The Fine Print

Ryan Coffey

I don’t think you need to be a psychologist to understand that the reason the skit below is funny is because it plays on (plays out?) a fear that many people have when they enter a contractual situation. That fear being whether or not all the information they need to know in order to make a clear and informed decision has been presented to them in a honest an understandable fashion.

Without going into a series of anecdotes, analogies and details I would like to say that there are many laws and regulations in place in Canada that make it difficult, risky and just plain bad business for a professional to act in such a way. We do after all have to abide by the concept of fiduciary duty (i.e. We have to protect your best interests as if they were our own).  Yes, some keep their nose clean better than other and yes you will hear of the odd sleazeball who broke the rules and received a punishment.

Ultimately, as a consumer you need to take the time to understand what you are signing. Our real estate contracts are long and full of legalese. It’s part of my job to explain that to you, and if you are still unsure about certain details, please ask. It’s all there in front of you in writing, but if you need help interpreting it, your professional can help you. If you need info on something really specific, that’s when you talk to a Lawyer.

Neither you or I as your Realtor would benefit in the long term should you sign something that you didn’t understand that put you in a bad situation. Even if I was the sort of person who only cared about dollars and cents, it would be a poor business practice for me as it would sully my good name. I’ve seen Realtors who do that, they have a way of getting in trouble with the powers that be and their clients have a way of leaving them and moving on to more ethically inclined people like me.

Enjoy the skit. Not sure who these comedians are though. I can never get enough of British humour.

Ryan Coffey

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