FROM A NEWS RELEASE FROM THE BRITISH COLUMBIA REAL ESTATE ASSOCIATION
On June 15, 2018, changes to Rules under the Real Estate Services Act that dictate how REALTORS® work with consumers will come into effect.
YOU MUST MEET AND SIGN THE NEW AGENCY DISCLOSURE FORMS BEFORE STARTING TO WORK WITH A REALTOR... BY LAW, WHETHER YOU ARE BUYING OR SELLING A HOME, REALTORS MUST EXPLAIN THE NEW FORMS TO YOU. YOU WILL BE ASKED TO SIGN THE FORMS, AND CHECK OFF THAT YOU UNDERSTAND THE FORMS. A COPY OF THESE SIGNED FORMS WILL BE SENT TO YOU AND ALSO FILED AT EACH REALTOR'S BROKERAGE FOR AUDITING BY THE BC REAL ESTATE COUNCIL'S AUDITING OFFICERS.
example signing photo
The Rules, previously mandated by the Office of the Superintendent of Real Estate (OSRE) are now administered by the British Columbia Financial Services Authority (BCFSA). These rules are constantly being amended to ensure consumers are protected and have a thorough understanding of their relationship with their REALTOR®, particularly when it comes to conflicts of interest and remuneration. BCFSA protects the public interest in all facets of Realt Estate Trading.
REALTORS®, consumers and conflicts of interest
One of the changes is a ban on limited dual agency. Limited dual agency occurs when a REALTOR® represents more than one party in a real estate transaction. That can be a buyer and a seller, two or more buyers, or a landlord and a tenant. The ban was originally recommended by the Real Estate Council of British Columbia’s (RECBC) Independent Advisory Group in 2016. Exemptions will be possible in limited circumstances.
BUYERS AND SELLERS MUST EACH HAVE THEIR OWN REALTOR REPRESENTING THEM. A REALTOR CAN NO LONGER REPRESENT BOTH A BUYER AND A SELLER IN A TRANSACTION OR TRADING SERVICES.
As part of the Rule amendments, a REALTOR® will inform a consumer at the beginning of their working relationship that the REALTOR® may be required to stop representing the consumer mid-transaction if a potential conflict of interest arises. A conflict of interest can occur, for example, when a buyer who the REALTOR® has previously represented makes an offer on a property belonging to a seller the REALTOR® is currently representing. In such instances, the REALTOR® may be required to refer the seller to another REALTOR®.
“These changes will profoundly alter for the foreseeable future the way consumers initially interact with their REALTOR®,” said Hyde. “BCREA has done its utmost to facilitate the transition to the new Rules and we stand behind a strong regulatory regime, informed and knowledgeable customers and professional REALTORS®.”