Know Your Options As A Real Estate Consumer

Recent legislative changes have been made to the Real Estate Services Act and Realtors are now required to discuss the agency we provide to consumers who are considering buying or selling real estate. Once we have discussed this information, I will need to send you the Disclosure of Representation in Trading Services Form and Privacy Notice and Consent (copies attached) and have you sign and return these forms before I can provide you with any information which is more detailed than what is available on an MLS listing.
Examples are noted below:

Property and Value Comparisons
Property Searches that meet your specific criteria
Suite Revenue
Strata Bylaws
Pet and Rental Restrictions

As you are aware, many people choose to have a real estate professional represent them in a real estate transaction to help them make informed decisions. As a client, you will benefit from:

  1. Expert advice as I am a trained professional in the industry
  2. Protection in that I am licensed in accordance with legislation designed to protect the rights of consumers and ensure that you receive competent, knowledgeable service, with a mechanism to address any concerns thru the Real Estate Council of British Columbia.

When you become a client of a real estate professional, you will be receive special legal duties from us. Specifically;

Duty of Loyalty
I must put your interests before my own.

Duty to Avoid Conflicts
I must avoid any situation that would affect my duty to act in your best interest.

Duty to Fully Disclose Relevant Information
I must give you all the facts I know that might affect your decision to purchase or sell.

Duty to Protect Your Confidentiality
Your private information will be kept confidential and any details relating to a purchase or sale such as the reasons why you are buying or selling, minimum/maximum price you are seeking and any preferred terms you may want to include in a contract.

This is called DESIGNATED AGENCY.

Realtors can no longer offer limited dual agency wherein Realtors can represent both the buyer and the seller, if I have a seller’s property listed for sale. Historically, buyers would contact the Realtor who had the property listed for sale and ask questions. This practice led to numerous transactions being conducted under Limited Dual Agency but it is almost impossible for the Realtor to be impartial to both parties and so the regulations have now changed. The only option now is being an Unrepresented Party and you, as the buyer, would need to fully understand what the risks are as it relates to being unrepresented in a real estate transaction.

Risks of being Unrepresented

  • No Loyalty
  • No Duty to Avoid Conflicts; professional to act in your best interest
  • No Full Disclosure; real estate professionals involved in the transaction do not have a duty to provide full disclosure of all relevant information
  • No Confidentiality; real estate professionals must share all information given by you with their clients

By signing these forms, you are not making a commitment to purchase or sell in any way. Signing them simply confirms that I have explained the duties of a Realtor as it relates to Designated Agency and the alternative of being an Unrepresented Party, as well as the risks.

If you have any questions, please give me a call or send me an email.