Sometimes, it is best not to say anything.

October 28th, 2009

It echoes in my mind... thanks to Walt Disney films.... from that famous scene, in which Bambi stumbles while learning to walk. Thumper (the rabbit) turns to Bambi's mother and says, "He doesn't walk very good, does he?".

Thumper's mother calls him out, "Thumper!" "Yes mother?," Thumper replies sheephishly, after realizing he is in trouble.

His mother continues sternly, "What did your father tell you this morning?"

Thumper stops to recall, then recites slowly, "If you don't have something nice to say, don't say nothing at all."

You might think I've been neglecting my blog. I have and I haven't. I've thought about it. I've even written bits.

I've sent myself emails... stuff about Barrie, Ontario... about Toronto Realtors' "connect project"... a little about fine print in contracts... about a Toronto Sunshine girl who hopes to become a Realtor....about the passing of Al Martino, Dickie Peterson, Ian Wallace, Don Decker, Rusty Weir, Margaret Fitzgerald ,Luis Aguile, Irene Van Wyke, Lou Jacobi, Joseph Robert Wiseman, Vic Mizzy, Lenore Kandel, Stuart M. Kaminsky, Daniel Melnick,Junior Coghlan, Lawrence Halprin,Shiloh Pepin, Collin Wilcox-Paxton, Soupy Sales and too many child abductees.

I read that China is expected to build more square feet of real estate in the next 15 years than the United States has built in its entire history, and it has no green building codes or green building experience. & that upwards of 50 percent of global CO2 emissions comes from cow farts. I also read a lot of stuff about how the real estate slump is over. Woody Allen's new film is to be called You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger.

I collected a bunch of information on the local Carlow-Boulter area. I researched H1N1 and vaccine debates... I thought about Afghanistan, the opening of "This Is It", the Michael Jackson rehearsal footage film... the whale shark, called “butanding”, that was found dead on Manila Bay by local fishermen... Andre Agassi exposing his secret crystal meth addiction... Samhain.... the McDonald's manager in Japan who died of a brain haemorrhage- classified a victim of "karoshi" or death by overwork, the man dressed as KFC mascot Colonel Sanders who evaded security to be photographed with the new president of the UN General Assembly and Eric Clapton's gallstones. Monty Python is being brought to life on-screen in a six part mini-series which is airing on the IFC Chanel, it's called Monty Python: Almost the Truth -The Lawyers Cut.

That seemed to be the most real thing I'd come across.

2010 Home Trends

October 2nd, 2009

I realize that newspapers, magazines, radio and television are all abuzz with talk that the housing slump is over... however, Real Estate professionals agree that today's Buyer is looking for a different sort of value from a home.

While it is still important that a home has received the appropriate care and maintenance AND is clean and tidy... there are other factors and forces at work.

'Cocooning' (the trend that saw individuals retreating to their homes rather than socializing) is OUT. As we near 2010, people are looking for a home that they will enjoy as social meeting place- for family and friends.

Flipping is out and nesting is in. We want to feel “invited” in our own homes.

Studies in areas of sociology, fashion/décor, construction and even toys, confirm that people are people looking for a 'safe' refuge at home. Whether due to the economy, flu fears, aging population, ecological concerns or the desire for authenticity, the focus is on making one's home the centre of all social activity.

Toy manufacturer, Mattel, is focusing on releasing parlor games this fall- to take advantage of the growing trend. The world's interior designers trends hint towards more traditional design, family values, eco-awareness and a back-to-basics approach. Parenting professionals speak of the trend toward simply getting back to the basics and taking a step back from the technological rat race to really enjoy family time. Health professionals speak of the growing awareness of hygiene.

There has been a shift to consumers having more home-cooked meals it shows in the increased sales of dishrags, placemats and other kitchen linens. Sales of kitchen and dining textiles increased 6% for the calendar third quarter, compared with a 3% decrease in overall home-textile sales. That follows 3.7% growth in sales of kitchen and dining textiles during the 12 months ended June, compared with a 3.5% decline in the total home-textiles market AND Buyers' wish lists include a full sized, eat-in kitchen again.

Video nights have replaced the cinema, cooking at home instead of fancy restaurants and family game nights are more popular than going out.

According to the Home Design Trends Survey for the first quarter of 2009, the size of homes is shrinking, too- possibly a result of the economic recession &/or the aging population, or maybe heating costs, or all of the above.

