As of June 15th 2018, the public in BC will lose their right to choose their Realtor unless they sign away all their rights to representation when buying or selling a property. The Office of the Superintendent of Real Estate (OSRE) was established by the Liberal Government in their last term to deal with "Shadow Flipping" and unscrupulous Realtors. The New NDP Government has adopted the OSRE and has since gone along with the recommendations and forthcoming Rules and Regulations that the OSRE is putting forth. In essence these new rules and regulations are stripping British Columbians of their Right to Choose the Realtor of their choice by absolving Dual Agency, which is the agreement between sellers and buyers allowing one Realtor to act on behalf of both parties, typically the listing Realtor. The OSRE is stating that this is a conflict of interest and that a Realtor cannot in good faith represent both parties. The issue that the people I've talked to and other Realtors is that the OSRE and the NDP government is taking away the public’s right to choose. These new changes will have a negative impact on the Real Estate business across BC which has approximately 23,000 Realtors that drive the Real Estate market bringing in billions of dollars of revenue for the government coffers in the way of GST, and Property Transfer Tax. So here are the problems that may arise.
When a seller calls a Realtor, they call that Realtor to SELL their house, now under the new rules the listing Realtor is not supposed to sell that house unless and Unrepresented Buyer's Agreement is signed. When a potential buyer calls a Realtor for information on a listing the Realtor must inform the buyer that they cannot represent them or share information regarding the listing with them and that they should find another Realtor to represent them. Listing might as well have signs in their yards that don't have a Realtors phone number on them as theirs no point in calling the listing Realtor. Furthermore, there is no point in having an Open House when the listing Realtor is being advised not to sell their listings by the OSRE. This is not looking after the seller’s best interest or the buyers in my opinion.
Now here's the problem for buyers when they go with their Realtor to look at homes. If a buyer is going to go and see ten homes on the market and three of them happen to be their Realtors listing your Realtor has to refer you to another Realtor, so you can view them. And what's even more frustrating is that your Relator can't refer you to one of the other seven Realtors that have homes you want to see because they too would be in a conflict of interest. Imagine if your searching for the perfect home and it's taking you six months of searching and you've seen 50 homes and you've been referred to multiple Realtors because of conflicts of interest scenarios, now imagine the frustration.
Buying and selling Real Estate is one of the top seven stresses in life and now it's just going to be more complicated for everyone involved and on top of that you may find yourself throwing your hands in the air and signing an Unrepresented Buyer's Agreement just to forego the hassles.
Let’s pretend that you go to a small town where there are only two Realtors and they have all ten listings in town and each of these Realtors have 5 listings each. How are you going to see all the listings if there's a conflict of interest with both parties? Because once you meet a Realtor and they give you advice you are under an implied relationship which puts the Realtor in a conflict of interest and in peril of losing their license. The OSRE wants the general public in this scenario to find a Realtor from another town to represent you the buyer. Chances are the Realtor from another town may not know nothing about this town and doesn't want to take on the liability involved when selling in an area they are unfamiliar with. This will end up being another Unrepresented Buyer Agreement being signed.
With the current system of Limited Dual Agency once signed and agreed upon by both buyer and seller both parties are represented and if the Realtor is found to be negligent or unscrupulous then both parties have the right to sue the Realtor.
Many people ask Realtors to keep their eyes open for the home they are looking and inform them immediately if they are listing one, but in this new system that Realtor is supposed to DOUBLE recuse themselves as he has a relationship with both parties already and is in conflict of interest. Again, this serves no purpose but agitating and frustrating the buyer and seller.
So what about your favourite Realtor who has worked for 20 years and knows pretty much everybody in town and has served professionally, diligently and ethically for all that time and has established hundreds of relationships with trust and sold hundreds of homes under the umbrella of Dual Agency Agreements and whom you've trusted for years and years, under the new rules if it's his listing you can't use him or her unless you want to be Unrepresented by order of the OSRE and the NDP.
Please feel free to contact me to discuss my blog and please feel free to call your MLA, Carol James the Minister of Finance and Premier John Horgan plus Michael Noseworthy of the OSRE as I have.