June 15 saw the introduction of new rules for the real estate industry in BC.
The biggest change is that the practice of limited dual agency (where the one realtor represents both the seller and the buyer in a transaction) is now no longer permitted - except in some very rare cases.
1- Before working with consumers, inform them of the duties and responsibilities owed to ‘Clients’ and ‘Unrepresented Parties’ so the consumer can choose which relationship they want with their realtor.
2- Inform ‘Unrepresented Parties’ of the risks when choosing this relationship.
3- Give consumers more information about commissions and fees.
Item 1 above involves the new form - Disclosure of representation in trading services. You will now see every realtor bringing out this form at the first meeting. A realtor is required to give this form to a real estate consumer prior to providing any trading services including giving them any sort of real estate advice. The form is not a contract but is there purely for the consumer to acknowledge they understand the legal duties that realtors owe them - whether they be a 'Client' or an 'Unrepresented Party'.
The new rules dictate that before we provide trading services which includes; showing real estate, answering questions other than “general fact based questions” or giving real estate advice, we have to provide this form so you are fully informed about the legal duties of a realtor (our brokerage does require it signing.)
We have created a short video which explains this new form - https://vimeo.com/273147166
Item 2 is there if the consumer chooses to be an ‘Unrepresented Party’ then they should be informed of the risks involved:
- No loyalty
- No duty to avoid conflicts
- No full disclosure
- No confidentiality
Item 3 is for sellers as there is new form that is produced when an offer or counter offer is done so the seller can see the actual commission payable for the exact amount of the offer or counter offer and how it is split between the listing brokerage and the brokerage that introduces the buyer.
So it looks like we are getting further away from a paperless society and you will see us realtors bringing out the disclosure of representation in trading services form when we first meet or we will be emailing it to you when we have spoken on the phone.
These changes are the result of the recommendations from the Superintendent of Real Estate (a Provincial Government appointment) and are aimed at increasing the protection for the consumer.
Please take a look at the video and please feel free to call or email me if you have any questions.