Most importantly, people want their homes to fit them- they want floor plans that suit them and add to their lifestyle. Buyers want a home that may be seen as an extension, or expression, of their “personality”. They want a place that they can feel proud of, a place they will want to share with their family and friends.

Seeking the best in emerging technologies, looking to customize, Buyers talk about making improvements so that their home will be energy efficient, environmentally friendly and sustainable- they want to feel good, all around. Buyers are seeking bathrooms that have a spa-like vibe.

Steam showers are becoming a particularly sought after item. Touted as an effective treatment for respiratory & sinus conditions and said to increase flexibility & circulation, while stimulating the immune system and enhancing skin tone, steam showers may be enjoyed by the entire family for relaxation. Some have options to include essential oils, aromatherapy, in scented steam.

The emphasis, in all areas, is simplification and reduction of daily stressors. Consumers are no longer spending frivolously- they need a reason-to-buy and they want to invest in brands that express social values. Some would label this new era “careful chic”… while there is still a desire to be smart & stylish, it’s important for today’s Buyer to be socially and environmentally responsible at home.

Homeowners want measures of authenticity to support their engagement in the important socio-cultural matters of our times. With today’s real estate market becoming increasingly “online-driven” and international- it is obvious that these values are global. We are coming into a new era of understanding and caring. Improved systems of social networking is creating a flow and exchange of information that unites the planet and the talk today is that no matter what it is, if we call it our “home”, we see it as a place of refuge from the not so enjoyable bits of day-to-day reality.

Buyers are looking to bring a little luxury into the function of their private space and there is a strong desire for versatile spaces that are practical for many purposes. It seems that the easiest way to achieve this is through a more minimalist approach and many Buyers are looking to downsize their load. Popular is the all-white scheme, including crisp sheets, fluffy pillows and a down duvet. A monochromatic palette can also translate to the bathroom, there are always appreciative remarks at a basket stocked with fluffy guest towels.

This trend is toward white towels and linens contrasts well with solid coloured splashes in décor and pale shades have given way to bold, intensely saturated colors. In all matters of home, subtlety is out- replaced with joyful, exuberant expressions of who we are. In colour- go for that splash of red.

Orange is in. Japanese motifs are popping up all over. The eye, delighted by lacquered whites and hints of neon, luscious, rich tones or delectable citrus shades - like mandarin orange, lemon yellow and pink grapefruit. Chrome, pewter, stainless steel, antique finishes in the form of a vase, lamp detail and even metallic or iridescent wallpaper incorporated will give the perfect amount of reflection to a space.

A word of warning, clutter is OUT, make sure not to overpower a space with too many “things”. Go for a clean look, using one or two accessories to define the space and make it feel “finished” and inviting.

The Creation of Psychopaths

September 30th, 2009

This posting was sent to me last year. I thought it worthy of sharing.

Extracted from two articles: Twilight of the Psychopaths by Dr. Kevin Barrett and The Trick of the Psychopath's Trade by Silvia Cattori. Both articles are recommended. Both articles reference the book Political Ponerology: A science on the nature of evil adjusted for political purposes. It was written by Clinton Callahan, originator of Possibility Management, author of Radiant Joy Brilliant Love:

"I make the effort to share this information because it gives me, at
last, a plausible answer to a long-unanswered question: Why, no
matter how much intelligent goodwill exists in the world, is there so
much war, suffering and injustice? It doesn't seem to matter what
creative plan, ideology, religion, or philosophy great minds come up
with, nothing seems to improve our lot. Since the dawn of
civilization, this pattern repeats itself over and over again.

The answer is that civilization, as we know it, is largely the
creation of psychopaths. All civilizations, our own included, have
been built on slavery and mass murder. Psychopaths have played a
disproportionate role in the development of civilization, because
they are hard-wired to lie, kill, cheat, steal, torture, manipulate,
and generally inflict great suffering on other humans without feeling
any remorse, in order to establish their own sense of security through
domination. The inventor of civilization - the first tribal chieftain
who successfully brainwashed an army of controlled mass murderers -
was almost certainly a genetic psychopath. Since that momentous
discovery, psychopaths have enjoyed a significant advantage over
non-psychopaths in the struggle for power in civilizational
hierarchies - especially military hierarchies.

