Protecting Real Estate Consumers

In B.C., licensed real estate professionals must:

Give consumers information about commissions and fees;

Inform consumers of the duties and responsibilities owed to clients and non-clients;

Inform unrepresented consumers of the risks of dealing with a real estate professional who is representing another party to the transaction;

Only work for either the buyer or the seller in a real estate transaction.

Real estate professionals must disclose to consumers, at the outset of their dealings:

Whether they will be able to represent the consumer as a client;

What their duties and responsibilities are to clients and non-clients;

How to file a complaint with BCFSA.

This information helps to ensure that consumers are not confused or misled about whether a real estate professional they are dealing with is going to be representing their interests in the transaction.

The Disclosure of Representation in Trading Services form clearly outlines for consumers the services that a real estate professional can provide. In B.C., real estate professionals cannot represent two or more clients in the same transaction whose interests are in conflict, except in the rarest of circumstances. For example, a property seller and a prospective buyer for that property. Representing two clients whose interests are in conflict is called dual agency. The practice of dual agency was prohibited in B.C. in 2018.

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