As of June 15, how the real estate industry conducts business in British Columbia
As of June 15, how the real estate industry conducts business in British Columbia is going to change...and it's going to be ridiculous.
Let's go back a few years. The market in Vancouver is running rampant, and some sketchy characters have decided to take advantage of the situation, making some very lucrative moves that in many cases are illegal. Consequently, the provincial government of the day chose to do something about it, and it took over control of our industry. They appointed a superintendent to watch over us, creating new rules and regulations to protect consumers.
Sounds good, right? Well...
What seems to be their biggest issue? Agency. What is that? Basically, who do we as Realtors represent? The buyer? The seller? Sometimes both at the same time aka Dual Agency. This is where the most significant change comes into play. We will now only be able to represent one side or the other. Again, what's the big deal?
This is where it gets goofy!
Dual Agency goes away. But so does any contact with anyone calling on one of our listings. If you call the number on my sign, I can tell you the details of the home...and that's it. If you want to buy it, you have to call another Realtor. If you tell me too much about yourself during that initial phone call, I will have to give up my listing.
Are you an Investor that I do a lot of real estate transactions with? I may have just listed the perfect property, but I can't sell it to you.
Did I sell you and your partner a home a couple of years ago, but now you are splitting up, and want to sell? I can't list it because I knew you when you were together, and how can I represent you fairly now that you are not. I probably can't even bring a buyer to your house, as it's feared that I could gain an advantage.
Is your home listed with a real estate team? Everyone on that team is now considered to have an agency with you, and are now in conflict, meaning they can't sell your home!
If you come to my open house, I can again tell you the details of the home. And that's going to be the end of the conversation. I might find out too much information about you and put my listing in jeopardy.
A few weeks ago, I received an offer on one of my listings from another Realtor. Upon reviewing the contract, it turns out I know the potential buyer, as I had shown them houses the week before. Under the new rules, I would have to not only pass on the offer but could have to give up my listing. Just because I received an offer that I didn't know was coming, from someone I have some knowledge about. I may have to cancel the listing and hand it over to someone else.
Sellers expect us to find and bring buyers to their homes. This will now become illegal!
And what happens if we don't play by these rules? Fines will be imposed that is called "life-altering."
So in recap...I can list your house for sale, but I can't do my job to the best of my ability to sell it. I can't call anyone who I have ever crossed paths with to tell them about your beautiful place. If I do, I could be doomed.
Rather than go after the bad actors that caused all of the problems in the first place, they are creating new regulations, making it difficult for us to do the business of selling your home. The very thing we were hired to do.
Primarily a business based on relationships will no longer be allowed to be created with them.
If the law is going to prohibit you from working the Realtor of your choosing, please tell me how this protects you, the consumer?