Consumer Shield: Part II Defining TRESA Terminology For Buyers and Sellers

Consumer Shield: Part II Defining TRESA Terminology For Buyers and Sellers

When working with a Realtor prior to 2024 a buyer or seller could choose to be a Client or a Customer of the brokerage. These two distinctions often led to confusion so, to make things clearer and to better protect consumers the Trust in Real Estate Services Act (TRESA) was implemented. With the introduction of TRESA, the Customer relationship was eliminated. Now consumers, whether buying or selling Muskoka real estate or homes throughout Ontario, can enter into a Client relationship or be Self-Represented (SRP).

Under TRESA there are also two forms of Client representation permitted however the structure has changed. Clients and brokerages may enter into a Brokerage Representation agreement or a Designated Representation agreement. Both agreements are still with the brokerage however the structure of each varies. Which form of representation agreement an agent and client to use is a decision made by the agent and client together. Most brokerages prefer using Designated Representation.

Brokerage Representation

Under a brokerage representation agreement, the brokerage and all its agents are bound by the same duties to the client, including representing the best interests of the brokerage’s client. Any alteration of the brokerage’s duties would apply to all agents within the brokerage. What this translates to is: if you enter a Brokerage Representation Agreement and regardless that you are working primarily with one agent, all the agents within that brokerage have a duty to work in your best interest. Where this becomes tricky is in the case of Multiple Representation. Example: your agent lists your property for sale and another agent from their brokerage brings you an offer. This is Multiple Representation because both agents are technically working for you.

Designated Representation

Under designated representation, the agreement is also with the brokerage. The difference is that the agreement identifies one or more agents as the “designated representative” for the client. The “designated representative” is the agent that will provide representation to the client. Put another way, the designated representative is the agent responsible for promoting and protecting the best interests of that client.

The designated representative is also responsible for protecting the confidential information of the client. This means confidential information, such as the client’s motivation to buy or sell and their financial circumstances, must not be shared with any agent who is not a designated representative for the client. The brokerage, and other agents employed by the brokerage, must treat the client in an objective and impartial manner.

Designated representation is distinctly different from brokerage representation, where the brokerage and all of its agents are representing the client under the brokerage representation agreement as outlined above.

Chestnut Park Real Estate Ltd. has decided it is in the best interest of their clients and agents to implement Designated Representation. Meaning, if you were to hire a Chestnut Park agent, he/she would be working in your best interest and no other Chestnut Park agent would be working for you. This means there is less chance of a Multiple Representation scenario. However, Multiple Representation may still occur even with a Designated Representative.

Multiple Representation

Under Brokerage Representation, multiple representation arises in the following two circumstances:

  • The brokerage has a seller client and one or more buyer clients in the same trade.
  • The brokerage represents more than one competing buyer in the same trade, even if the property is listed by a different brokerage.

Under Designated Representation, multiple representation arises in the following two circumstances:

  • The same agent is the designated representative for a seller client and a buyer client in the same trade.
  • The same agent is the designated representative for more than one competing buyer in the same trade, even if the property is listed by a different brokerage.

Now let’s look at a Client and Self-Represented Parties.


Self-Represented Party (SRP) is as it sounds. An SRP is simply a buyer or seller who is not a client of any brokerage and therefore does not have the guidance of a Realtor. Consumers were often confused about the differences between being a customer and a client. TRESA removes any of that confusion with the introduction of the Self-Represented Party. If anyone chooses to be unrepresented in a real estate transaction, they will be doing so with the full knowledge of the risks that they are assuming when they choose to be Self Represented. On the other hand, all the advantages of receiving client representation from a Realtor will be extremely clear.

SRP is not just a name change from Customer. It has significantly different meaning. SRP’s may receive assistance form Realtor’s so long as that assistance is of benefit to the Realtor’s client in a transaction. Furthermore, any assistance the Realtor offers to an SRP does not rely upon the Realtor’s skill, knowledge or judgement.


When you enter into a Client relationship with a Realtor you are benefiting from that agent’s experience and knowledge.


A Seller Client will benefit from:

  • Updates on current market conditions
  • Competition on the market
  • A Comparative Market Analysis
  • Recommended list price
  • Recommended time to list
  • Home improvement or staging recommendations or services
  • Vast network of connections with other real estate agents with buyers
  • Professional advertising and marketing campaigns for MLS listings
  • Expert negotiating skills to obtain highest price with most favorable terms


A Buyer Client will benefit from:

  • Notice of new listings that meet their criteria
  • Knowledge of the search area including suitable neighbourhoods or communities or desirable lakes if looking for a cottage property
  • Guided showings whereby the agent can point out any deficiencies
  • Analysis of properties of interest including Pros and Cons
  • Suggested offer price or price range
  • Expert negotiating skills to facilitate a win in your best interest
  • Connections to area professionals such as local legal services, appraisers, design firms, construction companies, contractors, property managers and marinas

The Janssen Group  Associates are well versed in the new TRESA legislation and can answer any of your questions. Whether it’s time to sell or search for your dream cottage, our exceptional market knowledge and expertise ensures a seamless transaction and pleasant experience. Let our cottage country and Muskoka Realtors guide you to the perfect property or sell your Muskoka homes and cottages for the highest price with the least amount of inconvenience to you. 

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