Power to the Buyer! New Rules Come into Effect in BC to Protect Buyers

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The way real estate agents represent buyers is about change in British Columbia with more protection coming to buyers as of March. The act of limited dual agency, when a real estate agent (typically the listing agent) represents a buyer and a seller during the sale of a home, is coming to an end. Although most of these transactions are done with integrity, you can see the conflict of interest that arises when an agent is trying to sell a property and get the best price possible for the seller, and at the same time, is working for the buyer. Come March, the practice of representing both buyer and seller will no longer be allowed.

Under the limited dual agency model a real estate agent can represent a buyer and a seller in the same transaction. As part of this relationship, all confidential information (including any information related to price, motivations and financial position) is trusted with the real estate agent, and not used to the advantage of either party. Although in many instances this relationship does work, you can see the room for biases to occur and the BC Office of the Superintendent of Real Estate made the decision to ban the practice of limited dual agency as of March 15, 2018.

British Columbia is the first province in Canada to eliminate limited dual agency. In fact, in some countries, such as Australia and the UK, buyers are always ‘represented’ by the listing agent. This places buyers at an obvious disadvantage, especially those purchasing for the first-time, new to the negotiating process, and unaware that the real estate agent’s interest are representing the seller.

After March 15th buyers will need to work with a real estate agent, separate from the listing agent. Many buyers would obviously prefer this arrangement, knowing their best interests could then be represented during the deal. This new law offers greater protection to buyers, many of whom are already at a market disadvantage with the strong seller’s market we’ve seen in the Province for the last few years.

Some other advantages of the new changes:

  • The market will demand real estate agents be better equipped to deal with the unique demands of buyers
  • Buyers will have better representation, this is especially important in market conditions that inherently favour sellers
  • It will be the fiduciary duty of buyer’s agents to take care of the buyer’s best interest at all times

For more advantages of working with a buyer’s agent, check out our article: 5 Reasons to Use a Buyer’s Agent When Purchasing a Home in Squamish.

If you’re looking to buy in Squamish our team at Move to Squamish would be happy to help you find the perfect home. Specializing in helping lifestyle driven buyers from the Lower Mainland and overseas, and connecting buyers with pre-sale opportunities, our business is based around buyers, and it’s our mission to make the buying process as enjoyable and straight-forward as possible, negotiating the best deals for our clients at all times.

About Meghan

Meghan is a real estate agent, digital marketing specialist and writer. She grew up in Squamish and recently moved back after living abroad for over 10 years. Meghan is passionate about connecting people to their ideal lifestyles and is excited to bring Move to Squamish to those looking for a lifestyle change in Squamish.

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