The first step to implementing the recommendations of the Independent Advisory Group (IAG) happened on July 28, with the approval of changes to the Real Estate Services Act (RESA).
The IAG recommended several government actions to improve the protection of real estate consumers, and the RESA amendments demonstrate the government's eagerness. The legislative changes cover a range of issues, including shifting rule-making authority to the Superintendent (instead of the Real Estate Council of BC), making all Council members appointees (instead of being elected) and increasing fines.
Regulations are required to bring these changes into force, and BCREA doesn't know the timeline for implementation. To be clear, the Real Estate Council will continue to exist when these changes take effect. In fact, maintaining a separation between the Council and the Superintendent will be important, because of the Superintendent's authority to appeal Council's decisions.
That leaves several of the IAG recommendations still in limbo, because a new, dedicated Superintendent of Real Estate has to be appointed.
In the meantime, BCREA is working with all real estate boards on three key projects:
- preparing a submission to the Superintendent, Real Estate Council of BC and Minister of Finance; the document will address all 28 recommendations, with focus on the ban on limited dual agency, increased workload for managing brokers and the introduction of a regulatory code of ethics,
- consulting with brokers, and
- developing a communications plan to reach out to REALTORS® and the public.
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