If you are involved in a real estate transaction and are not a client of a real estate brokerage, you are considered a self-represented party. This means that you have chosen to represent yourself, which has different rights and responsibilities.
Very few buyers or sellers make this choice.
There are significant risks to representing yourself in a real estate transaction if you do not have the knowledge and expertise required to navigate the transaction on your own. In most cases, you will be dealing with a seller or buyer who is benefitting from the services, opinions, and advice of an experienced real estate agent.
RECO recommends that you seek independent professional advice before you proceed as a self-represented party or receive any assistance from a real estate agent representing another party in the transaction.
If you choose not to work with a real estate agent, it will be your responsibility to look after your own best interests and protect yourself. This may include things like:
It’s important to be aware that the real estate agent working for the party on the other side of the transaction has a legal obligation to act in the best interests of their client.
For example, if you are a buyer, or even just inquiring about the property, and the agent is working for the seller – the agent has a duty to do what’s best for their seller client.
Be careful what you share. The agent is obligated to share anything you tell them with their client, including:
A real estate agent must give you RECO’s Information and Disclosure to Self-represented Party form and walk you through it before they can provide you any assistance. You will be asked to confirm you received it and understand what it means to be a self-represented party.
RECO Information and Disclosure to Self-represented Party form - Designated representation
This version is used when the agent is the designated representative for a client in the trade.
RECO Information and Disclosure to Self-represented Party form - Brokerage representation
This version is used when the client in the trade is under a brokerage representation agreement.
The agent cannot:
Any assistance the agent offers you:
If you’re concerned about completing a transaction on your own, or you need advice from a real estate agent, you can choose to become a client of a real estate brokerage at any point during the transaction.