Did you know that all REALTORS® in BC are licenced and accountable to the Real Estate Council of BC, the provincial government’s regulatory real estate licensing agency, which administers the Real Estate Services Act, BC’s legislation governing real estate?
- REALTORS® are subject to a higher standard than the minimum required by
the Real Estate Services Act.
- REALTORS® are members of real estate boards and as such are required to adhere to the Canadian Real Estate Association’s REALTOR® Code and Standards of Business Practice.
Both the Real Estate Council of BC and the 12 BC real estate boards use a comprehensive investigatory and disciplinary process to deal with complaints. REALTORS® who are found to have breached either the legislation or REALTOR® Code are subject to sanctions by their board and/or the Council.
Real estate boards deal with breaches of the REALTOR® Code and the Real Estate Council deals with breaches of the Real Estate Services Act.
You’re protected in Greater Vancouver
Real Estate Services Act
Licensed REALTORS® in BC are governed by the Real Estate Services Act and Real Estate Services Regulation and Real Estate Council of BC rules. The profession is one of the most highly regulated and offers consumers significant protection.
The Real Estate Council of BC protects consumers through the licensing of all REALTORS® and brokerages engaged in real estate sales, rental and strata property management. The Council enforces entry qualifications, investigates complaints and imposes discipline under the Real Estate Services Act.
Special Compensation Coverage
The Real Estate Special Compensation Fund is authorized by the Real Estate Services Act and provides protection for consumers who have lost deposit monies entrusted to a real estate licensee (or an unlicensed individual related to the brokerage, for example, a receptionist, director or officer) that is misappropriated, wrongfully converted, intentionally not paid or accounted for or obtained by fraud.
As a condition of licensing, it is mandatory for all REALTORS® to participate in the fund. The maximum amount that may be paid to a single claimant is $100,000. The maximum amount that may be paid in respect of claims related to a single
brokerage is $350,000.
Transaction deposits held by real estate brokerages are protected by the Special Compensation Corporation and are held by the REALTOR®’s brokerage as the stakeholder until the transaction completes or the parties give instructions as to the disposition of the deposit. Deposit monies can only be removed from a brokerage trust account under specific circumstances – check with your REALTOR® for more information.
Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver provides its members – almost 11,000 licensed residential and commercial REALTORS®, and property and strata managers – with the structure and services to ensure a high standard of business practices and ethics.
To promote the high standards required of members the Board has established a Professional Standards Department. Its mission is to promote and nurture ethical conduct, fair business dealings and exemplary cooperation between members.
The Professional Standards Department educates members about professional conduct, resolves and mediates complaints and concerns of both members and consumers. Where a resolution isn’t possible, files can be forwarded to the Board’s Professional Conduct Committee for further review.
Each real estate office has what is known as a managing broker. This person is a licensed REALTOR® who meets all educational and experience requirements, and is licensed as a broker. The managing broker is responsible for a brokerage and the activities of its licensees. Typically, any consumer complaints about licensees with that brokerage will be first dealt with by the managing broker.
Errors and Omission insurance
REALTORS® in BC are required to have Errors and Omission Insurance – a compulsory program created under the Real Estate Services Act. The insurance protects property buyers and sellers and indemnifies licensees against liability arising out of negligently failing to perform duties in relations to the provision of real estate services.
REALTORS® are Educated
REALTORS® complete rigorous educational and licensing requirements and must be of good reputation in order to become licensed.
REALTORS® are committed to continuing education and consistently refine and improve their skills and professional knowledge through participation in the profession’s required Professional Development Program.
Every two years, members must complete a required number of courses as a condition of continued membership in their Board. These courses are designed so that REALTORS® are always up-to-date with new and changing information relating to the real estate industry.
As licensees, they are also required by the Real Estate Council of BC to complete a re-licensing education program every two years.
Access to MLS®
REALTORS® have access to and use the Multiple Listing Service®, the most extensive and successful real estate listing website in Canada.
If you’re selling your home, a listing on MLS® will be shared with other REALTORS® for the broadest distribution possible. If you’re buying a home, MLS® will have the largest pool of homes to choose from.
Only REALTORS® have access to MLS® and the highly detailed information it contains on all listings in Canada.
The public has access to www.REALTOR.ca (formerly named mls.ca) and is able to view basic property information for any MLS®-listed property in Canada.
REALTORS® are trained marketing professionals – they know how to accurately price and market properties.
One of the most important marketing tools your REALTOR® uses to price and market your home is market statistics. This information includes comparisons between ‘listed’ properties (properties currently for sale) and ‘sold’ properties (properties that sold within a one-month period).
Market comparison reports are generated at the end of each month by the Multiple Listing Service®. These reports help your REALTOR® determine the market conditions currently affecting your community. These reports are not available to the public.
REALTORS® also rely on their expert knowledge of the communities in which they work to locate homes for prospective buyers, or to price and market homes for the quickest possible sale.
In addition, REALTORS® will use the most effective advertising methods to sell your home. This could include holding open houses, advertising in various media , mailing flyers, etc.
REALTORS® are thoroughly familiar with representing buyers and sellers in real estate transactions and understand the pitfalls of the process. Sellers and buyers who act as their own negotiator can make mistakes, the result of which can far outweigh any perceived or real financial advantages to be gained in saving a commission or fee.
Unrepresented buyers and sellers expect to save REALTOR® fees. However, since both buyers and sellers want to save the same commission or fee, their negotiations can begin at a disadvantage. Negotiations can be further hampered because they do not have an independent party like a REALTOR® to help them arrive at the best possible deal.
contact Diana Klejne today to find out how she can help you sell your current home or purchase your next one. Free, No Obligation Consultation 604-789-8202