The first thing anyone can do, about any issue, is get informed.
— Adora Svitak
Whether you are new to the world of home buying or haven’t been bought or sold a home in BC in over a year, chances are you aren’t caught up with the latest Rules on disclosure.
In June of last year, the practice of dual agency was effectively banned in BC. This means Real Estate professionals can no longer represent both a buyer and a seller in the same transaction.
Along with these Rule changes came the introduction of a new form that would shake up what were once “standard practices” for Real Estate professionals in BC.
The Disclosure of Representation in Trading Services (DORTs)
The DORTs is a new standard form used to inform you — the consumer — of your options when engaging in a Real Estate transaction in BC.
It outlines the key differences between being a client and an unrepresented party, along with the duties owed to you as a client. It also details what it means for you if you choose to be an unrepresented party.
What does it mean to be a client?
If you are a client, your Real Estate professional owes you 4 primary duties:
- loyalty: your interests are put first
- avoid conflicts of interest: avoid instances where your best interests are compromised
- full disclosure: disclose all relevant facts
- confidentiality: keep your private information private
When will I see this form?
A consumer should see this form before a Real Estate professional provides trading services. It will also be presented when a consumer engages in a discussion that goes beyond general information. Such information would include details like your financial situation or your motivation to buy or sell.
Three common misconceptions you should know about
After explaining this form countless times, a theme of general concerns started to emerge from consumers. Below are the top three concerns that have come up and some insight into each.
#1: Signing “locks me in” with that Realtor.
#2: The DORTs is a contract or service agreement.
The DORT is not a contract but rather an acknowledgement that a Real Estate professional has gone through the form before assisting you further.
#3: Consumers must sign the form.
It is stated on the form that consumer signatures are completely optional. While this is the case for consumers, a Real Estate professional must sign and take notes of when/where the form was presented.
Get informed, stay informed
As you make your way through your buying or selling journey, always know that as a consumer, the ball is in your court.
It’s important that while your Real Estate professionals keep you informed on the latest Rules, trends, and market updates, consumers take a pro-active approach to stay informed throughout the entire process.
Ultimately, knowing about forms like the DORTs provides consumers with peace of mind and clarity to make an informed decision about the type of representation they are seeking.