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