New BC Real Estate Rules – Part 2: Disclosure of Risks to Unrepresented Parties

This is part two of a multiple part instalment that will summarize the new real estate rules, and what these new rules mean to you as a Buyer and/or Seller of real estate in British Columbia. These new rules for real estate licensees in BC came into effect on June 15, 2018.

Limited Dual Agency is all but banned in the Province, however “double ending” is not. A real estate professional can still facilitate a sale between two parties, however if this is the case, then one of the two parties must be “unrepresented”.

The second form in this series to be explained is the “Disclosure of Risks to Unrepresented Parties”, which is the form an unrepresented party must sign to continue with a purchase from the listing agent. The objective of this form is to inform the party who is not being represented what the real estate professional can and cannot do for them.

The form sets out “a real estate professional representing someone else in the transaction can only give limited assistance, such as:

Sharing real estate statistics and general market information;

  • Providing standard real estate contracts and other relevant documents;
  • Helping you fill out a standard real estate contract (but they cannot advise you about what to include in the offer);
  • Communicating your messages to their client , and from their client to you; and
  • Presenting your offers or counter offers to their client, and from their client to you.”

In the real estate world, being a client means the Realtor owes you the fiduciary duty of loyalty, to avoid conflicts of interest, to fully disclose relevant information and confidentiality.

Being an unrepresented party means you are not entitled to any of these special legal duties mentioned above. After being presented with and reading this form, if you decide to continue without representation, you may now proceed with writing and offer with the listing Realtor and get on with purchasing some real estate.

The reality is, you can purchase a home from the same real estate professional who has it listed. The real estate professional’s job however is now limited to giving facts on a property or general information rather than opinions or advice, and writing a contract under your direction without giving you guidance.

Once again, signing this form by the real estate professional is mandatory. For the Buyer and/or Seller who the form is designed to protect– signing is, once again, optional.

Once this form is presented and maybe signed, and before your offer can be presented, another form called “Agreement Regarding Conflict of Interest Between Clients” must be presented to both buyer and seller (stay tuned for our August article explaining this form).

Are you asking “what’s the point”? Are you confused?

Me too.

The only way to make a change to these new rules is for the public to speak up. If you want the choice of being able to speak freely with a Realtor and receive more than just “how many bedrooms” and “how many bathrooms” a home has without being bogged down in paperwork first – please take a moment and contact MLA: Hon. Carole James Minister of Finance carole.james.MLA@leg.bc.ca and Michael Noseworthy: The Superintendent of Real Estate: mike.noseworthy@gov.bc.ca with your thoughts.

 

 

 

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