Behind the apparent insanity of contemporary history, is the actual
insanity of psychopaths fighting to preserve their disproportionate
power. And as their power grows ever-more-threatened, the psychopaths
grow ever-more-desperate. We are witnessing the apotheosis of the
overworld - the overlapping criminal syndicates that lurk above
ordinary society and law just as the underworld lurks below it.

During the past fifty years, psychopaths have gained almost absolute
control of all the branches of government. You can notice this if you
observe carefully that no matter what illegal thing a modern
politician does, no one will really take him to task. All of the so
called scandals that have come up, any one of which would have taken
down an authentic administration, are just farces played out for the
public, to distract them, to make them think that the democracy is
still working.

One of the main factors to consider in terms of how a society can be
taken over by a group of pathological deviants is that the
psychopaths' only limitation is the participation of susceptible
individuals within that given society. Lobaczewski gives an average
figure for the most active deviants of approximately 6% of a given
population. (1% essential psychopaths and up to 5% other
psychopathies and characteropathies.) The essential psychopath is at
the center of the web. The others form the first tier of the
psychopath's control system.

The next tier of such a system is composed of individuals who were
born normal, but are either already warped by long-term exposure to
psychopathic material via familial or social influences, or who,
through psychic weakness have chosen to meet the demands of
psychopathy for their own selfish ends. Numerically, according to
Lobaczewski, this group is about 12% of a given population under
normal conditions.

So approximately 18% of any given population is active in the
creation and imposition of a Pathocracy. The 6% group constitutes the
Pathocratic nobility and the 12% group forms the new bourgeoisie,
whose economic situation is the most advantageous.

When you understand the true nature of psychopathic influence, that
it is conscienceless, emotionless, selfish, cold and calculating, and
devoid of any moral or ethical standards, you are horrified, but at
the same time everything suddenly begins to makes sense. Our society
is ever more soulless because the people who lead it and who set the
example are soulless - they literally have no conscience.

In his book Political Ponerology, Andrej Lobaczewski explains that
clinical psychopaths enjoy advantages even in non-violent
competitions to climb the ranks of social hierarchies. Because they
can lie without remorse (and without the telltale physiological
stress that is measured by lie detector tests), psychopaths can
always say whatever is necessary to get what they want. In court, for
example, psychopaths can tell extreme bald-faced lies in a plausible
manner, while their sane opponents are handicapped by an emotional
predisposition to remain within hailing distance of the truth. Too
often, the judge or jury imagines that the truth must be somewhere in
the middle, and then issues decisions that benefit the psychopath. As
with judges and juries, so too with those charged with decisions
concerning who to promote and who not to promote in corporate,
military and governmental hierarchies. The result is that all
hierarchies inevitably become top-heavy with psychopaths. Since
psychopaths have no limitations on what they can or will do to get to
the top, the ones in charge are generally pathological. It is not
power that corrupts, it is that corrupt individuals seek power.

How can we distinguish between psychopaths and healthy people? What
is the portrait of a true psychopath?

Such a dangerous question has almost never been successfully asked.
The reason is that we mistakenly confuse healthy for normal. Human
psychological diversity is the health of our race. There is no normal
because healthy humans continuously evolve beyond all normalizing
standards. The terrorism of searching through hierarchies for anyone
deviating from normal is no different from witch hunts or
Inquisitions. You must remember that hierarchies thrive on such low
dramas, torturing victims until they confess to evil beliefs. Not so
long ago the church and state ongoingly acquired significant income
and property through witch hunts and Inquisitions. This continued for
over two hundred and fifty years. Ten generations of Europeans
understood pogrom as normal life. Let us not return to that
nightmare. Testing for normal is guaranteed to backfire in our face.
There is no normal. But there is conscience.

We have very little empirical evidence to support the idea that true
psychopathy is the result of an abused childhood, and much empirical
evidence to support that it is genetic. The neurobiological model
offers us the greatest hope of being able to identify even the most
devious psychopath. Other recent studies lead to similar results and
conclusions: that psychopaths have great difficulty processing verbal
and nonverbal affective (emotional) material, that they tend to
confuse the emotional significance of events, and most importantly,
that these deficits show up in brain scans! A missing internal
connection between the feeling heart and the thinking brain is
detectable.

