My realtor is offering a discount. What should I know?
Some real estate agents offer commission discounts to entice potential buyers and sellers as clients. If done correctly, this sales tactic can result in a “win-win” for both parties – the agent who is able to generate new business and the customer who is able to save or recoup money. ‘silver.
If you’re thinking of using the services of an agent who offers a discount, keep a few things in mind.
Where rebates are offered, the details must be reviewed and approved by the broker of record, as all transactions are conducted on behalf of the brokerage. Agents have a duty to ensure that the promotion, documentation and delivery of the rebate comply with the law.
Before moving forward, ask the agent to clarify the details of the discount, including all terms and conditions. This will help you make an informed choice and avoid any misunderstandings. Here are some questions to start the conversation.
- What are the exact terms of the discount? Make sure everyone is clear on the exact amount you will receive and how it will be calculated. Is it a fixed amount or a percentage?
- What must happen for you to qualify for the discount?
- When will you receive the money?
- Who should you expect to receive the rebate from: the brokerage or your agent? How will it be sent to you?
In addition, refund details must be in writing and signed by you and the brokerage agent representing you. This may be included in your representation contract, which is a legally binding contract.
Before you sign anything, make sure you have carefully reviewed the documents. I would recommend consulting an attorney who is assured of practicing real estate law, especially if you are unclear on any of the details.
If you run into any disagreements after documenting everything, there are ways to mitigate them. And while resolving any issues directly with the agent is the ideal scenario, if you are unable to do so, I suggest you contact the broker of record (the manager of the brokerage where the agent is employed). This person is responsible for ensuring that employees comply with provincial legislation and brokerage policies. Also, keep in mind that your agreement (whether as buyer or seller) is between you and the brokerage, not the agent.
In the event that the matter cannot be resolved amicably, you may need to hire a lawyer or consider taking legal action. A delivery that has not been executed may also be the subject of a complaint to RECO. Depending on the nature of the situation, RECO may attempt to resolve it through dispute resolution, discipline or sanctioning the agent or brokerage. To learn more about the disciplinary process, visit the RECO website at reco.on.ca.
Finally, remember that there are many other details to consider besides discounts when doing a real estate transaction. That’s why I always think it’s wise to speak with a few agents before choosing one. It is important that you are comfortable with your agent’s experience, expertise and services so that you have the support you need.
If you have a question about the process of buying or selling a home, please email email@example.com.
JOIN THE CONVERSATION