Did you know that Real Estate Agents in British Columbia are held to the highest standard of conduct under the law in all of North America?
Well, now you know. But what does this mean?
Real Estate Agents in B.C. are fiduciaries. Or, as Miriam Webster explains, “of, relating to, or involving a confidence or trust: such as held or founded in trust or confidence”. It’s a legal and binding relationship similar to Lawyers and Doctors.
In real estate, the relationship is called Agency or a Client Relationship. When it comes to real estate trading, the act of buying and selling real estate, the rules in B.C. stipulate there are only two types of consumers; clients and non-clients. Consumers in BC must choose. Non-clients or “unrepresented parties” are those individuals or entities who do not have an agency relationship with a licensed agent. Non-clients do not have the protection of a fiduciary relationship. They are not owed any special legal duties. Other than their whits, they have no special legal protection under the law. Clients engaged in an agency relationship with a Real Estate Agent in B.C. are entitled to the following special legal duties.
Loyalty – They will act only in the best interests of their client.
Full disclosure – They must share everything they know that may influence a client’s decision in a transaction.
Avoid conflicts of interest – An agent must avoid any situation that would affect their duty to act in their client’s best interest. For example, when working for a seller as a listing agent, it is a conflict for the listing agent to give agency to a buyer.
Confidentiality – An agent must not reveal private information without the client’s permission. This duty extends after the client relationship ends. The duty of privacy includes, but is not limited to, a client’s reasons for buying or selling, their minimum or maximum price, and or any preferred terms or conditions they may want in a contract.
All agents in B.C. are obliged to act honestly and with reasonable care and skill with clients and non-clients. At the same time, buying and selling real estate is a complex venture, and there is no doubt that a skilled agent working closely with a client under these rules is an ideal match for success.
At CENTURY 21 Assurance Realty Ltd, our agents are trained as fiduciaries to the highest standard and looking forward to helping clients navigate the complex and competitive market.
Associate Broker | REALTOR®
CENTURY 21 Assurance Realty Ltd
Agent Development & Recruiting, Commercial
Real Estate Coach (NORE®)