Draft Changes to Real Estate Practice
On September 6, the Office of the Superintendent of Real Estate announced draft changes to the Rules under the Real Estate Services Act. Stakeholders and the public have 30 days to respond, and the final rule changes will be released after the October 6 consultation deadline.
The most significant proposed change is a ban on limited dual agency, where a licensee represents more than one party in a real estate transaction. The only exemption to this ban is for underserved, remote communities with few licensees. The draft rules also include new measures for disclosing remuneration and other information to clients.
BCREA’s position and actions on the draft rules
BCREA welcomes the enhanced disclosure proposals, but is concerned that a ban on limited dual agency would negatively impact consumers. If a consumer can’t work with a REALTOR® they know and trust, they may choose to have no representation at all, leaving them at greater risk.
BCREA is meeting with the Office of the Superintendent, the Real Estate Council of BC and the Ministry of Finance to discuss the impacts of the draft rules. We’re also working with legal experts, the real estate boards and licensees to better understand the possible impacts and prepare our submission to the government’s consultation. With the information available now, BCREA intends to advocate for exemptions for commercial transactions and long-standing client relationships, as well as a longer implementation period, to allow enough time to fully educate REALTORS® and consumers. We will submit our response before October 6, and provide more information as it becomes available.
BCREA has also compiled a list of frequently asked questions with the information we know so far.
Visit our website for more information on BCREA’s position.
The consultation: actions for REALTORS® and consumers
In the meantime, licensees are asked to complete the Office of the Superintendent’s survey on the draft rules, which can be found on their website. The survey is open until October 6.
After the rules are finalized
It’s not yet clear exactly when the Office of the Superintendent will finalize the rules. All we know right now is that the expected implementation date is January 15, 2018.
Shortly after the final rules are released, BCREA will communicate with member boards and REALTORS® to explain and contextualize the new rules. At the same time, BCREA will update all course content (including Legal Update and other relevant PDP courses), so learners will receive the most up-to-date information. Finally, we will amend our standard forms, as necessary, so REALTORS® will have accurate tools for their day-to-day work.