Heightened Market Activity Prompts Real Estate Regulators to Caution Consumers

Real Estate Council of BC and Office of the Superintendent of Real Estate urge buyers to do their research before…

Real Estate Council of BC and Office of the Superintendent of Real Estate urge buyers to do their research before making an offer

VANCOUVER, BC, April 9, 2021 /CNW/ – With real estate market activity in BC continuing to increase, the Real Estate Council of BC (RECBC) and Office of the Superintendent of Real Estate (OSRE) are encouraging British Columbians to be aware of the potential risks and do their research before making an offer on a home.

«Buying a home is one of life’s biggest financial decisions. There are potential risks at the best of times, but with the added pressure and stress of the current market conditions, those risks are amplified,» said Micheal Noseworthy, Superintendent of Real Estate. «In a competitive market, it’s more important than ever to do your research and make a well-informed decision. RECBC can help you understand the risks, and prepare for them.»

In the first three months of 2021, RECBC has seen an increase in inquiries and complaints. Calls to the regulator were up 42% over the previous year, while complaints were double the number received in the same period in 2020.

«Whenever there is a significant increase in market activity, we can expect a corresponding increase in calls and complaints,» explains Erin Seeley, CEO of RECBC. «But many of the consumers we are hearing from now feel like they are in a race. They are making decisions under pressure, and they are taking risks that they may not fully appreciate.»

Erin offers the following tips for buyers and sellers in today’s market:

Understand the risks of subject-free offers

  • Seek professional advice before making a subject-free offer, proceeding without financing in place, or without having the home inspected.

Be realistic about what you can afford

  • Work within a sustainable budget and be aware of the extra costs not associated with the listing price, like closing or inspection costs.

Ask questions to ensure you’re comfortable with the listing price and marketing strategy

  • Before signing a listing contract, sellers should interview several real estate agents and understand the proposed marketing strategy and market value of their property,
  • Buyers should ask their real estate agent about the market value of the property they are considering, and how market conditions are affecting pricing strategies.

Be prepared in a multiple offer scenario

  • Ask your real estate agent about what to expect in the offer process. Discuss ahead of time how you will manage a multiple offer situation.
  • Buyers can ask about the number of offers and how their offer compared to others.

RECBC is reminding real estate agents that consumers buying or selling property in a competitive real estate market need to be well-informed in order to make decisions that are right for them. Real estate agents should ensure they maintain high standards of professionalism, including discussing with clients the risks of subject-free offers or offers that exceed their financing capability. RECBC is proactively monitoring real estate brokerages and agents to ensure they continue to adhere to their professional requirements during this time of heightened activity in the real estate market.

«Licensed real estate agents have an obligation to act in their clients’ best interests and provide the best advice possible concerning the offer process,» adds Seeley. «If you have questions or concerns about a real estate transaction, get in touch with RECBC. Our Professional Standards Advisors are here to help with information for buyers and sellers.»

Anyone considering buying or selling property can find unbiased, independent information about buying and selling property, along with potential risks and issues to watch out for, on RECBC’s website www.recbc.ca/consumers

About RECBC and OSRE

RECBC is a regulatory agency established by the provincial government. Its mandate is to protect the public by enforcing the licensing and conduct requirements of the Real Estate Services Act for individuals and brokerages engaged in real estate sales, rental property and strata management.

OSRE is a regulatory agency of the B.C. government that carries out the regulatory, oversight and enforcement duties of the Superintendent of Real Estate. It receives its authority from the Real Estate Services Act, the Real Estate Development Marketing Act and the Strata Property Act.

Later this year, RECBC and the OSRE will integrate with the BC Financial Services Authority, creating a single regulator for real estate and the financial services sector.

SOURCE Real Estate Council of BC