Psychopaths are incapable of authentic deep emotions. In fact, when
Robert Hare, a Canadian psychologist who spent his career studying
psychopathy, did brain scans on psychopaths while showing them two
sets of words, one set of neutral words with no emotional
associations and a second set with emotionally charged words, while
different areas of the brain lit up in the non-psychopathic control
group, in the psychopaths, both sets were processed in the same area
of the brain, the area that deals with language. They did not have an
emotional reaction until they intellectually concluded that it would
be better if they had one, and then they whipped up an emotional
response just for show.

The simplest, clearest and truest portrait of the psychopath is
given in the titles of three seminal works on the subject: Without
Conscience by Robert Hare, The Mask of Sanity by Hervey Cleckley, and
Snakes in Suits by Robert Hare and Paul Babiak. A psychopath is
exactly that: conscienceless. The most important thing to remember is
that this lack of conscience is hidden from view behind a mask of
normality that is often so convincing that even experts are deceived.
As a result, psychopaths become the Snakes in Suits that control our
world.

Psychopaths lack a sense of remorse or empathy with others. They can
be extremely charming and are experts at using talk to charm and
hypnotize their prey. They are also irresponsible. Nothing is ever
their fault; someone else or the world at large is always to blame
for all of their problems or their mistakes.

Martha Stout, in her book The Sociopath Next Door, identifies what she calls the pity ploy. Psychopaths use pity to manipulate. They convince you to give them one more chance, and to not tell anyone about what they have done. So another trait - and a very important one - is their ability to control the flow of information.

They also seem to have little real conception of past or future,
living entirely for their immediate needs and desires. Because of the
barren quality of their inner life, they are often seeking new
thrills, anything from feeling the power of manipulating others to
engaging in illegal activities simply for the rush of adrenaline.

Another trait of the psychopath is what Lobaczewski calls their
special psychological knowledge of normal people. They have studied
us. They know us better than we know ourselves. They are experts in
knowing how to push our buttons, to use our emotions against us. But
beyond that, they even seem to have some sort of hypnotic power over
us. When we begin to get caught up in the web of the psychopath, our
ability to think deteriorates, gets muddied. They seem to cast some
sort of spell over us. It is only later when we are no longer in
their presence, out of their spell, that the clarity of thought
returns and we find ourselves wondering how it was that we were
unable to respond or counter what they were doing.

Psychopaths learn to recognize each other in a crowd as early as
childhood, and they develop an awareness of the existence of other
individuals similar to themselves. They also become conscious of
being of a different world from the majority of other people
surrounding them. They view us from a certain distance.

Think about the ramifications of this statement: Psychopaths are, to
some extent, self-aware as a group even in childhood! Recognizing
their fundamental difference from the rest of humanity, their
allegiance would be to others of their kind, that is, to other
psychopaths.

Their own twisted sense of honor compels them to cheat and revile
non-psychopaths and their values. In contradiction to the ideals of
normal people, psychopaths feel breaking promises and agreements is
normal behavior.

Not only do they covet possessions and power and feel they have the
right to them just because they exist and can take them, but they
gain special pleasure in usurping and taking from others; what they
can plagiarize, swindle, and extort are fruits far sweeter than those
they can earn through honest labor. They also learn very early how
their personalities can have traumatizing effects on the
personalities of non-psychopaths, and how to take advantage of this
root of terror for purposes of achieving their goals.

So now, imagine how human beings who are totally in the dark about
the presence of psychopaths can be easily deceived and manipulated by
these individuals, gaining power in different countries, pretending to
be loyal to the local populations while at the same time playing up
obvious and easily discernable physical differences between groups
(such as race, skin color, religion, etc). Psychologically normal
humans would be set against one another on the basis of unimportant
differences (think of Rwanda 1994, think of Israelis and
Palestinians) while the deviants in power, with a fundamental
difference from the rest of us, a lack of conscience, an inability to
feel for another human being, reaped the benefits and pulled the
strings.

We are seeing the final desperate power-grab or endgame (Alex Jones)
of brutal, cunning gangs of CIA drug-runners and President-killers;
money-laundering international bankers and their hit-men - economic
and otherwise; corrupt military contractors and gung-ho generals;
corporate predators and their political enablers; brainwashers and
mind-rapists euphemistically known as psy-ops and PR specialists - in
short, the whole crew of certifiable psychopaths running our so-called
civilization. And they are running scared.

