June 15th marked the latest round of legislated changes for real estate practices in BC. What can you as the consumer expect?
Realtors are required by law to provide you with disclosures around what type of representation they are providing you – are you their client or not, as well as what it means to be a consumer without your very own realtor. This is in response to the ban on Limited Dual Agency – a situation where the realtor was acting in the interests of both the buyer and the seller (with limitations).
You can expect to be provided with these disclosures at the onset of your interactions with a realtor. You can still request information on a property without this happening, but from the moment you decide to move forward to a viewing or requesting advice, the disclosure must take place, in writing. This is a requirement by law. It does not obligate you to continue with that particular realtor or enter into any form of agreement. It is simply a disclosure about your rights.
The Real Estate Council of BC and the Superintendent of Real Estate are in place to protect consumers’ rights and interests. The intention behind these changes was to ensure consumers were fully informed of the intricacies of a real estate relationship in order to then choose the course best suited for them.
If you have questions, speak with a real estate professional. But in the end, it comes down to this: while you can expect a more regulated process in your house shopping journey, your realtor is there to walk you through it.