No More Dual Agency in BC: Chaos and Opportunity

Written by Suze, January 25th, 2018

As of March 15th, 2018, the practice of Dual Agency will end in British Columbia and the rest of North America is watching.  This could be a serious disrupter.

This change is a result of BC REALTORS® losing their right to self-govern and a provincial government agency, The Office of the Superintendent of Real Estate (OSRE) imposing these changes on the industry to protect the consumer. 

This is going to change the real estate business.  It limits our ability to act as salespeople and many of our business models, protocols and skills are built around sales.

“A licensee is not a salesperson or a facilitator but rather a fiduciary that is obligated to act in the best interests of their client”. – OSRE

As brokers, team leaders, licensees and others in the industry begin to anticipate the implications of this significant change, we can be assured of some chaos, confusion and dissatisfaction.   Change creates uncertainty and fear but it also creates opportunity and, in this case, the opportunity is incredible.

Under the new rules, the consumer has only two options when trading in real estate; be represented or be unrepresented.  There is no in between and for them to operate unrepresented, they will need to sign forms that point out how disadvantageous and risky it is.  This combined with the directive from The OSRE to The Real Estate Council to educate the consumer on what representation really is, means that most buyers will be looking to hire REALTORS® who are highly knowledgeable, skilled and professional. 

According to the OSRE, we are a fudiciary and our highest priority is protecting our client.  How do we do that?   With a high level of expertise in all things pertaining to a real estate trade; the complex legal elements, The CREA Code of Ethics, macro and micro market conditions, economics and other money elements and most importantly, high level negotiation skills.  Under these changes, will we finally be recognized and rewarded for the professional skills that we have that truly benefit the people we serve?   And will the licensees who don’t operate professionally be adequately reprimanded?  It’s possible.   

Take this opportunity to have conversations with people about the upcoming changes.  Help them understand that this rewards the professionalism of agents who have taken the time to be highly educated and skilled and find people who need you to protect them during the process of buying a property.  We are about to have a huge amount of media coverage around these issues and this could be your time to really shine. 

During this challenging time of change, stay focused on serving your client, shield yourself from the naysayers and whiners who will inevitably emerge and source out high-quality information about the changes and the best practices as they emerge. 

If you haven’t read this, I highly recommend it:




9 Responses to “No More Dual Agency in BC: Chaos and Opportunity”

  1. Janet Rathbun says:

    Excellent blog Suze. Thank you.

  2. Martin Steward says:

    This is actually good timing and will result in better professionalism in this industry. No better time to be an accredited real estate negotiator! Thanks Suze

  3. Shelly Smee says:

    As always the silver lining is there, it only took 23 years for this to finally happen…when I became licensed in 1995 we were told LDA was being phased out…what took so long? True representation as it is meant to be under the laws of agency….and the chance to further show your value. Thanks Suze this is one email I always read right away.

  4. I beg to disagree with the OSRE’s statement that “A licensee is not a salesperson or a facilitator but rather a fiduciary that is obligated to act in the best interests of their client”. We are high-end salespeople and facilitators with a rather strict fiduciary duty to our clients, which stems from the law of agency. The fact we are salespeople does not preclude us from being fiduciaries. Primarily, because we are licensed and regulated professionals, and also due to the nature of what we sell. This is what differentiates us from other salespersons who are not fiduciaries.

    • Suze says:

      I agree with you Mercedes – our traditional model is definitely built on being salespeople and fiduciaries. The OSRE is now the governing body of real estate in BC – and this is a direct quote from them. The new rules that they bring in could change our industry alot if they stick with this line of thinking. Interesting times.

    • Mark Ranger says:

      I disagree Mercedes and prefer to think of ourselves as Professionals who help our clients make informed decisions. We don’t buy houses, our clients do. We don’t sell houses, our clients do. Our clients call upon us for our professional experience and education that will help them make informed decisions they otherwise may not know. Education is a bargain at any price and there is no education quite like experience. We are in this every day experiences of the past, immersed in the future. What we bring to the table is not tangible, not fancy brochures, websites or the car we drive. What we bring to the table is knowledge. There is no sales in what we do… only discovery.

      • Mercedes Bourgaize, Macdonald Realty Parksville, BC says:

        Fair enough, Mark. I wholeheartedly agree with you that “it is all about collaboration.” However, if there is no sales in what we do, only discovery, why do we invest time and resources on fancy brochures and websites? How would you label the commission a realtor earns on the sale of a home?

  5. Mark Ranger says:

    It’s all about collaboration not competition 😉

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