Big Changes coming to BC Real Estate and how they will affect you.

Big changes coming March 15th 2018.

It has been announced that Dual Agency will be eliminated in BC.

The Government came down hard on BC Realtor’s after we were very negatively played in the news with headlines about shadow flipping etc.. mostly in the lower mainland.  As a result a survey of 169 people determined dual agency should go.

We feel these proposed changes will NOT protect the public.

Our outer islands and small northern communities often have only 1 or 2 Realtors.  Buyers usually want to use that Specialist when they buy, but with the new rules the Realtors working in these areas will have to turn buyers away and often “fire’ their Seller as well.   In 2017 the Shoreline Team had buyer clients they have known and worked with for years call and want to buy listings they had for sale.  The buyers and sellers consented to “limited dual agency”.  Buyers are always given the option to use another Realtor which is just fine. ….BUT under the new rules  Mark and Deanna will have to turn away the buyer AND tell the seller that they can no longer represent them.  YES that is correct.  We are all ok with turning the buyer away, but turning the Seller away now too!???  Total chaos!

We don’t know how this will work yet, but we are told it will basically be a phone call “Dear Mr and Mrs Seller a buyer I worked with 10 years ago is interested in making an offer on your home, they are going to work with another Realtor to submit the offer but I still have to release you from our listing agreement.  My Manager will re assign the listing to another agent and they will be in touch soon.  BYE BYE!

The Superintendent has created a rule to prohibit the practice of dual agency. Dual agency is when a licensee represents two or more parties with competing interests in a trade in real estate, such as both buyer and seller, or two or more competing buyers.*

  • In explaining the new rules, RECBC has advised licensees that the elimination of Double Agency may create situations of ‘double recusal’ where a licensee will not be able to act on behalf of the seller or buyer if they are current clients, rather than only referring one client to another licensee.
  • A licensee will not be able to represent either party if a client buyer decides he wants to offer on a listing of that licensee

“You should not continue to act for either client in this scenario. You should refer your buyer client and your seller client to get independent professional advice (i.e. another licensee). You cannot act for both clients in this scenario (even with their consent) because it would amount to dual agency, which is prohibited.*”

  • Possible Scenarios
  1. Joe the buyer has been working with a real estate agent to look at properties in town, listed by several real estate agents, making Joe a client. Joe viewed 20 properties, 2 of them were listings of the agent he was working with. Joe decides he would like to make an offer on one of his agent’s listings. At that point, the agent must refer Joe to another agent AS WELL AS refer the seller to another agent.

 

  1. Megan is interested in buying a recreational property, or a commercial property, and she knows, based on extensive research, that one agent is the expert in this specialized field. That agent also has most of the listings. If that agent wants to continue to act on behalf of his current clients (the sellers), he cannot represent Megan as a buyer client. She would either have to be an unrepresented buyer or find another agent, even though no other agents in the area specialize in those properties.

 

  1. Dean has a preferred agent, who has worked on his behalf in the past. Dean trusts that agent, and calls them up on a listing they have on the market. That agent cannot work with Dean as a client because of the double recusal rule (they would have to refer both Dean and the seller to different agents).

 

 

  • Contact information

Office of the Superintendent of Real Estate: RealEstate@gov.bc.ca phone:  1-855-999-1883

Real Estate Council of BC:  info@recbc.ca Advisor@recbc.ca phone: 1-877-683-9664

Claire Trevena, MLA: Claire.trevena.MLA@leg.bc.ca : CR office 1-250-287-5100

Minister of Finance Carole James: FIN.Minister@gov.bc.ca