Superintendent of Real Estate announces new rules

BC becomes only province to prohibit dual agency

The Office of the Superintendent of Real Estate (OSRE) of BC has announced their decision – which we have been expecting for many months – to proceed with prohibiting limited dual agency: the practice of acting on behalf of both the buyer and seller on the same deal.

There is only one exemption to this new rule and it is highly unlikely to apply in the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board: “…where a particular property is so remote as to make finding another agent extremely difficult. Strict reporting requirements will apply in these circumstances.”

The new rules will come into force on March 15, 2018 at which time it is highly likely that BC will be the only province in Canada to prohibit dual agency.

The OSRE also announced that on March 15, there will also be new rules in force to:

  • Require enhanced disclosure of real estate licensee remuneration that will inform consumers about how remuneration is to be divided between a listing brokerage and cooperating brokerage.
  • Ensure licensees inform consumers of the duties and responsibilities owed to both clients and unrepresented parties before working with consumers.
  • Warn consumers of the risks of relying on a licensee to provide limited assistance if the licensee already represents another party to the transaction.

“We want to create transparency for both consumers and licensees to ensure everyone understands in whose interest licensees must be working,” explains the Superintendent of Real Estate, Micheal Noseworthy.

During consultations, the FVREB emphasized the need for proper training and support from OSRE in interpreting any new rules, as well as sufficient lead time to get licensees up to speed. Based on today’s announcement by OSRE, those concerns were heard and addressed.

The OSRE will require licensees to complete education relating to the new rules and intends to publish a rule for feedback in the coming weeks to support this requirement.

The new rules came out of the recommendations of the Independent Advisory Group on Real Estate Regulation in BC in June 2016 as well as months of consultation and feedback from the industry, the public, and the Real Estate Council of BC.

OSRE says it received strong support from the public on all its proposed rules.