Unrepresented in a Real Estate Transaction? Know the Risks
Consumers who choose to conduct a real estate transaction without a real estate professional are known as “unrepresented parties”. While you aren’t required to have a real estate professional represent you in a real estate transaction, the expert advice, protection, and oversight that comes with being the client of a real estate professional can be very helpful. If you’re thinking of being an unrepresented party, make sure you understand what a real estate professional representing another party to the transaction can and cannot do for you.
When working for their client, the real estate professional will only be able to provide you with limited services.
• Take a moment to read this important consumer protection information from the Real Estate Council of BC.
• Carefully consider the risks before deciding to be unrepresented in a real estate transaction.
• Expert advice from a real estate professional or other professional (such as a lawyer) who represents your interests can help you navigate the real estate process safely. We urge you to consider getting a real estate professional to represent you in a real estate transaction.
What you need to know
A Realtor must be loyal to their clients and work in their best interests. Keep in mind that as an unrepresented party, real estate professionals involved in the transaction and representing the other party, will not be working in your interests.
The services of a Realtor representing someone else in a transaction are limited, for example, to:
• sharing real estate statistics and general market information
• providing standard real estate contracts and other relevant documents
• helping you fill out a standard real estate contract (but they cannot advise you about what to include in an offer)
• communicating your messages to their client, and from their client to you
• presenting your offers or counteroffers to their client, and from their client to you.
A real estate professional representing someone else in a transaction cannot act in your interests. They cannot:
• give you advice.
• negotiate on your behalf.
• give you any confidential information about their client. (For example, they cannot tell you their client’s maximum/minimum price unless their client authorizes them to share this information with you.)
Remember, a real estate professional must share all relevant information they know with their client. This could include:
• your motivation for buying/selling/leasing/renting.
• your maximum/minimum price.
• your preferred terms and conditions.
Be cautious about sharing any confidential information with a real estate professional who represents a client with opposing interests to yours. They must share that information with their client.
Learn more about this topic and other information for real estate consumers at the Real Estate Council of British Columbia web site.
The above information provided by the Real Estate Council of British Columbia and used under license.