Why does the Pathocracy fear losing its control? Because it is
threatened by the spread of knowledge. The greatest fear of any
psychopath is of being found out.

Psychopaths go through life knowing that they are completely
different from other people. Deep down they know something is missing
in them. They quickly learn to hide their lack of empathy, while
carefully studying others' emotions so as to mimic normalcy while
cold-bloodedly manipulating the normals.

Today, thanks to new information technologies, we are on the brink
of unmasking the psychopaths and building a civilization of, by and
for the healthy human being - a civilization without war, a
civilization based on truth, a civilization in which the saintly few
rather than the diabolical few would gravitate to positions of power.
We already have the knowledge necessary to diagnose psychopathic
personalities and keep them out of power. We have the knowledge
necessary to dismantle the institutions in which psychopaths
especially flourish - militaries, intelligence agencies, large
corporations, and secret societies. We simply need to disseminate
this knowledge, and the will to use it, as widely and as quickly as
possible.

Until the knowledge and awareness of pathological human beings is
given the attention it deserves and becomes part of the general
knowledge of all human beings, there is no way that things can be
changed in any way that is effective and long-lasting. If half the
people agitating for truth or stopping the war or saving the earth
would focus their efforts, time and money on exposing psychopathy, we
might get somewhere.

One might ask if the weak point of our society has been our
tolerance of psychopathic behavior? Our disbelief that someone could
seem like an intelligent leader and still be acting deceptively on
their own behalf without conscience? Or is it merely ignorance?

If the general voting public is not aware that there exists a
category of people we sometimes perceive as almost human, who look
like us, who work with us, who are found in every race, every
culture, speaking every language, but who are lacking conscience, how
can the general public take care to block them from taking over the
hierarchies? General ignorance of psychopathology may prove to be the
downfall of civilization. We stand by like grazing sheep as
political/corporate elites throw armies of our innocent sons and
daughters against fabricated enemies as a way of generating trillions
in profits, vying against each other for pathological hegemony.

Nearly everyone who has been part of an organization working for
social change has probably seen the same dynamic play out: The good
and sincere work of many can be destroyed by the actions of one
person. That doesn't bode well for bringing some sort of justice to
the planet! In fact, if psychopaths dominate political hierarchies,
is it any wonder that peaceful demonstrations have zero impact on the
outcome of political decisions? Perhaps it is time to choose something
other than massive, distant hierarchies as a way of governing
ourselves?

So many efforts to provide essays, research reports, exposs and
books to leaders so they might take the new information to heart and
change their behavior have come to naught. For example, in the final
paragraph of his revised edition of the book, The Party's Over,
Richard Heinberg writes:

I still believe that if the people of the world can be helped to
understand the situation we are in, the options available, and the
consequences of the path we are currently on, then it is at least
possible that they can be persuaded to undertake the considerable
effort and sacrifice that will be entailed in a peaceful transition
to a sustainable, locally based, decentralized, low-energy,
resource-conserving social regime. But inspired leadership will be
required.

And that is the just-murdered fantasy. There are no inspired leaders
anymore. And in hierarchical structures there can't be. Assuming that
you can elect men or women to office who will see reason and the
light of day, and who will change and learn and grow, make
compassionate decisions and take conscientious actions... is a
foolish, childish dream. Continuing to dream it simply plays into
psychopathic agendas.

Only when the 75% of humanity with a healthy conscience come to
understand that we have a natural predator, a group of people who
live amongst us, viewing us as powerless victims to be freely fed
upon for achieving their inhuman ends, only then will we take the
fierce and immediate actions needed to defend what is preciously
human. Psychological deviants have to be removed from any position of
power over people of conscience, period. People must be made aware
that such individuals exist and must learn how to spot them and their
manipulations. The hard part is that one must also struggle against
those tendencies to mercy and kindness in oneself in order not to
become prey.

The real problem is that the knowledge of psychopathy and how
psychopaths rule the world has been effectively hidden. People do not
have the adequate, nuanced knowledge they need to really make a change
from the bottom up. Again and again, throughout history it has been
meet the new boss, same as the old boss. If there is any work that is
deserving of full time efforts and devotion for the sake of helping
humanity in this present dark time, it is the study of psychopathy
and the propagation of this information as far and wide and fast as
possible.

