This is somewhat interesting. If you happen to be a Buyer’s agent and you are “running late”, just give your Buyers the lockbox code. That’s simple enough. They can just let themselves in. And, if they don’t like it, you don’t even have to waste your time having a look at it.
One problem: if the Sellers are there, they might report you to RECO, and if RECO hears about it, they might assess a $3,500.00 fine against you.
But, don’t think it’s OK, it’s still trespassing and both your clients and yourself could be charged, and then there’s also the risk of a civil suit.
So, you can’t just say “I’m busy, I’ll just pay the $3,500.00 every time I get caught.”
Recently, the Discipline Committee of the Real Estate Council of Ontario considered such a case.
The Buyer’s agent set up an appointment:
“January 16, 2015, from 3:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.”
The Buyer’s agent expected the property to be vacant. The Sellers went out, then arrived back to their property and were very, very surprised when the potential buyers entered the property themselves, having let themselves in (via the release of the Lockbox code) at 5:45 pm.
It was determined by the Discipline Panel on 1 April 2016 that this conduct was in breach of s. 3 (fairness), 5 (competent service), and 39 (unprofessional conduct) of the Code of Ethics.
Please note, that was a 2015 case, the current fine is $7,500.00.
Actually, there’s just nothing to say here!
Brian Madigan LL.B., Broker