BRA: Wide Reaching ALL of Ontario

Question:

I was approached by a Buyer. He signed a Buyer Representation Agreement (BRA), that says “All of Ontario”. Is that legal? The other agent isn’t anywhere near here.

Answer:

There mere fact that it says “Ontario” does not mean that it is unenforceable. This is rather common with commercial transactions.

For example, a Commercial Agent may not take on a restaurant chain at a reduced commission unless it is promised all the business. Of course, that might mean engaging some local sub–agents.

For residential purposes, the expectation is that an agent would have either the education or the experience to take on the role. So, Ontario wide based on an agent’s education and experience may be unenforceable.

Let’s say a Buyer in Toronto would like a waterfront cottage property. They have a limited budget. The Toronto agent may write up the BRA for “all of Ontario” with a view to engaging a local sub-agent when the search is finally narrowed down. That could take a few years. But, that type of description would be quite acceptable. The Toronto agent may a a cottage themselves at Lake Simcoe, so be in a position to handle that area with ease but, North Bay, the Thousand Islands and Lake Erie may be a little out of the way. There, the expectation would be that the assistance of a local agent would be required.

Because this is complicated, it should be carefully outlined in the BRA.

Brian Madigan LL.B., Broker

www.OntarioRealEstateSource.com

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