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Real Estate agents to no longer represent both sides of a sale in 2018

File photo. Realtors in B.C. will soon no longer be able to represent both sides, with a draft of the 2018 Real Estate Services Act ending 'Dual Agency'.
File photo. Realtors in B.C. will soon no longer be able to represent both sides, with a draft of the 2018 Real Estate Services Act ending 'Dual Agency'. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy

Real Estate agents in B.C. will soon be banned from acting for both a buyer and a seller, also known as ‘Dual Agency’.

A set of draft rules by the Office of the Superintendent of Real Estate aims to tighten the rules.

Realtor Steve Saretsky says the practice can pose problems with some realtors putting their own interests ahead of clients.

“Some realtors can sort of referee themselves, but then you have a lot of people that can cross the line, and there are legal issues that come out about it.”

Saretsky supports the move, but says many people aren’t going to be a fan.

“There’s a bit of a conflict of interest there, because how do you represent both parties completely neutral, I think that’s where we were seeing a lot of issues.”

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He says there are still loopholes, one of which is called ‘double-ending.’

“If you want to walk in to an open house and you want to make an offer and you have no realtor, then I [could] still write it up for you.”

“The realtor is still going to get both commissions, but he has no legal obligation to that buyer, zero legal obligation. You can’t advise the buyer in any which direction.”

There is one exemption to the ban on dual agency, where the deal happens in a remote area with limited access to realtors.

The new rules would go into effect in the middle of January 2018, under the Real Estate Services Act.

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