Wednesday, May 28, 2008

New Rules for Lawyers

On March 28th, the Law Society of Upper Canada passed an amendment to their Rules of Professional Conduct that will have an impact on most real estate transactions.
Unlike REALTORS®, lawyers are no longer able to act on behalf of both parties ie: Buyer and Seller in the transfer of title for real property. Two separate lawyers will be required to represent the parties to a given transaction. It is permissable for two lawyers from the same firm to act on behalf of the parties as long as the general rules pertaining to a conflict of interest are followed. After numerous consultations with members of the bar and real estate practitioners, it was felt that in order to minimize any chances of conflict of interest, this amendment should be adopted. In specific circumstances one lawyer can act on behalf of two parties ie: when the Buyer and Seller are one in the same or where property is being transferred from one spouse to another etc.
This recent change by the Law Society begs the question, how long will it be before similar legislation is brought forth with respect to the activities of REALTORS®? Real estate agents face the same potential for a conflict of interest when selling one of their own listings, representing both the Buyer and the Seller. It is an absolute necessity that all parties are aware of, understand and consent to in writing this form of agency relationship in a real estate transaction. I suspect the day will come when as is now the case within the legal profession, two REALTORS® will be required to handle a given transaction and there will be no more of what is affectionately known as "double-ending."
Being a customer or a client are NOT one in the same. If you have any questions with respect to whom is working for whom in a real estate transaction please do not hesitate to contact the writer.

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330 First Street, Collingwood, ON L9Y 1B4



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Rick relocated to Collingwood from Toronto in 1985 through a transfer with Goodyear Canada. In 1987 Rick was recruited by a major client of Goodyear’s, managing their Canadian business based in Barrie before moving to Chicago in 1992 as Vice President of Sales & Marketing. Upon returning to Canada in 1996, Rick ran an industrial products manufacturing company in Stratford, Ontario. In 1998 Rick returned to Collingwood with his two children. Rick is a licensed real estate Broker with Royal LePAGE Locations North in Collingwood and holds his MVA designation (Market Value Appraiser-Residential). He is an active volunteer in the community serving several years on the Board of Directors with the Collingwood Chamber of Commerce as Treasurer, 6 years on the Board of Directors for the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS® of which he is the Past President (2008) and currently serves on a committee with the Ontario Real Estate Association. Rick is a diverse executive manager with extensive experience in strategic planning, manufacturing, finance, human resources and quality assurance management.