New rules that will “profoundly change” how BC realtors work with consumers, came into effect on June 15, under the Real Estate Services Act, the British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) announced.
Among the most notable changes is a ban on what is known as “dual agency.”
According to a BCREA release, “dual agency” occurs when a realtor represents more than one party in a real estate transaction.
That can be a buyer and a seller, two or more buyers, or a landlord and a tenant.
The ban was recommended by RECBC’s Independent Advisory Group in 2016.
Under the prohibition on dual agency a real estate agent cannot represent two clients with competing interests at the same time.
“The new rules governing real estate practices mark a significant shift in how realtors in BC work with their clients,” said BCREA CEO Darlene Hyde. “It’s important that consumers know what to expect when the changes come into effect.”
The changes, she added, “will profoundly alter for the foreseeable future the way consumers initially interact with their realtor and the ban on limited dual agency will have a negative impact on consumer choice with respect to their selection of realtor in some circumstances.”
Disclosure on transaction commissions
Other changes now in effect, include a requirement of realtors to make more disclosures on the commissions they receive on transactions.
Once the amendment comes into effect, a realtor must give the seller a copy of the disclosure form before presenting each offer or counter-offer from potential buyers.
The form explains how the commission will be shared with other brokerages involved in the transaction (the buyer’s brokerage) and any other payments the realtor expects to receive as a result of the transaction.