The One Sign Rule in Ottawa

Thoughtful Agent in Ottawa Comments: The one sign rule in Ottawa.

There is a rule in the Ottawa Real Estate Board that states that only one company can place real estate sign on a property at a time. There is an injustice in this! I’ll tell you why…

Current research shows that most Buyers find the home they buy through some action provided by a licensed real estate professional. The for sale sign is a very important part of announcing to the community that a house is “For Sale”. But there is a lot of activity taking place to back up the sale of the home and ultimately sell it. What really happens?

The listing agent draws up a contract with the owner to list the house at a specific price for a period of time. Information is gathered on the property and the “Listing” is then placed on the MLX® or Multiple Listing Exchange. The MLX® is an Internet based listing of houses, apartments, and businesses used exclusively for licensed real estate professionals to advertise the features of home and community. Incidentally the MLS® or Multiple Listing Service is the daughter of the MLX® and is available to the public. It has greatly reduced information but nonetheless, describes the property just as an ad in a magazine would provide highlights to draw attention to the property and attract an interested buyer.

The Buying agent represents the important counterpoint in the buying and selling transaction. The Buying agent is considered the selling side in the transaction. It’s almost an oxymoron of terms! The Buying agent provides the service of investigating the value of the property and advising the buyer of important details and to suggest a strategy for the offer and purchase contract.

When the sale is finalized the buyer is delighted and the seller too. The sold sign pops up and the public thinks the the company on the sign was the agent who did all the work! What happened to the agent who represented the buyer? No sign for them! In a business that is fundamentally built on sales and public trust, networking and public perception is extremely important to future business. The one sign rule greatly disadvantages the buying agent. Perhaps this is why there are communities where house sales seem to be dominated by one company. Perhaps this is the reason why some communities allow both listing and selling agent to post their signs for all to see. Wouldn’t that be a change!

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