On June 15, the BCREA rolled out new rules aimed at better protecting both home buyers and sellers. The real estate board mandated an independent advisory group in June 2016 to look at market conduct in view of the white-hot market and all the scandals and shady dealings that were affecting consumers at the time.
As the new real estate rules took effect on June 15th, The Premier of BC, John Horgen said “These changes were designed to protect people that are looking at the housing market and designed to protect good realtors, so that the scammers that were out there don’t discredit all the good people that work in the sector.”
The advisory group drafted over 20 recommendations, the most notable being:
The ban on “dual agency” or “limited dual agency”
What this means is that a professional real estate agent can no longer represent the buyer and the seller in the same transaction, removing any possibility of a conflict of interest. Now the real estate agent will give his/her undivided loyalty to the buyer or seller.
The exemption occurs in remote areas of the province where there are fewer realtors.
Full disclosure of commissions
Real estate professionals are required to make the commissions they receive transparent to the seller if the seller accepts that offer. There must be written disclosure on how the commission will be shared with other brokers, and any other remuneration that may be received as a result of the transaction.
New disclosures to consumers about representation
Realtors must make consumers aware of the risks they face if they do not want to be represented by a realtor and if they do, the benefits of working with a real estate professional: their duties and obligations to a client.
Here’s how recent changes by the real estate board better serve the public:
– There is an anonymous tip line available.
– There are harsh financial penalties for misconduct up to $250,000 per licensee and $500,000 per broker.
– Professional standards advisors are available to help consumers better understand the forms.
– A formal complaints process has been set up to investigate infractions.
It is important to get the correct advice when you are buying a home. We have been in the real estate business for over 28 years and know just about everything there is about buying a home. Contact us or call us on 604 695 1000 or 604 913 1000 if you are planning on buying a home.