By: Neil Bayley-Hay

Real Estate Paperwork Explained: For Ontario Buyers

Tags: Real Estate Paperwork Explained: For Ontario Buyers

There’s a LOT of important paperwork that is part of buying or selling a property in Ontario. While real estate forms can vary, the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) has produced a set of standard forms that are commonly used for resale residential and commercial leases and sales; the standard forms are then customized to the individual situation. Today, I’ll be looking at each form and explaining what they mean.

Note: This post had originally included links to the relevant forms as well as Plain English versions of the standard forms. OREA has asked us to remove these links; all the forms discussed can be obtained from your REALTOR.

But before we begin, some overall info you should know:

Working with a REALTOR (WWR) – OREA Form 810

The Working With a REALTOR (WWR) form from OREA summarizes the different ways that a person can work with a real estate agent. It explains, in plain English, what it means to be a ‘client’ and what it means to be a ‘customer’. Those are two important distinctions in Ontario, as they dictate the services you’ll receive and your agent’s obligations. It also explains what happens if the same agent is representing both the Buyer and the Seller on the same transaction or sale (multiple representation).

In addition to the WWR form, you’ll be asked to sign one of 2 documents further defining your relationship:

  1. The Buyer’s Representation Agreement (BRA); or
  2. The Customer Service Agreement (CSA)

Buyer Representation Agreement (BRA)  – OREA Form 300

Ontario’s Buyer Representation Agreement is the agreement between you (the Buyer) and your agent’s Brokerage. It confirms the terms of your relationship, the commission that will be paid if you buy a property during the period of the agreement, the role of the agent and what happens if they are also representing the Seller. When you sign a BRA, it means that the agent will:

What does that really mean? It means your agent will give you sold data or other dirt they find that may not be in the Seller’s best interests. It means they will negotiate price and terms that are favourable to you. It means they have to take extra steps to discover material facts about the property and neighbourhood. It means they will always keep your information confidential (eg. your motivations for buying, your budget, your timeline, etc.)
In the overwhelming majority of cases, when people talk about “working with an agent,” this is the the kind of relationship they are referring to.

The Customer Service Agreement – OREA Form 310

Ontario’s Customer Service Agreement for real estate is what gets signed if a Buyer decides they don’t want to be a Client or sign the Buyer’s Representation Agreement, and yet still need the assistance of an agent nonetheless (often for drafting paperwork). It’s a non-exclusive agreement, meaning that the Buyer is not committed to the agent for anything beyond what is outlined in the form (for example, one specific property for a specific time period). The Customer Service Agreement confirms that the Buyer acknowledges that the agent is not representing the interests of the Buyer. Like the BRA, it has a timeframe and includes the commission that the agent will be paid.

If the brokerage is representing the Seller in the transaction, the OREA Customer Service Agreement confirms that the Buyer understands that the brokerage is protecting and promoting the interests of the Seller and not the Buyer. It confirms that the agent is playing a restricted role and that their obligations are:

Examples of what can and cannot happen under a Customer Service relationship:

FINTRAC

This is a mandatory identification document required by the federal government.

Agreement of Purchase and Sale – OREA Forms 100 & 101 

This is the biggie! The Agreement of Purchase & Sale is the actual agreement for you to purchase a home! In Ontario, a real estate transaction has to be in writing to be legal, so this is the main legal document that defines the terms and conditions of your offer to purchase.  There’s a version of the form for house purchases (Form 100) and one for condo purchases (Form 101). The most important non pre-printed parts of the Agreement of Purchase and Sale are as follows:

The schedules attached to the Agreement of Purchase and Sale form part of the agreement and are customized by the agents. Generally speaking:

Important info about the Agreement of Purchase & Sale:

Confirmation of Cooperation – OREA Form 320

The Confirmation of Cooperation details the type of relationship the Buyer and Seller have with their agent/brokerage (eg. Client or Customer) and the commission agreement between the Seller’s brokerage and the Buyer’s brokerage. It also details what happens if the brokerage represents both the Buyer and the Seller (multiple representation). Both brokerages are party to this agreement so both agents will sign it. 
Real estate forms and paperwork aren’t nearly as complicated as they appear – but make sure your agent takes you through what they mean and don’t be afraid to ask them for clarification.