BCREA’s Position on the Real Estate Services Act
BCREA believes that changes to the practice of real estate must be made with care to avoid unintended negative consequences, enhance consumer protection and reflect the dynamic nature of the real estate profession.
The Association has suggestions for all 28 of the recommendations made by the Independent Advisory Group, and the following three priorities:
- Limited dual agency
The proposal to ban the practice of limited dual agency without considering the impact on consumer choice, small communities, commercial practitioners or established professional relationships could result in an increasing number of consumers choosing to act without professional representation, rather than engage the services of licensees. BCREA strongly recommends that limited dual agency still be allowed through express consent by all parties.
- Administrative burden on brokers
Multiple recommendations from the Independent Advisory Group propose measures that would have a cumulative and significant impact on broker workload, without getting to the heart of the matter. More effective and consistent oversight by managing brokers is a key component of enhanced consumer protection, and BCREA proposes a comprehensive examination of brokerage issues to find the best solutions that still support competitive diversity and consumer choice.
- Council composition
Council members are appointed, instead of elected. We strongly support transparency, and the appointment of individuals who are thoroughly familiar with the practice of real estate in BC and who have current industry experience and expertise.
On June 28, 2016, the Independent Advisory Group (IAG) published a report with 28 recommendations in the areas of transparency and ethics, compliance and consequences, governance and structure and licensee and public education. The recommendations are intended to improve consumer protection.
The next day, the provincial government announced that it supported the IAG recommendations and would end self-regulation by appointing a dedicated Superintendent of Real Estate. On July 28, amendments were made to the Real Estate Services Act (RESA), making provisions to implement many of the IAG recommendations. Those changes took effect on September 30, 2016.
Micheal Noseworthy has been appointed as the new Superintendent of Real Estate, beginning October 19, 2016. News release.
Nine new members of the Real Estate Council of BC were appointed on October 12, 2016. Two real estate licensees are among them. News release.