There are only two things that can bring a psychopath under
submission:

A bigger psychopath.

The non-violent, absolute refusal to submit to psychopathic controls
no matter the consequences (non-violent noncompliance).

Let us choose path 2! If individuals simply sat down and refused to
lift a hand to further one single aim of the psychopathic agenda, if
people refused to pay taxes, if soldiers refused to fight, if
government workers and corporate drones and prison guards refused to
go to work, if doctors refused to treat psychopathic elites and their
families, the whole system would grind to a screeching halt.

True change happens in the moment that a person becomes aware of
psychopathy in all its chilling details. From this new awareness, the
world looks different, and entirely new actions can be taken.
Distinguishing between human and psychopathic qualities begins the
foundation of responsibility upon which we have a real chance to
create sustainable culture."

Multiple Representation

September 23rd, 2009

For many of us in the industry, it is a concern that the average John Q Public is uneducated in the transaction of real estate. Many folks think they understand- they may have bought or sold a property in their past- the trouble is that regulations are constantly changing.

Most of us, in the industry, do our best to explain the process but that two word phrase, "Multiple Representation", counts amongst the most difficult to explain. Often people get that "doe in the headlight" sort of look.

I thought it might be prudent to include here, the wording from some of the documentation that a typical Buyer or Seller would be presented with, to sign.

One of the first standard documents/brochure that every Buyer or Seller will be shown is WORKING WITH A REALTOR. It says:

3. Multiple representation
Occasionally a real estate brokerage will represent both the buyer and the seller. The buyer and seller must consent to this arrangement in writing. Under this multiple representation arrangement, the brokerage must do what is best for both the buyer and the seller. Since the brokerage’s loyalty is divided between the buyer and the seller who have conflicting interests, it is absolutely essential that a multiple representation relationship be properly documented. Representation agreements specifically describe the rights and duties of everyone involved and any limitations to those rights and duties.

On a LISTING AGREEMENT, a Seller will note the following wording:

4. REPRESENTATION: …
MULTIPLE REPRESENTATION: The Seller hereby acknowledges that the Listing Brokerage may be entering into buyer representation agreements with
buyers who may be interested in purchasing the Seller’s Property. In the event that the Listing Brokerage has entered into or enters into a buyer
representation agreement with a prospective buyer for the Seller’s Property, the Listing Brokerage will obtain the Seller’s written consent to represent both
the Seller and the buyer for the transaction at the earliest practicable opportunity and in all cases prior to any offer to purchase being submitted or
presented.
The Seller understands and acknowledges that the Listing Brokerage must be impartial when representing both the Seller and the buyer and equally
protect the interests of the Seller and buyer. The Seller understands and acknowledges that when representing both the Seller and the buyer, the Listing
Brokerage shall have a duty of full disclosure to both the Seller and the buyer, including a requirement to disclose all factual information about the
property known to the Listing Brokerage.
However, the Seller further understands and acknowledges that the Listing Brokerage shall not disclose:
• that the Seller may or will accept less than the listed price, unless otherwise instructed in writing by the Seller;
• that the buyer may or will pay more than the offered price, unless otherwise instructed in writing by the buyer;
• the motivation of or personal information about the Seller or buyer, unless otherwise instructed in writing by the party to which the information
applies or unless failure to disclose would constitute fraudulent, unlawful or unethical practice;
• the price the buyer should offer or the price the Seller should accept; and
• the Listing Brokerage shall not disclose to the buyer the terms of any other offer.
However, it is understood that factual market information about comparable properties and information known to the Listing Brokerage concerning
potential uses for the Property will be disclosed to both Seller and buyer to assist them to come to their own conclusions. &
MULTIPLE REPRESENTATION AND CUSTOMER SERVICE: The Seller understands and agrees that the Listing Brokerage also provides
representation and customer service to other sellers and buyers. If the Listing Brokerage represents or provides customer service to more than one seller
or buyer for the same trade, the Listing Brokerage shall, in writing, at the earliest practicable opportunity and before any offer is made, inform all sellers
and buyers of the nature of the Listing Brokerage’s relationship to each seller and buyer.

