Half -Way House Disclosure in Ontario

Question:

There is a half-way house located across the street and down by about 8 houses from the subject property. Does the Listing Agent have to disclose this?

Answer:

Yes and No. The Listing Agent has to determine, verify and disclose the material facts. But, to whom? Their own client, of course, and that’s the Seller! Now, the Seller has the information to price and market the property appropriately.

There is no need to tell anyone else, or post it on the listing or announce it to everyone who sets foot in the door at an Open House.

The Listing Agent is under a duty and obligation to respond fairly, accurately and honestly to questions that are posed in respect to the property. This could either entail “disclosure” of this fact with the Seller’s permission, or a refusal to answer the question: as in “I have received instructions from the Seller not to discuss the neighbourthood”. This refusal to discuss is fine but it does not extend to a “half-truth” which is intended to be comforting yet deceptive.

The Buyer’s Agent fulfills a different role. In this case, the Buyer’s Agent should already know what particular issues may be of concern to his “particular” Buyer.

Brian Madigan LL.B., Broker

www.OntarioRealEstateSource.com

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