Disclosure: When in Doubt, FIND OUT
Ontario Real Estate Source
By Brian Madigan LL.B.
Real estate professionals must disclose "material facts". Just remember the regular mantra "disclose, disclose, disclose".
However, that obligation arises only after certain conditions are met. You have to be engaged to act and have advised your principal that you intend to make such disclosure. At this point, the seller could either have second thoughts about hiring you in the first place or decide that your listing should be cancelled or terminated.
You need to ensure that the seller appreciates that your obligation in respect to disclosure arises under the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act, 2002. The seller is not registered and is under no such obligation. The seller has the right to remain silent unless the common law provides otherwise.
The "information" is that of the seller. You are obliged to maintain the privacy of the seller.
So, the earlier mantra at step one, should be: "When in doubt: Find Out!" *
Then, once you are on board acting for the seller, you can then say "disclose, disclose, disclose".
* this particular phrase was authored by Bruno Galluzzo of Royal LePage Innovators
Brian Madigan LL.B., Broker is an author and commentator on real estate matters, if you are interested in residential or commercial properties in Mississauga, Toronto or the GTA, you may contact him through Royal LePage Innovators Realty, Brokerage 905-796-8888