Agents second guess phantom bid regs

by Jordan Maxwell19 Jun 2015

Regulations to curb phantom bids have received praise from many agents over the last few weeks, however not everyone is gung ho about the changes.

“I agree that fines should be imposed on agents who break the rules, but RECO still needs to improve the complaint process for consumers,” Lesley Moll, a broker of record with Karma Realty Inc., told REP. “A client of mine reported a newspaper ad that did not include the proper information.

“A copy of the ad was scanned and emailed with the date and publication information. RECO had a very onerous process that was required, so my client gave up. Fines are great, but enforcement needs to be actually implemented by RECO without onerous impact on the reporting party.”

The comments highlight a larger issue as many agents applaud new regulations in recent weeks. The new rules, which force agents to keep a physical record of every bid made on a listing, will come into effect on July 1.

While RECO said the change is an effort to force better record-keeping among agents, many sales reps believe it's really an effort to curb the use of illegal phantom offers.

Dianne Beaman, a real estate agent with iPro Realty, said as much in a recent interview with REP.

“I had a number of clients who this has happened to where the offers have eventually disappeared and they ended up paying a significantly higher amount down the line,” Beaman said. “It’s a dangerous game some of these agents are playing. I also believe there will be a housing correction in the future so protections will be important and agents need to be prepared for whatever may come.”

Agents who value their real estate licenses will avoid engaging in that unethical behaviour, she added. Those who persist, they argue, will ultimately fall to the wayside.

“(It will) make people think, ‘I value my real estate license for the next 50 years,” David Fleming, a Toronto-based agent, told REP. It’s not worth misrepresenting someone today to sacrifice the dollars down the line.’”

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