Disclosure of Representation in Trading Services
Know Your Options as a Real Estate Consumer
Considering a real estate transaction? One of the first decisions you will need to make is whether you should work with a licensed real estate professional who will represent you. Take a moment to read this important consumer protection information from the Real Estate Council of BC. This form explains the special legal duties that real estate professionals owe to their clients. It will help you choose whether you want to be:
- a CLIENT of a real estate professional, who will represent you in the transaction, or
- an UNREPRESENTED PARTY with no real estate professional representing you.
The Benefits of Representation
Many people choose to have a real estate professional to represent them in real estate transactions to help them make informed decisions. As a client, you’ll benefit from:
In BC, Iicensed real estate professionals receive specialized training.
Real estate professionals in BC are licensed under the Real Estate Services Act. It is legislation designed to protect the rights of consumers.
Oversight The Real Estate Council of BC works to ensure real estate professionals are competent and knowledgeable. If you have a concern about a real estate professional, you can file a complaint by visiting our website at www.recbc.ca. We can investigate and discipline individuals for professional misconduct.
When you become the client of a real estate professional, they owe you special legal duties as your agent:
- Loyalty: they must put your interests first, even before their own.
- Avoid conflicts of interest: they must avoid any situation that would affect their duty to act in your best interests.
- Fully disclose relevant information: they must give you all the facts they know that might affect your decisions.
- Protect your confidentiality: they must not reveal your private information without your permission, such as:
- your reasons for buying/selling/leasing/renting
- the minimum/maximum price you are seeking
- any preferred terms and conditions you may want to include in a contract.
What to Expect as an Unrepresented Party
If you choose not to have a real estate professional represent you, you are an unrepresented party. You are not entitled to the special legal duties a client receives.
- No loyalty: the real estate professionals involved in the transaction are representing clients with competing interests to yours. They must be loyal to their clients, not you.
- No duty to avoid conflicts: no real estate professional is acting in your interests.
- No full disclosure: the real estate professionals involved in the transaction do not have a duty to give you all relevant information.
- No confidentiality: the real estate professionals involved in the transaction must share any information you tell them with their client.
Your Options as a Client In BC, real estate professionals provide their services through licensed companies known as brokerages. If you decide to become the client of a real estate professional, you will sign an agreement with their brokerage. Depending on how the brokerage operates, you will be represented as a client in one of two ways:
Your real estate professional will represent you as a “designated agent”. Only your designated agent will owe you the legal duties explained above. Your agent must not share your confidential information with others at the brokerage without your permission.
Brokerage Agency You will be represented by all the real estate professionals at the brokerage. They will all owe you the legal duties explained above. They must all protect your confidential information.
Either way, as a client of a licensed real estate professional you will benefit from expert advice, oversight, and protection.
This is a disclosure made in compliance with section 5-10 of the Rules under the Real Estate Services Act.