On July 1, 2015, new requirements shall be introduced to the Real Estate Industry via amendments to the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act, 2002 (“REBBA”) under Bill 55, will come into force. These changes are intended to address the issue of “multiple offers” in the real estate marketplace. Bill 55 introduced a number of changes to REBBA, most notably around handling offers. They are
1) Bill 55 prohibits a registrant working on behalf of a purchaser from presenting or representing an offer unless the offer is in writing. This shall make it illegal for agents to say that they have other bidder son a home unless they have the offers in writing.
2) Bill 55 requires that the selling brokerage must retain copies of all written offers that it receives to purchase real estate or copies of all other prescribed documents related to those offers.
Specifically, the amendment outlines the required information that must be contained in a ‘prescribed document’ and states that the selling brokerage must retain a copy of the document or a copy of the written offer for a period of one year after receiving the written offer. A record of any successful offers must now be kept on file for 6 years