As the market continues to set records, REALTORS® are busier than ever. Inventory imbalances are helping to drive prices ever higher and rock-bottom interest rates coupled with a growing FOMO (fear-of-missing-out) means that multiple, competing offers have become the norm.
Your primary role to guide, advise and protect clients has never been more crucially necessary. However, in your enthusiasm to seize opportunities on behalf of clients, don’t forget to “guide, advise and protect” yourself in the process – particularly when it comes to publicizing prices.
With many properties selling above asking price – sometimes significantly more – the urge to post sale prices prematurely can put you in breach of the Rules of Cooperation. FVREB Professional Standards and the MLS Departments have received a number of calls and emails from Realtors either reporting potential misconduct or asking for clarification and guidance. The rules in question are as follows:
Rules of Cooperation: 8.06 Advertising of Sale Price
A sale price shall not be advertised prior to that information being publicly available through a government registry, unless prior approval is provided by both buyer and seller in writing.
Rules of Cooperation: 5.01 (c) Reporting Sales
… sales shall be reported to the MLS® Department by the Listing Brokerage, on the Sales Report Form together with a legible copy of the Contract of Purchase and Sale within five (5) calendar days of the contract becoming unconditional. …
In short, this means advertising or publicizing a price before it is officially registered with Land Titles, which can take 10 to 15 business days, requires written permission from both the seller and buyer. Any form of public dissemination – social media, email blasts, flyers, etc. – is forbidden until the price is in the public domain as per the rules, and regardless of whether you are the listing agent or not.
Nor should the sale price be disclosed in the Realtor Remarks of an active listing unless consent is obtained by both buyer and seller.
Our collective adherence to the rules of conduct is a key underpinning to our personal and professional reputations – it’s not worth risking professional misconduct and reputational harm just for some free publicity. Realtors play a vital part in building the communities where we work and live – holding ourselves to a higher standard ensures we continue to embody the trust and respect we have earned.
If you have further questions or issues regarding the price disclosure or other related matters, the best place to start is with your managing broker for information or clarification.
Source: FVREB Professional Standards