Real estate industry in “limbo:” What happens now?

You or your client would like to file a complaint about a real estate transaction. It’s understandable to wonder what happens now, in this state of real estate ‘limbo’ in BC. What if anything has changed?

From the perspective of complaints, nothing has changed, yet. If a complaint falls under the jurisdiction of the Real Estate Council of BC, which is still the body that currently enforces the Real Estate Services Act, a consumer or REALTOR® needs to contact Council. If the complaint pertains to FVREB’s rules and standards of professionalism, then the person should contact our Professional Standards department. If the person doesn’t know, they can certainly start with us.

Although the Premier announced the government will be removing self-regulation of the real estate sector and ‘immediately’ implementing the recommendations from the Independent Advisory Group’s (IAG) report, no timeline for those changes has been announced. The government is currently in the process of hiring a new Superintendent of Real Estate whose position will be solely dedicated to the real estate sector.

Important for REALTORS® to note, is that Council’s disciplinary processes and penalties – fines up to $10,000 for individuals and up to $20,000 for brokerages – currently stand. What’s changed are the new rules affecting contract assignments, which came into effect on May 16. REALTORS® are required to obtain the seller’s consent to assign a Contract of Purchase and Sale and for the buyer to keep any profits.  You must use the Council’s Notice to Seller Regarding Assignment Terms form, available on WEBForms®. Provide the form to the seller’s agent at the time the offer is presented. The new rules for assignments are explained on Council’s website.

On June 29, Council said in a statement that it fully supports the recommendations to enhance consumer protection and is ready to work with the government to implement these changes.