Loss of dual agency a loss of consumer choice

Guest Comment: John Evans, president of the B.C. Northern Northern Real Estate Board

When a Realtor attempts to defend Dual Agency, one might be quick to assume that the agent is only concerned about their loss of income – in some cases, this may be correct, but definitely not all. The upcoming rule changes that will be effective for all BC Realtors on March 15th of this year do nothing to stop an agent from collecting a fee on both sides of the transaction. This practice is called ‘double ending’. Double ending will still be allowed under the new rules. The issue that we Realtors have is the loss of Dual Agency, which is the opportunity to represent both sides of the transaction. The two are very different and should not be confused. In my opinion, I would have rather seen the end of double-ending but a continuance of the practice of dual agency.

The BC Northern Real Estate Board shares the same thoughts as the Superintendent and the Council when it comes so consumer protection, but we also believe that the consumer has a right to choose an agent that they prefer to work with. Dual agency, when used correctly is an effective way for the buyer and seller to both get what they want collaboratively. It is not confrontational. It is not the same as a defense lawyer and the prosecuting lawyer representing the same client. Think of the agent as a mediator to the transaction when both parties have a common goal; one wants to buy and the other wants to sell. It is quite simple. For those of you that have dealt with a divorce mediator in the past, you will understand what I mean. The mediator simply brings both sides together and takes the emotions out of the transaction. In the end, the two parties have reached a common goal. There was likely some give and take by both parties throughout the transaction but the end result is always the same.

The new rules will restrict the agents from entering into these dual agency relationships. Imagine calling your Realtor that you have known and trusted for years but he or she has to reject your business as they have a buyer client that is possibly interested in your home. He or she cannot give you advice and they will likely have to deny their buyer agency as well as they are now in conflict. This is a loss of consumer choice. Imagine again in the smaller communities where conflict will arise on a regular basis. Agents who have grown up in these small communities will have conflicts everywhere they look.

Will these small offices have to shut down based on the fact that they are simply unable to provide services based on strict guidelines to avoid conflict? They likely will. Imagine taking a transfer to one of these small communities but you cannot find a local agent to represent you as a buyer’s agent because they all have agency relationships with sellers. Will you use the services of an out of town agent that is not familiar with the area, does not have any local market knowledge, does not know where the latest grow-op home was? These are services that Realtors have provided that may not be available in smaller communities in the next few years. Isn’t it nice to go into a small community and go to the local Real Estate office and look at their listings in the window? Of course, these are all online as well but who doesn’t like to check the vibe of a community by checking out these photos?

Our fight is not about us not being able to double end­­. We are allowed to do that. Our arguments are that the loss of dual agency will restrict the services that we can provide to the consumer.

The dual agency discussion often leads to the assumption that the Realtor only wants to collect both sides of the fee, that is not correct and as a matter of fact, that can still be done with proper disclosure. Realtors are simply wanting to provide services to the consumer without limitations.

In the end, small offices will be absorbed by the larger offices. More agents will be providing services in under-serviced areas despite the fact that they have no knowledge of the local area. Services that have been provided by local agents will all but disappear. In the interest of protecting the consumer, it will be the consumer that pays the price.

– John Evans is the president of the B.C. Northern Real Estate Board

Just Posted

Annual Heritage Day celebration highlights Terrace history, culture

Over 30 vendors displayed various vintage and historic items from the city’s past on Feb.17 in the Sportsplex Banquet Room.

Terrace River Kings win playoffs

Defeating Williams Lake Stampeders, the team now heads to the Coy Cup for the fourth year in a row

First annual Valentines Day Memorial Walk to honor missing and murdered Indigenous people held in Terrace

Mayor Carol Leclerc and RCMP Cst. Angela Rabut joined members of the Radek family and walkers on Feb. 14 from the Chill Soda Shop on Highway 16 to the Tempo Gas Station.

Most Highway 16 closures for avalanches in years after multiple dumps of snow

Highway 16 has had four closures between Terrace and Prince Rupert due to 35 mile avalanche area

Thrilling finish to 59th All Native Tournament

Kitamaat, Hydaburg, Port Simpson and Kitkatla win championships in 2018 All Native Tournament

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

SAR suspends search for missing man at Sun Peaks

RCMP will continue to search for a missing man near Kamloops but SAR has suspended their role

Lottery will help save children’s lives

Each ticket gets you a chance to win a lot of money, while helping a lot of kids

B.C. RCMP officer officially cleared in car wash shooting incident

A report found the Salmon Arm officer fired 14 bullets at the man’s truck

Interest in Canadian Armed Forces remains high

Canada seeks about 5,000 recruits each year for its regular forces of about 68,000

Rules reviewed to keep drug money out of B.C. real estate

Investigator looking at loans as well as casinos, David Eby says

VIDEO: B.C. deer caught obeying traffic signs

A herd of deer in Fernie, B.C. is getting attention online after stopping for a stop sign

Petition wants fundraiser dropped for family of man cleared in Boushie’s death

Group says GoFundMe is profiting from the young Indigenous man’s death

Most Read