Service Choices Alternatives and Avoiding Conflicts

Question:

You have a listing, and you are approached by lots of buyers to represent them as the buyer agent, and it’s potentially a multiple offer situation.

Do you offer:

1. Agency,

2. Customer Service, or

3. Refer it out to other agent in your brokerage?

Answer:

 If you choose Agency, you give the Seller the right to terminate your listing.

If you don’t offer agency to a potential Buyer, you may be at risk. Given the fact that you are likely charging the same percentage for Customer Service as agency, most consumers would opt for agency. When they select customer service, there may be missing: the matter of “informed consent”.

If you refer it to someone in the office, we still have most of the same issues, at least, in Ontario, since we don’t have designated agency. So, the preferred option would be out of the office. Even better, would be out of the office and no referral fee, since even referral fees can create liability too.

Don’t forget, there’s one more service level, one step below being what I refer to as “Consumer Services”. Only “public duties” are owed.

At some point in the future “Customer Service” will be gone, difficult to say whether that would be months or years.

In the meantime, those are the options.

Brian Madigan LL.B., Broker

www.OntarioRealEstateSource.com

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