strategy to attract buyers and get the best price for your home
  • Market or advertise your home, including arranging photographs, videos and virtual tours
  • Provide referrals to other professionals you’ll need, like a lawyer or home staging company
  • Arrange and attend home inspections and appraisals
  • Arrange showings for interested buyers
  • Advise you on how to handle competing offers, sharing the content of competing offers, and other aspects of the transaction
  • Vet offers and potential buyers to ensure they can afford to buy your property
  • Negotiate with buyers to achieve the best results, price, and terms, for you
  • Guide you through paperwork and closing the transaction successfully

If you are a buyer, an agent can:

  • Assist you with getting pre-approvals for financing so you know how much you can afford
  • Make you aware of any tax exemptions you might be eligible for
  • Gather and share information about neighbourhoods and homes that meet your requirements, and arrange to show you homes you’d like to see
  • Make inquiries about zoning, permitted property use, or other aspects of the home
  • Advise you on the best approach in competing offer situations and how to protect your offer information
  • Negotiate with sellers to achieve the best results, price, and terms, for you
  • Guide you through paperwork and closing the transaction successfully
  • Provide referrals to other professionals you’ll need (for example, home inspectors, lawyers, or contractors)