The Phantom of the Offer

2015 was an exciting year for Real Estate in Ontario even exciting within the familiar calm of Northumberland County. One of the unfortunate trends that was addressed in 2015 was the scam known as “The Phantom Offer.” This scam involves a Realtor hinting to prospective buyers or buyer’s Agents that there are other competing offers that exist when they actually don’t exist, as a way to coax the real offer(s) to bid higher. Ontario decided to find a way to crack down on this deceptive practice.  As of July 1, 2015 legislation came into effect protecting the public from phantom offers. Agents are not allowed to imply that they’ve received an offer unless it’s in writing and has been signed. Realtors also are required to keep records of all the competing/multiple offers they’ve received on file for one year. I for one was very glad to see this legislation be put in place. Honesty is the best and only acceptable policy when it comes to working with the public. Everyone deserves to be able to trust their Realtor and to receive the best services possible when buying and selling a home. Here is to 2016 – may it continue to bring the real estate industry into a better, more positive light when it comes to integrity.