Designated Representation in Real Estate in Ontario

In the realm of real estate transactions, the concept of designated representation stands as a pivotal framework regulated by The Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO). This approach, distinct from brokerage representation, offers a unique model of guidance and advocacy for both buyers and sellers, ensuring transparent and informed dealings in property transactions.

What is Designated Representation?

Designated representation, as defined by RECO, involves a scenario where a brokerage designates different representatives within the same brokerage to represent the buyer and seller separately in a transaction. This approach prioritizes each party's interests while upholding the professionalism and ethical standards set forth by RECO.

Difference Between Designated and Brokerage Representation:

In traditional brokerage representation, a single real estate professional, often referred to as the agent, may represent both the buyer and seller in a transaction. Conversely, designated representation involves distinct representatives from the same brokerage dedicated to advocating for the buyer and seller separately. The brokerage and its other agents must treat the client objectively and impartially

Under designated representation, the designated representative has a duty to protect 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 anyone else inside or outside of the brokerage.

Under designated representation, the brokerage also has specific duties such as: Protecting each client’s confidential information, Treating the interests of clients in an objective and impartial manner. Supervising every designated representative to ensure they fulfill their duties under the designated representation agreement. In the event a designated representative is not able to represent a client, designating a different agent employed by the brokerage to be the designated representative for the client, if the client agrees to the new arrangement.

Has the Brokerage to be a Designated Representation?

It’s the brokerage that will decide which type of representation, either brokerage or designated, it prefers to engage in.

Benefits of Designated Representation:

When a brokerage has more than one client in the same trade, multiple representation arises. The designated representation reduces the likelihood that multiple representation will arise

1.    Focused Advocacy: Designated representation ensures undivided attention to each party's interests, eliminating potential conflicts that may arise in traditional brokerage representation.

2.    Enhanced Communication: With designated representatives, there's clarity in communication, ensuring confidential information remains safeguarded within the confines of each party's representation.

3.    Negotiation Fairness: The approach facilitates fair negotiations, allowing designated representatives to advocate exclusively for their respective clients' best interests without compromising integrity.

Multiple Representation under Designated Representation:

Multiple representation occurs under designated representation when the designated representatives are involved in a transaction, representing both the buyer and seller or the different buyers who have interests in the same property. RECO mandates stringent protocols to manage conflicts of interest and ensure transparency in such scenarios.

Information Disclosure and Timing under Designated Representation:

Under designated representation, RECO stipulates the disclosure of critical information at specific stages:

1.    Initial Disclosure: Designated representatives must disclose their role and representation to their respective clients at the outset of engagement.

2.    Material Information Disclosure: Timely disclosure of material information relevant to the transaction, such as property defects or legal complications, is crucial to maintain transparency and uphold ethical standards.

3.    Conflict Management Disclosure: In cases of multiple representation, designated representatives must disclose any potential conflicts of interest promptly and manage them in compliance with RECO regulations.


Designated representation, as advocated by RECO, offers a refined approach to real estate transactions, ensuring tailored advocacy for buyers and sellers within the same brokerage. By delineating roles, managing conflicts, and emphasizing transparent communication, this model fosters trust and integrity in property dealings.

Understanding the nuances of designated representation, its benefits, and the disclosure requirements outlined by RECO empowers both buyers and sellers to navigate real estate transactions with confidence, ensuring their interests remain safeguarded throughout the process.