New Consumer Protection Rules: Information for Consumers
The Superintendent of Real Estate has announced new rules for real estate licensees that will change the way a real estate professional can provide service to consumers. Under the new rules, real estate licensees will be required to:
- give consumers more information about commissions and fees — in particular, how the commission is to be divided between a listing brokerage and cooperating brokerage, or when there is no cooperating brokerage, retained by the listing brokerage;
- before working with consumers, inform them of the duties and responsibilities owed to clients and unrepresented parties;
- inform unrepresented consumers of the risks of dealing with a licensee who is representing another party to the transaction;
- only work for either the buyer or the seller in a single real estate transaction. Under the new Rules, dual agency, the practice of acting on behalf of both the buyer and seller on the same trade, will be prohibited except in extremely limited circumstances.
The new rules will come into effect on June 15, 2018.
The Council has developed answers to a number of questions that real estate consumers may have about these new Rules.
If you have questions that aren’t addressed in the Frequently Asked Questions below, let us know by submitting your question using our online form — we will post responses to the questions we receive on this FAQ in the weeks ahead.
For more information:
Frequently Asked Questions about BC’s new Real Estate Consumer Protection Rules
Disclosure of representation
The Superintendent of Real Estate has created a new rule that requires a licensee to disclose to a consumer, at the outset of their dealings:
- whether the licensee will be able to represent the consumer as a client,
- what the duties and responsibilities of licensees are to clients and unrepresented parties, and
- how to file a complaint about a licensee’s conduct.
This new disclosure requirement is intended to ensure that consumers are not confused or misled about whether a licensee they are dealing with is going to be representing their interests in the transaction.
The Council is developing a new form, provisionally called the Disclosure of Representation in Trading Services form, that clearly outlines for consumers the services that a real estate licensee can provide. This form, along with other information for consumers, will be made available before the new Rules take effect on June 15, 2018.
The Superintendent of Real Estate has created new Rules that generally prohibit the practice of dual agency, except in the rarest of circumstances. Dual agency refers to when a licensee represents, in a single transaction, two or more clients whose interests are in conflict. For example, a property seller and a prospective buyer for that property.
posted May 12, 2018