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Anyone who has ever bought property most likely dealt with two agents, one for the buyer and one for the seller. However, when one real estate broker represents both buyer and seller for the same property, it is known as double-ending. Ontario real estate rules may be changing in regards to double-ending. The province will be introducing new changes in the real estate act when it comes to sales people and agents who are both the lister and buyer of a property, but it will not ban double-ending entirely.

Changes to rules wouldn't disallow double-ending, but they would make it more difficult to do so. Although specifics of the proposed new rules have not yet come to light, the province would prefer real estate deals to be modelled after the industry's designated representation model. In other words, buyers and sellers should each have their own real estate sales person. 

Changes in rules would likely include more transparency on the part of sales people when it comes to double-ending. How that would play out is still up for discussion and consultation. However, changes would mean Ontario would have the strictest real estate regulations in North America.

The Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO) has stated it is pleased with the proposed changes to tighten double-ending restrictions. It has said that an introduction of a bill is a step forward towards those changes. It will be up to RECO to discipline any members who don't comply with any new rules.

The laws governing real estate in Ontario could be revamped at any time. Residents involved in transactions -- whether on the purchasing or selling end -- might want to consult an Ontario lawyer with experience handling real estate deals. A lawyer will always act in the best interests of his or her clients. Making sure all deals on are the up and up is part of a real estate lawyer's mandate.

Source: cbc.ca, "Ontario moves to tighten rules around real estate agents 'double-ending,' but won't ban the practice", Oct. 5, 2017

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