As of the end of June, the BC Government announced a decision to end real estate related self-regulation. It involves some new real estate regulations as well as adding a dedicated Superintendent of Real Estate to come in and govern a somewhat misrepresented arena. Currently the Real Estate Services Act is in place to enforce licensing and licensee conduct.
Real Estate Services Act
- There is a review and process of license applications
- Brokerages are audited
- Complaints are investigated regarding licensees
- Disciplinary action is taken when conduct is broken
However, 28 additional recommendations were found necessary to enhance consumer protection.
Real Estate Regulations – New Recommendations
- Creating a majority of public-interest, non-industry members
- Implementing penalties and increasing fines for unlicensed activity and offences
- Creating a rule-making authority to carry out the changes required for public confidence
- Allowing for commissions from licensees engaging in misconduct to be taken back to the council
- No longer permitting licensees to offer dual agency representation
- Making the managing broker responsible for ensuring the owner of the brokerage does not engage in the business of the brokerage if the owner is not a licensee
Together, the government and Real Estate Council of BC aim to overhaul the governing of real estate in BC. The new real estate regulations aim to implement ways in which to guard against costly oversights to the public, increase transparency and creates further accountability of the real estate sector.
Premier Christy Clark even came out to make this announcement. The Premier reassured the public that the Real Estate Council of BC’s regulation and rule-making authority will bring an end to self-regulation in the real estate industry.
“After reading the report, our conclusion is that the privilege of self-regulation in the real estate industry must end,” Premier Christy Clark said.
She continued, “this report examines shady practices and challenges plaguing the real estate market, particularly in the Lower Mainland, putting consumers at risk and tarnishing the reputations of honest professionals in the sector. We will act to protect British Columbians when they are making one of their most important family investments – purchasing a home.”
This looks like good news for homebuyers in a costly Lower Mainland real estate market. If you were looking for a reason to hire a realtor who is aware of such continuing changes to matters such as these and more to come!