Target Realty Corp. is an Alberta Licensed Brokerage with the Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA).
Each of Target Realty Corp.’s representative is a fully licensed professional and adheres to the Laws of Agency as prescribed by RECA.
To understand the legal relationship you have with your Target Realty Corp representative it is helpful to know the following information.
There are different types of relationships that you are able to enter into to complete a commercial real estate transaction.
These are three of the most common relationships:
if a brokerage operates under designated agency, your agency relationship is with the industry member and not with the brokerage. Should the other party to a potential transaction be represented by another industry member in the same brokerage, there is no conflict, as each industry member will be in sole agency with their respective clients. This is a key difference between common law agency and designated agency. A designated agency relationship allows your designated agent to fulfill his or her full duties and obligations to you when the other party to a transaction is represented by another industry member of your brokerage.
Transaction brokerage is a model of concurrent representation, which allows an industry member to work with a seller and buyer in the same transaction. In transaction brokerage, a common law brokerage or a designated agent, as the case may be, becomes a facilitator and treats the buyer and seller in an even-handed, objective and impartial manner.
Transaction brokerage is an option clients may choose when a traditional (common law) brokerage is in a conflict of interest as a result of representing two parties (clients) in the same potential transaction. In a brokerage that practices designated agency, this occurs when the individual who is a designated agent is representing two parties (clients) in the same transaction. When this conflict occurs both parties are presented with options, including transaction brokerage.
The brokerage must obtain the consumer’s written and informed consent to transaction brokerage before this relationship may occur and before any offer is presented to buy or sell a property. In a traditional brokerage, if the other party to the potential transaction is represented by the same real estate broker or another broker employed by that brokerage, unless otherwise agreed to by the parties, the real estate broker needs to discuss the Transaction Brokerage Agreement with the party at the time this conflict occurs and seek the party’s informed, written consent to change the relationship from one of representation to one of facilitation.
In transaction brokerage, the agent (industry member) will now act as a transaction facilitator and provide facilitation services to assist the parties in reaching a mutually acceptable agreement. Facilitation services means services by which the interests of the buyer and seller are met in an even-handed, objective and impartial manner without providing confidential advice, advocating on behalf of either the buyer or seller, or using discretion or judgment that benefits the buyer or seller to the prejudice of the other, and may include:
- providing real estate statistics and information on property including comparable property information available through listing services or other local databases;
- providing standard form agreements of purchase and sale, lease and other relevant documents, and preparing these documents in accordance with the instructions of the client(s);
- presenting in a timely manner, all offers and counter-offers to and from the client(s);
- conveying to the client(s) in a timely manner all information that either wishes to have communicated to the other; and,
- keeping the client(s) informed regarding the progress of the transaction.
Finally, as a transaction facilitator, the agent will fulfill all other facilitation services to both parties as far as they are consistent with the terms of their respective agreements.
If a consumer does not want to have an agency relationship with an industrial member or real estate brokerage, but still wishes to work with an industry member with respect to a particular real estate transaction, that consumer may choose customer status.
If a consumer chooses customer status, the brokerage does not represent the consumer. The brokerage is not the consumer’s agent and does not owe the consumer fiduciary duties. The brokerage will not provide the customer any services that require the exercise of discretion or judgment, the giving of confidential advice or advocating on the consumer’s behalf.
However, a brokerage and its associates continue to have the following obligations to a customer.
- Act honestly in all their dealings with the customer
- Exercise reasonable care and skill
- Not negligently or knowingly provide the customer false or misleading information
- Hold all monies received from the customer in trust in accordance with the provision of the Real Estate Act, and
- Comply with the provisions of the Real Estate Act, Regulations, Rules and Bylaws
If a consumer chooses to be a customer, an industry member may wish to have the consumer acknowledge that choice by signing a Customer Status Acknowledgement Form.
- At the discretion of the brokerage, it may assist customers in completing a transaction by:
- Providing real estate statistics and information on comparable properties
- Providing standard agreements of purchase and sale, lease or other relevant documents and prepare all necessary documents in accordance with the instructions.
- Providing the names of appraisers, mortgage brokers and other service providers (but may not recommend one)
- Presenting in a timely manner all offers and counter-offers between the buyer and the seller
- Conveying all information that either party wishes to have communicated to the other and
- Keeping the customer informed of the progress of the transaction
There are several reasons why a consumer might choose, or the brokerage might recommend customer status. This may occur when:
- The consumer wishes to represent himself or herself in a real estate transaction. For example, a buyer who is represented by a real estate broker becomes interested in a property for sale; however, the seller does not wish to engage the services of a real estate broker. The seller chooses to represent him or herself. In order to complete the transaction, the seller may wish, instead, to be treated as a customer by the buyer’s agent.
- A buyer is interested in a property where the seller has a long-standing relationship with the buyer’s agent. In this case, the buyer may wish to opt for customer status for the duration of the transaction. This often occurs when purchasing new homes as the real estate broker selling at a show home has a very strong and often exclusive relationship with a particular home builder.
Industry members must make it knows to consumers they always have the option of choosing another brokerage to represent them rather than agreeing to customer status.