Effective March 15, 2018, the BC Superintendent of Real Estate will be taking away your right to choose your own representation. So how does this impact you, the consumer?   

Mr. Michael Noseworthy, the Superintendent of Real Estate has given directions to the Real Estate Council of B.C. [RECBC] to implement changes that are supposedly for the protection of buyers and sellers. These changes are to be effective on March 15th, 2018.

However, one of the major concerns to realtors is the new rule with respect to what is called "double recusal". Recuse means "to remove oneself from participation to avoid a conflict of interest." Here is an example of how "double recusal" could apply if you are going to sell your house.

You, the sellers have decided on offering your home for sale with a realtor we will fictitiously call “Agent X”. You interviewed other realtors and after serious consideration you selected Agent X to represent you.

Agent X  was highly recommended to you, has been in the profession for over 20 years, has a huge clientele base with a business built on referrals from satisfied buyers and sellers.

You have told Agent X what you were hoping to sell your home for, agreed to the marketing plan, told Agent X all your personal information including  your mortgage amount owing, your budget for selling and buying, and other confidential information. You chose to hire Agent X because of his/her ethics, professionalism, negotiating plan and skills. You chose to hire Agent X to represent you in the sale of your most important asset, your home.

Agent X also works with buyers, and helps to connect them with homes that match their criteria. Agent X tells the sellers that he/she has specific buyers that are qualified, ready to purchase and suitable candidates

Realtor with Clients


Agent X cannot represent either of the parties because he/she knows the buyer's personal information, as well as your confidential information. It is called "double recusal" [avoiding a conflict of interest re confidentiality].  This is prohibited under the new rules, and Agent X can only refer you to another realtor to represent them. Agent X has to refer to the buyers to another realtor.

What if the buyers have been working with their referred realtor for months, even years, and are now ready to make an offer on your home? Under the new rules and you as sellers and/or buyers cannot choose your own representation for your real estate needs. You hired Agent X to handle the most important complex transaction of your life, and you no longer have a choice in the matter, although the continuing duty of confidentiality has not changed. These new rules will take away the consumers choice of representation in the sale/purchase of their real estate.

Under the new rules if the buyer’s agent presents an offer, Mr. Agent is required to step away from representing you, the sellers because of the supposed conflict of interest.

Even if you as sellers signed a disclosure that Agent X does have confidential information, but will not share that with you the sellers, Agent X will still not be able to represent you.

Sellers must now wait until the Brokerage of Agent X appoints another designated agent to step in.

The new rules are stating that you the sellers who hired Mr. Agent will now have to change to another realtor who you do not know or have an established trust with.

This is the most critical negotiation of your life - do you want to change your representative in the middle of this? Demanding that your selected realtor step aside from the negotiations because he/she may know some 'confidential' information about the buyers is a total disservice to you, the seller.

This proposed new rule being brought down by the Superintendent of Real Estate and implemented by the Real Estate Council of B.C. eliminates the public's choice of representation.

Please voice your comments/questions/concerns to the following regulatory bodies.

advisor@recbc.ca or info@recbc.ca


You can find more information by going to the Real Estate Council of B.C .https://www.recbc.ca/ website below and then click on "Consumer Information" and then in the drop-down box click on 'New Consumer Info'. You will also find "Info for Licensees", "About the New Rules" and "Submit your Questions".

Contact Bryce Hansen, RE/MAX Ocean Pacific Realty  direct at (250) 702-6493 for more information. 


Posted by Bryce Hansen on


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