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.
Benefits of Representation
Many people choose to have a real estate professional represent them in real estate transactions to help them make informed decisions. As a client, you’ll benefit from:
In BC, licensed 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.
The Real Estate Council of BC works to ensure real estate professionals are competent and knowledgeable. Providing mandatory training and ongoing professional development, the Real Estate Council of BC aims to ensure you get the best in representation. If you have a concern about a real estate professional, you can contact the Council by visiting their website at Real Estate Council of British Columbia.
What to Expect as a Client
When you become the client of a real estate professional, they owe you special legal duties as your agent. Such duties include:
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 any of the special legal duties a client receives. There is no obligation of the Realtor to give you:
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.
any duty to avoid conflicts – no real estate professional is acting in your interests.
full disclosure – the real estate professionals involved in the transaction do not have a duty to give you all relevant information.
confidentiality – the real estate professionals involved in the transaction must share any information you tell them with their client.
This information has been provided by the Real Estate Council of British Columbia and is used under license.