I know that the following information is a bit complex....but don't worry, I will explain it all to you in simple terms when we meet! The bottom line is I will treat you all fairly, honestly and ethically within the parameters set out for me by TRESA.

As of 1st December 2023 the Government of Ontario's new legislation, called the Trust in Real Estate Services Act (TRESA), came into effect.

TRESA has brought about certain changes in how we practice in Real Estate including but not limited to:

  • Sharing Contents of Offers
    • You may have seen articles in the media about open bidding, or an open offer process.
    • Sellers in Ontario can decide how much information they wish to share about the competing Offers but if they are going to share information then this has to be provided in writing to their Agent who will advise Buyer Agents BUT the Seller can decide to do this at any stage in the Offers process
    • Buyers in Ontario who have made an offer on a property are entitled to know the number of competing offers. As a BUYER you can decide whether or not you want to participate in a process where the contents of your Offer may be shared with other Buyers
    • Note: Personal or identifying information contained in Offers cannot be shared
  • Written Agreements and Disclosures
  • Consumer Information Guide:

Client vs. Self-Represented Party (SRP):

What is the difference between a Real Estate Client and a Real Estate Self-Represented Party (SRP)?

Becoming a Client:

Buyers and Sellers may enter into an agreement with a Real Estate Agent/Brokerage called a Designated Representation Agreement (ie you will become a Buying or Selling Client...or both).

If you enter into a Designated Representation Agreement, you are a client of the designated agent(s) within the Brokerage for the specific, identified transactions for either Selling, Buying or both. This Agreement is NOT with the Brokerage and it's other Agents.

Multiple and Designated Representation is allowed, meaning a Brokerage working with this model has the option to work with both the Buyer and Seller in a single transaction. (As noted above, CBFO has opted for Designated Representation)

If you are a client via Designated Representation, the brokerage has an important obligation to you, called fiduciary duty (or Undivided Loyalty), and must promote and protect your best interests in the real estate transaction. As a client, your interests take priority over the interests of the brokerage, its agents, and any other party.

If you are an SRP, the brokerage does not have that obligation, but is obligated to treat you with fairness, honesty and integrity, and to provide you with conscientious and competent service. If you are a client looking to purchase a property, under a legislated Code of Ethics, the salesperson must take reasonable steps to determine, and then disclose to you, all material facts about the property. If you are an SRP, however, the salesperson only has to disclose to you the material fact that he or she already knows or ought to know, and they are not required to take any further steps.

A Self-Represented Party (SRP):

If you do not enter into an implied or Designated Representation Agreement then you will be an SRP. An SRP is a party who is not a client of any brokerage and you have chosen to represent yourself, which has different rights and responsibilities. Very few buyers or sellers make this choice.

REALTORS® can interact with SRPs without giving rise to an implied agreement in two instances: sharing general information (e.g. market statistics) related to trading and real estate, and providing assistance when it is a service to their client (e.g. showing a listing to an SRP Buyer). For example, as the seller's representative a REALTOR® can show that listing to an SRP. However, the SRP has engaged for services only, not a duty of care. Should the SRP wish to purchase the property, the REALTOR® may assist the SRP with the mechanics of filling out an Agreement of Purchase and Sale, but would not be able to provide any advice on what to Offer, what Terms and Conditions should be included in any Offer, research properties for you etc, otherwise the REALTOR® will have created unintended Agency with the SRP by the SRP relying on their skills and judgment. In most cases we would recommend that the SRP seeks independent professional advice if they wish to write up an Offer...unless they wish to become a Client.

It's important to be aware that the agent has a legal obligation to act in the best interests of the person on the other side of the transaction. If you are a buyer or even just inquiring about the property, for example, and the agent is working for the seller — the agent has a duty to do what's best for their seller client. Be aware that the agent is obligated to share anything you tell them with their client, which might not be in your best interests to tell them, including:

  • your motivation for buying or selling the property;
  • the minimum or maximum price you are willing to offer or accept; and,
  • your preferred terms or conditions for an agreement of purchase and sale

You can decide whether to be an SRP, or a client, but please note that the obligations of the brokerage will differ. In either instance, required forms will have to be explained to you and you will have to sign them.

How is an SRP different from the term "customer" that was used before TRESA came into force 1st Dec 2023?


Your Realty Dreams
Can Become a Reality.

When you're on a real estate journey, you need a real estate guide that can't be beat–and that's Helene Hutchings.

Helene Hutchings,
Real Estate Agent

2 Hobin Street Ottawa, ON K2S 1C3
Office: 613 831-9628



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