As an advocacy group for consumers, we are wanting to hear your concerns over all matters that affect BC Real Estate to ensure we can represent your interests.
Here is what a consumer recently shared with the OSRE in regards the current consultation on the new rules:
As a consumer I have serious concerns with this regulatory change in terms of 1) my fundamental rights of choice, and 2) the deterioration of consumer satisfaction due to the forced recusal of highly experienced and professional licensee with the likely result of increased complaints to RECBC, OSRE due to out-of-area and inexperienced licensees working on contracts.
- Fundamental rights of choice: Throughout the process of reviewing regulations within the Real Estate Industry I am concerned that that IAG report, the Government’s reaction to the report and now the OSRE has not considered the rights associated with the freedom to contract and the principles of fundamental justice in Canada. As a Canadian citizen I have the right to choose and provide informed consent and be party to a transaction/contract. If in a Real Estate transaction I have built a long standing relationship with a licensee who I trust, who I have done business with before, and who I want to continue to use (even in the face of limited dual agency) that is my choice. I am an informed consumer who understands the risks and consequences of my choice. I do not need the government to interfere with this. While I understand the IAG and OSRE pursuit and objective to deal with the “front page” licensees who have broken the law and brought disrepute to the industry (via contract assignment, failure of disclosure, forgery etc) it would seem that the regulations that are being considered are broader than necessary in the pursuit of this objective and may be limiting my rights for no reason. A very simple search regarding Section 7 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in Canada, specifically the right of liberty and existing case law ,should provide pause to these new regulations so that they can be reviewed to ensure the tests of the principles of fundamental justice can be met.
- Deterioration of consumer satisfaction. In interpreting potential scenarios associated with these proposed regulations I am concerned that they will have the opposite effect of what is being proposed not only in the regulations but also as identified in Objective 1 of the RECBC Service Plan which states: “Consumers and licensees have the information and resources they need to participate effectively in real estate transactions”. For example, I have been involved in real estate transactions that have involved issues regarding the ALR, Community Zoning, Building Codes and Variances, Archaeological sites, covenants etc…In this transaction we worked with a highly experienced and knowledgeable licensee who knew the proper local government contacts, zoning issues, arch permit issues. If this licensee needs to recuse themselves from future transactions due to having worked with me and potentially a seller and/or buyer in the past – who will benefit? Most licensees in the area, especially smaller communities or rural areas, know everyone. If a licensee from out of region needs to be brought in, how are they going to be able to have the knowledge and/or experience to answer difficult questions with a high degree of certainty? Where are they going to get the resources? They will not be ask the experienced licensee’s in an area due to the potential for conflict. This will result in inexperienced licensee’s making errors and not representing the best interests of their clients. Complaints will go up, satisfaction will go down and the concerns of poor real estate transactions will be magnified by this kind of regulatory negligence. This type of situation does not allow for effective participation in a real estate transaction. I would recommend that the OSRE seriously consider reviewing this provision.
Let us know how the new rules impact you…