Agents and their salespeople are legally obligated to protect
and promote the interests of their principals as they would their
You can expect competent service from your agent, knowing that
the company is bound by ethics and the law to be honest and thorough
in representing a property listed for sale. Their own agents in
a single transaction can represent both buyer and seller.
If you find yourself in a dual agency relationship, before making
or receiving an offer, both you and the other party will be asked
to consent, in writing, to this new limited agency relationship.
The realtor you choose to work with in this manner has a legal
and ethical duty to provide you with accurate, honest answers
to your questions and can provide all these services:
- Recommend or suggest a price
- Negotiate on your behalf
- Inform you of his/her principal's top/bottom line
- Disclose any confidential information about his/her principal unless otherwise authorized
You should not provide a realtor who is not your agent with
any information that you would not provide directly to his or
The Agent is the real estate company under which the individual salesperson in licensed.
Realtor is often used interchangeably with licencee, real estate agent or salesperson and, in BC, is licensed under the Real Estate Act. A Realtor can use the term Realtor if he/she belongs to a local board or association that enforces a strict Code of Ethics.
The Boards are the real estate boards and associates in whose jurisdiction the property is located and/or of which the Agent or the Realtor is a member. They are associations which assist Realtors to market and sell real estate. The Boards also provide ongoing training for their members, enforce ethical standards and help resolve disputes between members and the public.
The Multiple Listings Service ® is a computerized database of real estate listings and sales. It is operated by the Board in conjunction with other real estate boards and the Canadian Real Estate Association.
Personal Information means any personal information about you, including your name, address, phone number, financial information and may include information about your property (such as listings and selling price, listing term, etc.).
The Buyer is often referred to as the Purchaser.
The Seller is often referred to as the Vendor.
The Principal is someone who has engaged an Agent to act for and on his or her behalf either to buy or sell real estate.
Realtors, Agents and real esate boards need to collect, use and disclose some personal information to help you sell or buy real estate. We respect your privacy and want to ensure you understand how and why your information is collected, used and disclosed in a real estate transaction.
How is my personal information collected? Most personal information will be collected directly from you through the contracts and other documents you fill out (eg: Multiple Listing Contract, Contract of Purchase and Sale, seller's Property Disclosure Statement) and through discussions you have with your Realtor. Some information may be collected from other sources such as government departments and agencies (eg: Land Title Offices, BC Assessment), financial institutions and mortgage brokers.
To whom may my personal information be disclosed? Your information may be disclosed to (or may be accessible by) the Boards and their staff and members, other real estate boards and their staff and members, other Realtors and their clients, government departments and agencies, financial institutions, legal advisors, service providers, the British Columbia Real Estate Association, the Real Estate Council of British Columbia, the Canadian Real Estate Association and members of the public, for the purposes described below.
Not all of your information will be accessible to each of the above-mentioned entities. For example, once the listing terms has ended, the general public will not have access to your information unless it is otherwise available through public registries (eg: BC Assessment, Land Title Offices).
PURPOSES FOR COLLECTING, USING AND DISCLOSING PERSONAL INFORMATION
Why is my personal information collected, used and disclosed? Your information may be collected, used and disclosed for some or all of the following purposed:
- To allow members of real estate boards (including Realtors and appraisers) to appraise your property.
- To list your property with the Multiple Listings Service ® in order to market your property.
- To market your property for sale through any other media (both print and electronic).
- To help you locate a suitable property to purchase.
- To facilitate the purchase and sale transaction (by cooperating with financial institutions, legal adivsors and government departments and agencies).
- To allow the Boards and other real estate boards and their members (including Realtors and appraisers) to compile current and historical statistics on sales and proerty prices, and to conduct comparative market analyses. Information about your property will be retained in the Multiple Listings Service ® for thse purposes after your property has sold or your listings has expired (if you are a seller) and after you have purchased your property (if you are a buyer).
- To inforce codes of professional conduct and ethics for members of real estate boards (by cooperating with real estate boards, the British Columbia Real Estate Association, the Real Estate Council of British Columbia, The Canadian Real Estate Association and other regulatory bodies).
- To comply with legal requirements and to act pursuant to legal authorizations.
The above-mentioned collections, uses and disclosures are a necessary part of your relationship with your Realtor.
Will my personal information be collected, used and disclosed for any other purposes? Your information may also be collected, used and disclosed for the following additional purposes:
- Your Realtor may communicate with you in future to determine whether you require additional real estate services.
- Your Realtor may communicate with you to provide information about other products or services which may interest you.
- Other Realtors may communicate with you to determine whether you require additional real estate services.
These additional purposes are optional. If you do not want your personal information disclosed or used for these purposes, please contact the Board's privacy officer. Contact information for all real estate boards within BC can be found at the British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) website: www.bcrea.bc.ca or telephone 604.683.7702, or toll free 1.877.361.3626.
YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES AS A BUYER OR A SELLER
As a buyer or a seller, you should:
- Carefully read all documents and understand what you are signing.
- If you need special or expert advice, seek other professionals such as lawyers, notaries, accountants, home inspectors, contractors, engineers and surveyors.
Reprinted with permission from the British Columbia Real
Estate Association "Working With A Real Estate Agent; An
Explanation Between You And A Realtor" A154; December 2003.
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