New rule difficult for northern realtors

Northern realtors say representing buyer and seller often necessary in rural areas.

The B.C. Northern Real Estate Board disagrees with the Office of the Superintendent of Real Estate (OSRE) decision to ban dual agency as a part of the new rules it announced last week.

Duel agency refers to the practice of acting on behalf of both the buyer and seller on the same deal.

“The new rules are a response to problems arising in the very large and very busy Lower Mainland market,” said John Evans, B.C. Northern president, in a press release. “Unfortunately, with limited dual agency gone, what is left are agency rules designed for larger offices and we are a board of small offices.”

British Columbia will be the first province in Canada to ban the practice.

“The problem with dual agency is that it creates a potential for abuse and a potential for a conflict of interest and so I believe it’s in the best interests of consumers to prohibit it,” Micheal Noseworthy, the superintendent of real estate, told Global News.

Sandra Hinchliffe, director for the Bulkley Nechako Region of the B.C. Northern Real Estate Board, said in small towns avoiding conflicts of interest can be impossible as they’re usually aren’t many, if any, other realtors to represent each side in a deal.

“Dual agency was a way for us to resolve a conflict openly with informed consent,” Hinchliffe said.

“People had to sign an agreement if [there was a] dual agent.”

Hinchliffe said right now they have no idea how to proceed under the new rules and are awaiting guidance from the office.

The new rules will go into effect on March 15, 2018.

mike.grace-dacosta@interior-news.com

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