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Today, the REALTORS® of the Victoria Real Estate Board officially began a 90-day pilot project on Designated Agency.
Effective June 1, 2012, all REALTORS® in British Columbia must be practising designated agency in order to submit listings to the MLS® system. This decision by the British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) is based on their observation that when two industry professionals in the same brokerage represent a buyer and seller in the same transaction they are not and have not been practising common law agency correctly; rather their practices are more aligned with the designated agency model. As a consequence, documentation available on REALTOR®Link and documentation required for MLS service agreements will be designated agency documents.
Beginning January 1, 2012, a 90-day pilot project for members of the Victoria Real Estate Board will begin. Full implementation across British Columbia takes place June 1, 2012.
What isn't clear is whether or not listings that are taken by these same REALTORS® that are not submitted to the MLS® System need to be under the designated agency model. I suspect that it will be ALL their listings - both MLS® and exclusive listings. It should be noted that this was NOT brought about by the licensing body as I had originally assumed when had I heard of the upcoming change early last year, but was brought about by the Real Estate Association of British Columbia. So it only affects REALTORS® and not other licensed real estate agents and only applies to REALTORS® in British Columbia (and not Alberta). Designated Agency in Alberta is optional and is determined by individual brokerages - of which only a handful have adopted it to date. The last I heard, only 3 brokerages in the province had adopted this optional operating model. Maybe next year we'll see a dozen or more convert to the business model that consumers are expecting.
Perhaps our local real estate board or our provincial association will also adopt make this this change mandatory for REALTORS® in their jurisdiction? I'm sure they're watching the test too.
Here's a video that explains the changes for British Columbia real estate:
Source: Used under standard YouTube license terms.
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