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Dual agency rules will disrupt housing market

By Frank O'Brien for Business in Vancouver

A disruptive new real estate regulation came into force this week that British Columbia real estate agents say will take away consumer rights on who they can hire to buy or sell a home.

Changes to the B.C. Real Estate Services Act, effective Friday, June 15, require a realtor to disclose if they have had any previous connection with a buyer or seller. If so, they can be required to withdraw from a transaction.

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The changes were to come in March, but the Office of the Superintendent of Real Estate postponed it after hearing “considerable concern from industry surrounding the implementation of the new rules and the impending implementation date.”

While tweaks were made, agents are concerned about a broad definition of what constitutes a conflict of interest.

“The new rules governing real estate practices mark a significant shift in how realtors in B.C. work with their clients,” said Darlene Hyde, CEO of the British Columbia Real Estate Association.

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