Whereas, a Buyer, on their contract document, an Agreement called Buyer Representation, will note the inclusion of the following wording:

3. REPRESENTATION…

Multiple representation:
The Buyer hereby acknowledges The Buyer hereby acknowledges that the Brokerage may be entering into listing agreements with sellers of properties
the Buyer may be interested in buying or leasing. In the event that the Brokerage has entered into or enters into a listing agreement with the seller of a
property the Buyer may be interested in buying or leasing, the Brokerage will obtain the Buyer’s written consent to represent both the Buyer and the
seller for the transaction at the earliest practicable opportunity and in all cases prior to any offer to purchase or lease being submitted or presented.
The Buyer understands and acknowledges that the Brokerage must be impartial when representing both the Buyer and the seller and equally protect the
interests of the Buyer and the seller in the transaction. The Buyer understands and acknowledges that when representing both the Buyer and the seller,
the Brokerage shall have a duty of full disclosure to both the Buyer and the seller, including a requirement to disclose all factual information about the
property known to the Brokerage.
However, The Buyer further understands and acknowledges that the Brokerage shall not disclose:
• that the seller may or will accept less than the listed price, unless otherwise instructed in writing by the seller;
• that the Buyer may or will pay more than the offered price, unless otherwise instructed in writing by the Buyer;
• the motivation of or personal information about the Buyer or seller, unless otherwise instructed in writing by the party to which the information applies
or unless failure to disclose would constitute fraudulent, unlawful or unethical practice;
• the price the Buyer should offer or the price the seller should accept; and
• the Brokerage shall not disclose to the Buyer the terms of any other offer.
However, it is understood that factual market information about comparable properties and information known to the Brokerage concerning potential
uses for the property will be disclosed to both Buyer and seller to assist them to come to their own conclusions.
MULTIPLE REPRESENTATION AND CUSTOMER SERVICE: The Buyer understands and agrees that the Brokerage also provides representation and
customer service to other buyers and sellers. If the Brokerage represents or provides customer service to more than one seller or buyer for the same
trade, the Brokerage shall, in writing, at the earliest practicable opportunity and before any offer is made, inform all sellers and buyers of the nature of
the Brokerage's relationship to each seller and buyer.

Then, once a Buyer and Seller are brought together, part of the "deal" documentation includes a form entitled CONFIRMATION OF COOPERATION AND REPRESENTATION which, in the event of 'multiple agency" reads:

The Listing Brokerage has entered into a Buyer Representation Agreement with the Buyer and represents the interests of the Seller and the Buyer, with their consent, for this transaction. The Listing Brokerage must be impartial and equally protect the interests of the Seller and the Buyer in this transaction. The Listing Broker has a full duty of disclosure to both the Seller and Buyer, including the requirement to disclose all factual information about the property known to the Listing Brokerage.

However, the Listing Brokerage shall not disclose:

-That the Seller may or will accept less than the listed price, unless other instructed in writing by the Seller;
-That the Buyer may or will pay more than the offered price, unless otherwise instructed in writing by the Buyer;
-The motivation of or personal information about the Seller or Buyer, unless otherwise instructed in writing by the party to which the information applies, or unless failure to disclose would constitute fraudulent, unlawful or unethical practice;
-And; the Listing Brokerage shall not disclose to the Buyer the terms of any other offer.

However, it is understood that factual market information about comparable properties an information known to the Listing Brokerage concerning potential uses for the property will be disclosed to both Seller an Buyer to assist them to come to their own conclusions.

Personally, I believe that the latter verbiage (from the Confirmation of Cooperation and Representation form) explains it best, providing some outline of the responsibilities of disclosure and exceptions thereof...however, I do work with this stuff, every day.

Prospective Buyers and Sellers would be wise to review the wording and ask questions... it's wise to be informed!

Red Flags in Real Estate Transactions

September 1st, 2009

Over two million real estate transactions are processed in this province annually and the instances of real estate fraud are relatively low... however, real estate fraud has traditionally proved to be a reliable source of income for crooks and unfortunately, the current economic climate has brought some of the flim back to flim-flam.

"When the market is on the rise, you don't see much fraud," says Carl Pergola, fraud examiner and national director of litigation and fraud investigation services at a New York City-based consulting firm. "... once the flow of activity slows down, it starts to become evident. It's like turning on the lights and seeing the roaches running around."

"The criminal elements have realized that with a little sophistication, a little organization, they can make a lot more money than bank robbery or drugs or other areas of crime," said one Toronto real estate lawyer, recently.

