If you have been in an open house lately, you may have seen how the regulations that came into effect on June 15 are shaping the relationship between realtors and clients. One of the main changes was the end of dual agency – when the same realtor represents the Seller and Buyer in a real estate transaction.
In accordance with this regulation, realtors are required to explain the Disclosure of Representation in Trading Services form to consumers before providing any real estate advice or creating a customable search on their behalf. Clients are encouraged to fill them out and signed them, but it is optional.
The form does not mean you are obligated to work with a certain realtor.
So what does the Disclosure of Representation in Trading Services Form actually entail?
The four sections of the form
The purpose of the first section is to explain real estate consumers their options. It describes the differences between being represented or unrepresented in a real estate transaction. Finally, it points out the benefit of representation: receiving expert Advice, being protected and regulated by the Real Estate Council of B.C.
In the second section, the expectations you may have as a client are listed. These include loyalty, avoiding conflict of interests, fully disclosing relevant information, and protecting your confidentiality.
The third part explains the two ways a brokerage works: the designated agency and brokerage agency. In the designated agency, the realtor you choose is the agent that owes you legal duties and cannot share with the brokerage your information without permission. Brokerage agency is when all the realtors working in that brokerage owe you legal responsibilities and must all protect your confidential information.
The fourth section asks the client to confirm the realtor has provided the form, explained the special legal duties owed by the agent to their clients and the risks of being an unrepresented party in a real estate transaction. It also asks the consumer to confirm what type of representation the client expects from the realtor (designated agency, brokerage agency) or if he or she doesn't want to be represented.
The regulation requires each agent to email each signed form to their brokerage, and the brokerage needs to file it for future audits. Failing to do so may incur in fines.
I welcome all the changes that are meant to re-establish the professionalism of the real estate industry, and I believe this is a good step for consumers to know what they can expect from the relationship with their realtor. In the upcoming weeks, I will be reaching out to those clients that I've created a personalized search for that haven't yet signed the form and schedule a meeting to explain it. If you have any questions, please contact me here.