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Liability forces professionalism, agents say

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Real Estate Professional | 08 Dec 2014, 09:17 AM Agree 0
One of the greatest differences between for-sale-by-owner companies and agents is the liability that a real estate licence carries, say sales reps arguing industry players need to ensure every deal is solid.
  • Dave | 08 Dec 2014, 12:47 PM Agree 0
    There is still liability on both buyers and sellers through the court systems. FSBO companies only provide a few tools to aid a consumer to sell their own property. There are some areas that are gray, as for a fee a licensed realtor will review any offers on behalf of a seller. The real question is, are these FSBO companies crossing the line and trading in real estate without a license.
  • FLat Rate Realtor | 08 Dec 2014, 01:17 PM Agree 0
    Use a Flat Rate realtor and you get both...save 95% of the commission and he has a license for the liability
  • Mal | 08 Dec 2014, 01:26 PM Agree 0
    Good luck going to court, sounds easier then it really is.
    As for FSBO companies trading in real estate, let's just say there pretty smart. And at the end of the day they can do what they want, charge what they want. Why? Because they can classify themselves as Consultants not Realtors or a real estate company. So the real question here is, who's the fool, us paying 4 to 5 organizations, insurance, license fees and etc... or them. Do we all become consultants and not Realtors? Have no liability, get paid up front with no refund. And to boot, they look and call you, not you looking for them.
  • Peter Barbati | 08 Dec 2014, 01:50 PM Agree 0
    Just to answer some of the worthy comments noted above: (and I ask you in advance to forgive any typing errors... I am swapping laptops as we speak asmy main one has a keyboard issue).
    Dave: Yes, there is a chance of a seller obtaining relief though the court system if a FSBO (non mls or regulated by REBBA) consultant screws up but if you have ever gone through the system, and I have as I followed all of the guides and jumped through all of the hoops to get a (useless) judgement against a renter, it is not as easy as it sounds. The plaintiff would need time and either funds to hire representation or just plain lots of time for back and forth visits, appeals, etc to deal with a complaint. Then, if the company does not claim insolvency....
    The numbers are stacked against the plaintiff.
    Flat Rate Realtor: Yes, that's one way for the seller to "save" providing that representation is on par with "full cost" (and I do not like to use that term) Realtors. The cost is not the deciding factor. The service level is. Most "Full Cost" types dillude themselves on this kep point which is what is fueling the FSBO services.
    Mal: Yes, I agree. An example of liability vs services is with what happened a few years back with "sell it yourself" car lots. The lot owners would take a car in and charge you a fee BUT he/she was not selling the car, just providing a place where buyers could visit numerous vehicles that were beng offered for private sale, still, some buyer complained that the sellers were not hoest with the details of the vehicles they (buyers) had purchased and the noise they (buyers) generated motivated some investigation and questions about who, exactly, was liable if the seller lied.When someone looses cash, they will generally lash out at everone connected, however loosely, with the transaction. Lawyers love that stuff.
    Imagine a seller that contracts with an "information and marketing company" that sells him/her a seler package, website page and doesn't properly check any of the sellers info. The "company" cannot legally ask any questions as that would initiate a seller disclosure bond. Even without fiduciary duty, some morcel of responsibility would fall on the service provider f the buyer finds a serious issue.
    If the buyer found knob and tube (after stupidly NOT getting a home inspection on an 86 year old home for example) and relied on the sellers statement that the wire had been done by the previous owner 10 years back, who do you thing the buyer will try to sue after they get the $12,000 quote from the electrician and are told they cannot mainain insurance (and hence risk their mortgage) without an ESA certificate (may differ in your jurisdiction)?
    The seller ? Yes, due to the sellers disclosure. The previous owner that claimed the wiring was done? The service provider that will surely claim ignorance of any facts regarding the property (but doesn't advise the seller to remove any reference to electrical upgrades from the website the servicer provided)? I think so.
    The neighbours dog that distracted them during the viewing? If all else fails...
    This is why I do not provide "listing only" services. I just can't justify the lack of sleep.

    P.S. I am in New Tecumseth not Toronto (but have sold in Toronto and GTA areas where diligence was possible).

  • Randy | 08 Dec 2014, 03:38 PM Agree 0
    We are paying annual dues to TREB, CREA, OREA, etc... In my opinion, I believe that these organization should inform the public on the importance of using a Realtor. They should educate the public more on these matters. We are paying them and they should work with us and for us also, not to police us only.
  • Al | 08 Dec 2014, 05:22 PM Agree 0
    The real property business is a coat of many colours. I have been a licensed realtor since 1980 and I would not change this occupation for any reason. For me, it has always been about helping people realize their dreams. Above all this requires personal compassion, then add a real estate license and you are on your way. Several of the organizations that have sprung up around the real estate business believe they can teach us realtors how to do better what we do best. All the education in the world is useless if it is not driven by compassion. Stay true to yourself, keep your nose out of things that do not concern you and tell "ONLY" the truth in all matters. There will always be those who can do it better or cheaper and they will profess to save you money. There is no free lunch and the "FSBO's" known this better than anyone. When planning the purchase of real property, insurance on that investment should be a prime consideration and the best insurance you will ever get is to deal with the person(s) you can trust. If you ultimately deal with someone who is focused on saving money for themselves, I doubt that they care about giving you the best price or good sound advice. The "FSBO" looks after the "FSBO." You need to look after you.
  • Dazzlers | 08 Dec 2014, 06:56 PM Agree 0
    All anyone is saying is they can do the job for 1000-2000( no matter all the fluff /talk/hardwork etc) and the results are the same!! If u can dazzle the client into paying 10,000-50,000 go for it. Both sides have problems,errors,legal issues etc...one u save a fortune the other HIGH ROLLER AGENT buys a new suit.
  • Kim | 11 Dec 2014, 12:45 AM Agree 0
    If a seller walks in to a licensed Realtor and ask to list a property for a flat fee let say $100 or $1000 whatever the fee agreed upon by both seller and licensed registrant (Realtor). Here is my question. 1.Do the listing flat fee selling agent/registrant need to help the seller review the agreement of purchase and sale or do the seller themselves reviews it? 2. The buyer's agent is still needs to negotiate the commission from the seller. Once this successful and commission is agreed upon who does the buyer's agent send the "Agreement of Purchase and Sale" to? Do they send it to the flat fee seller agent or directly to the seller? Reason I ask is because either way I don't see the advantage of taking a flat fee listing when your are putting your licensed on the line exposing yourself to any potential legal problem that may potentially arise such as lawsuit. $1000 dollars ain't enough to cover my errors and omissions.
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