The downward trend in the real estate market has brought out new tactics, along with the old as the perpetrators take advantage of our aging population and the depressed market, declining values and large number of "power of sale" actions.

The decreased market demand has placed pressure on lenders, builders and home sellers, alike. There are a lot more properties with homemade signs, "For Sale by owner", "House For Sale"..... AND, a lot of these people are forgetting that there's a lot more to selling a house than showing it and settling on a price.

Although, most often, real estate scams don't hurt property owners as much as they hit insurers and mortgage lenders, I have just recently, encountered a handful of people who made "private deals" and came to me, after the fact, for help. It appears that there are different types of real estate scams emerging and they are seriously impacting first-time homebuyers, home sellers, seniors and home owners.

Probably the most disgusting of con artists are people who have developed some level of trust in your life. The people you deal with day-to-day, neighbours, friends of neighbours, even family members, prove the most successful of con artists. & I have learned that anyone can be victimized and fall prey to a clever con artist.

We all place a certain amount of trust in our friends, family, and co-workers, but we should all remain a little skeptical about their sales or business pitches- and remember, it is seldom a good idea to rush into signing anything.

If the offer sounds too good to be true - it probably is.

Beware of a person who uses high pressure tactics or is intimidating -using phrases like: "you will lose out if you don't act now"... "you must pay immediately"... or "you must pay cash".

There are "predators" who actively seek out homeowners, typically senior citizens, who are most likely to have equity in their homes. The predator's goal: to steal the homeowner's equity through whatever fraud, misrepresentation, flimflam, trick or device that is required.
Some criminals will pose as a senior citizen, too.

Predators use door-knocking, congenial visits, telemarketing, lies, flyers, billboards, built-in security agreements, small print, hidden interest rate loans, high loan set up fees and balloon payments. Often under the guise of saving you BIGTIME.

I'll say it again: If the offer sounds too good to be true - it probably is.

Fraud is defined as: Intentional misrepresentation or concealment of information in order to deceive or mislead. It is a willful intent that is both immoral and illegal.

Sometimes, nice people convince themselves it's okay to fudge a little and even the most lovely of neighbours may be less than honest about their intentions when dealing privately with you, in a real estate transaction. It's still immoral.

It isn't always easy to spot a slick criminal.

"Forgers" and “Identity Thieves” are people that will approach you under some false circumstance (like pretending they want to buy your house or cottage) and get pertinent information like your name and birth date... and go off, to work forging quitclaim deeds, notarized documents, make loan applications... *sigh*

The catch is that we all know you have to ensure that everything is in writing. If you are dealing with a person who tries to make a verbal contract this may be a red flag... they may be somehow trying to trick you. However, it is almost scarier when someone produces legal documents and ask for your signature...

Never sign anything unless you are familiar with the document. Real estate contracts, in particular, are often absolutely crammed with clauses, conditions and terms. It takes time to look everything over and ensure that all additions and amendments have been noted.

The Law Society of Upper Canada has a website section dedicated to real estate. In the section "PRACTICE TIPS:Recognizing Fraud in Real Estate Transactions" it says, "Real estate fraud can occur in a number of different ways. The following is a list of some possible indicators of fraud in residential real estate transactions. The presence of one or more of these indicators in a transaction does not necessarily mean that a fraud is occurring or has
occurred in the transaction. This list is not intended to replace the lawyer’s professional judgment. Whether a fraud is being committed in the course of a real estate transaction will depend upon the circumstances of the individual matter or transaction." and on that list of indicators is "There is no real estate agent involved in the transaction;"

Even the law society recognizes that a real estate sales person is an important element in the transaction of selling real estate.

http://rc.lsuc.on.ca/jsp/fightingRealEstate/index.jsp

The services of a good real estate professional are invaluable. They have the skill to protect and guide you through one of the most important transactions that most people will encounter in their life time. If someone approaches you privately to make a deal, you may still contact a real estate professional or lawyer for assistance- it is prudent to have all documentation reviewed by a competent professional BEFORE you sign anything.

This one simple step... CONSULT A PROFESSIONAL....may be worth thousands and thousands of dollars.

& remember, beware of unusually friendly overtures from people trying to make a deal with you... AND if the offer sounds too good to be true - it probably is.