Double Ending Real Estate Transactions

CBC marketplace did a show on real estate agents breaking REBBA's (Real Estate and Business Brokers Act) rules where 6 out of 10 were willing to provide inside information to the buyers in order to represent both the seller and the prospective buyer which is called "double ending" the listing.

Real Estate Image courtesy of CBC Marketplace


The Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO) administers REBBA 2002 which regulates real estate brokerages, brokers and salesperson in trading real estate.  RECO's mission is to protect the public interest and enhance consumer confidence in the real estate profession.

Getting a Listing

Real estate agents compete to list a homeowner's property for sale.  In this strong seller's marketplace, the majority of property owners want the highest selling price.

Buyers intentions are to buy a property but not overpay. The two parties have conflicting and opposite intentions. There is a conflict of interest between the seller and the buyer.

“4. A registrant shall promote and protect the best interests of the registrant’s clients. O. Reg. 580/05, s. 4.”

— REBBA 2002

The listing real estate agent's responsibility is to work in the best interest of their client (seller), i.e, get the highest possible sale price. Once they try to represent a buyer who has a conflicting intent, it is clearly difficult to protect the best interest of both parties.

Although REBBA 2002 which became law on March 31, 2006 allows multiple representation, where real estate agents represent both buyers and sellers or if the buyers and sellers are represented by two different agents from the same brokerage, I believe it is time to ban and eliminate "double ending" real estate transactions.  In my opinion, the true winner of "double ending" is the real estate agent whose best interest is above the buyers' and sellers' since they walk away with a higher commission.

"Double ending" sales does not protect the public interest nor enhance consumer confidence in the real estate profession per RECO's mission. It is time to ban it.