Earlier this year, this province was rocked by the news that there were a handful of realtors who engaged in the practice of “shadow flipping”: homes were being resold for a profit without the buyer’s knowledge. This unethical action by a few unscrupulous members helped distort the image and reputation of the 12,800+ hardworking and knowledgeable professionals of the real estate industry in this province, who act with integrity.
The Provincial Government stepped in and promised to crack down on this practice and work on improving consumer protection. It appointed an independent advisory group to work on recommendations to address the controversies and issues facing the real estate industry in BC.
After 4 months of deliberation, the Real Estate Council of BC’s Independent Advisory Group last week released a 64-page report with 28 recommendations that were immediately adopted by the Provincial Government. It will create a new system of government regulation using these recommendations.
Together with the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver and its members, we wholeheartedly support these recommendations. We believe they are beneficial and progressive to the profession and we support their implementation as soon as possible.
Here are a few of the main recommendations worth noting:
- Creation of a dedicated Superintendent of Real Estate to take over all the regulation and rule making duties from the Real Estate Council of BC.
- Heavy potential fines of $250,000 for agent wrongdoing, up to $500,000 for brokerage firms.
- Tougher licensing process for aspiring realtors including increased educational requirements, language proficiency and background checks.
- Ending “dual agency,” in which a single realtor can represent both buyer and seller in a deal, therefore not have to share the commission with another agent.
- Allowing the new superintendent to seize commissions from those found guilty of breaking the rules.
- Forbidding agents to acquire interest in their own listings.
The full report can be found here.
As an established and reputable real estate company with over 27 years of business and over hundreds of millions of dollars of real estate transactions, we are supportive of anything that helps the industry do better.
Our experienced real estate professionals work with the highest level of integrity and ethics.