Basically, it seems pretty clear, if you are selling your property and want to hide something, then you had better be a FSBO.
FSBO is the acronym for the term “For Sale By Owner”.
So, let’s say you have a former marihuana grow house, infested with rodents, a former crack house raided by police; two of your tenants were shot and one was killed. This is not a good story to pass on to the next buyer, even if it wasn’t your fault. You just had “bad tenants”.
However, Ontario’s laws do not require these disclosures from sellers. They do from real estate agents but not from sellers.
That means, if you need to hide all this stuff, you had better be a FSBO!
Also, that gives all FSBO’s a bad name. If you are a FSBO, then what are you hiding? That’s the first question! This is hardly the way to get the best price.
If you have nothing to hide, then list your property with a reputable real estate agent. They will be governed under the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act, 2002. There is an obligation under the Code of Ethics to investigate and determine “material facts”. And, to go one step more and “DISCLOSE” these facts. Even if the Seller is not under a legal obligation to disclose, ethically most agents will take the high road and refuse the listing if there is something of major importance to be hidden.
With a listed property, there is a guarantee that the listing agent has had to inquire about these matters.
The net result is that if you have something to hide, you’d better be a FSBO.
Brian Madigan LL.B., Broker