There’s an Open House coming up at our home next weekend. What should we do to prepare? – Ready to Sell
Dear Ready: You’ll want to scrub, shine and vacuum of course, but there are a number of additional steps you can take to protect your valuables and your privacy.
Remove any small valuables and jewellery from view. Remove your medications from the home (you can take them with you when you leave) and be sure to empty the medicine cabinet. Tuck away any bills, credit card receipts, bank statements or other documents that may contain confidential information. You may also want to consider removing your personal photographs.
As you get ready, take photos of what you store (so you can find it again), and snap a few wider photos of each room so you’ll have a quick reference if anything seems to be missing. Lastly, ensure that your Realtor requires all visitors to sign in for security.
Our team posts a sign on the door advising all visitors that we’ll be asking for their contact information. If they are uncomfortable leaving it, they are welcome to schedule a showing appointment with a Realtor, rather than attending the Open House.
Dear David, I’ve heard rumours that the government is working on regulations with regards to double ending. Any news? – Ear to the Ground
Dear Ear: You heard correctly! Just so everyone is on the same page, “double ending” is when a Realtor represents both the buyer and the seller in the same transaction. While this happens on occasion, many professional Realtors shy away from it, given the conflict of interest it creates. A seller wants to sell for the highest price and a buyer wants to buy for the lowest price, so there are obvious challenges for a single person who attempts to represent both parties fairly.
There are strict rules of disclosure in such cases, and professional scrutiny surrounding the issue is growing.
This past January, the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO) submitted recommendations to the provincial government about how ethics regulations can be strengthened to protect consumers in conflict of interest situations. Improved consumer communication, along with reduced financial benefits and increased penalties for Realtors are some ideas that are currently being explored.
A broader review of the rules is expected to begin in the spring of 2018.