Signing For a Client

Question:

From time to time, I see agents sign on behalf of their Clients. Is this appropriate?

Answer:

I think there is a distinction among the agents who might reasonably execute such a document on behalf of a client and those who cannot. I think to sign on behalf of a client you should reasonably be in the top 25% of agents in terms of knowledge and/or experience.

That can be done without a Power of Attorney. Lawyers do it all the time. Naturally, it would be a little safer with a POA. But, if you are unsure, then you are just as unsure with or without a POA. The POA doesn’t provide you with any more knowledge and/or experience. Can this authority be reasonably implied from the agency appointment? If questioned in the future, it would be much better to be in a position to point to some written documentation and the best documentation would be a POA.

My reply would usually be: if you have to ask the question in the first place, then the answer is “no”.

Naturally, such signing should be limited to matters which fall under the scope of their authority like giving notices, receiving notices, granting permission for entry etc.

New contractual matters obviously should be avoided. Questionable would be short extensions granting additional time for the delivery of a deposit. These could be quite serious, and the client’s involvement should be sought.

Brian Madigan LL.B., Broker

www.OntarioRealEstateSource.com

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