The B.C. government has announced new rules that will aim to regulate real estate transactions and protect consumers. This is in accordance with the recommendations made in June of last year by an independent advisory panel ordered by the former BC Liberal government. The Superintendent of Real Estate has set March 15th as the date the changes are to take effect. These rules will require new mandatory disclosures of the licensee’s responsibility to both clients and unrepresented parties, new mandatory disclosures of remuneration to be paid at the time of every offer presentation, a new mandatory disclosure to consumers of the risks of being unrepresented in a real estate transaction, and restricting the practice of where one licensee represents both sides of a transaction legally (dual agency).
How This Impact Real Estate Agents?
The new rules will be impacting agents as they are changing the way a real estate professional can provide service to consumers. For starters, they will ensure that licensees are being transparent and maintain primary agency duties such as loyalty, avoiding conflicts of interest, full disclosure, and confidentiality. Additionally, there is the potential for agents to have to reformulate business models to accommodate the new regulations. Through the implementation of the new rules, the real estate industry will be more accountable, professional and better serve the public.
How Will This Impact Consumers?
For consumers, the changes will enhance protection, increase the number and frequency of disclosures that real estate licensees must make to consumers, in almost all cases, prevent real estate licensees from acting for both a buyer and a seller in the same transaction. This also means that in some situations, customers or clients will be required to deal with someone other than the person they had hoped would assist them in the transaction.
Through the initial period of transition, it is to be expected that there will be questions. Should you have any regarding the new rules that are set to take place, don’t hesitate to speak to your local real estate professional, Lance Lundy.