Rules that came to fruition in order to protect consumers in B.C.’s real estate market are now in effect.
Mandated by the Office of the Superintendent of Real Estate, the new rules include a ban on dual-agency in most regions of B.C., and amendments to the Real Estate Services Act around the disclosure on commissions when helping sell a home.
As of Friday, Realtors and real estate agents are no longer allowed to represent both the buyer and seller in a transaction – a practice also known as “dual agency.”
While there is an exception to that rule in extremely remote locations, the ban has been met with criticism by some agents who say the exception is too strict and could force consumers to choose a Realtor they don’t want when buying or selling a house.
As of June 15, disclosure rules have also changed.
Realtors are required to disclose the remuneration they will receive in the sale when presenting offers and counter-offers from potential buyers.
Real estate agents must now also disclose more information on who the seller is, potential risks and how a client can issue a complaint.
“These changes have been designed to reinforce a real estate agent’s duties and obligations to their clients, and to ensure that agents are always acting in their client’s best interests,” said Michael Noseworthy, superintendent of real estate.
“We want to make sure that the advice consumers receive is solely for their benefit, and that consumers have confidence that their agent is undoubtedly on their side.”
NOTE: This article misstated that real estate agents representing a seller will have to share the remuneration to buyers.