New rules re: advertising residential real estate services approved
New rules for the advertising of fixed-price residential real estate services support transparency and ensure consumers may easily compare prices. The rule amendments were recommended by the Advertising and Fee Arrangements Issues Working Group.
New rule 4.2-2.1 states:
A lawyer may advertise a price to act on a residential real estate transaction if:
a) the price is inclusive of all fees for legal services, disbursements, third party charges and other amounts except for the harmonized sales tax and the following permitted disbursements: land transfer tax, government document registration fees, fees charged by government, Teranet fees, the cost of a condominium status certificate, payment for letters from creditors’ lawyers regarding similar name executions and any title insurance premium;
b) the advertisement states that harmonized sales tax and the permitted disbursements mentioned in paragraph (a) of this Rule are not included in the price;
c) the lawyer strictly adheres to the price for every transaction; and
d) in the case of a purchase transaction, the price includes the price for acting on both the purchase and on one mortgage;
e) in the case of a sale transaction, the price includes the price of acting on the discharge of the first mortgage.
New commentary to the rule and to rule 3.6 (Reasonable Fees and Disbursements) was also approved.
The Working Group first proposed the rule changes in June 2017 following a consultation with the profession. It revised its proposal following consideration of additional comments received on the draft rule.
For more information, see the Professional Regulation Committee report to September Convocation and the Professional Regulation Committee report to June Convocation. For background information, see the Advertising and Fee Arrangements Issues Working Group webpage.