The real estate industry in B.C. has been shaken up by an in-depth independent review, which has led to Premier Christy Clark announcing the industry will no longer be allowed to regulate itself.
REP readers have had their say and the results are in.
Of those polled, 34% said ending self-regulation is a good thing; 44% argued it’s a bad thing; and 22% are undecided.
Clark says the province will hire a new superintendent of real estate, who will take over the rule-making authority held by the B.C. Real Estate Council.
The announcement comes the day after an independent advisory group tasked with restoring consumer confidence in the industry released a report with 28 recommendations, including hefty fines for misconduct.
Clark says the report shows that self-regulation of the industry must end because consumers are being put at risk and the reputations of honest agents are being tarnished.
For its part, the British Columbia Real Estate Association said, shortly after the release of the independent panel report, that it is ready and willing to play ball with the coming changes.
“The vast majority of the 20,000 Realtors in B.C. do the right thing and we welcome a dedicated Superintendent of Real Estate to improve consumer protection in real estate transactions,” British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) President Deanna Horn said. “Our livelihoods depend on our reputations and I know that almost every Realtor in the province will be happy to see stronger penalties and enforcement for rule-breakers."
Of course, British Columbia won’t be the first province to have its regulation overseen by the government. Manitoba, P.E.I, Newfoundland, and each of the territories are all government-regulated.
With files from Canadian Press.
It may be the most polarizing issue the industry has seen in a while, with agent sentiment about the upcoming changes to British Columbia’s real estate industry split nearly down the middle.