The position of real estate agents in showing properties to prospective purchasers is difficult, to say the least, in that they are the agent of the vendor from whom they will earn their commission and as such are anxious to conclude a sale. They know, or ought to know, that most information sought by a potential purchaser on such occasions is relevant to the purchaser and will be relied on by the purchaser in making a decision whether or not to purchase the property. I am satisfied that a competent real estate agent has that basic understanding and, therefore, the standard of care required of such an agent in performing his duty to a potential purchaser is to be not only honest in expressing an opinion but also to have some valid factual basis for any opinion expressed. If the agent has no valid factual basis for expressing an opinion, then the agent ought to state that fact or qualify the opinion expressed so that the purchaser knows what reliance can be given to the opinion or at least be warned not to rely solely on the same. In my opinion, this duty corresponds to and is the factual basis upon which Hedley v. Byrne (supra) applies.
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