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New real estate rule aims to dash disputes

By: By Berkley Lamb

  |  Posted: Wednesday, Jun 18, 2014 06:00 am

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A rule change by the Real Estate Council of Alberta is an attempt to reduce confusion and disputes between realtors and their clients.

Starting July 1, when buying or selling residential property, clients of Alberta real estate professionals will be asked to sign a written service agreement.

This decision came from the Real Estate Council of Alberta, which is an independent governing body that sets, regulates and enforces standards for real estate brokerage, real estate appraisal professionals and property management.

This rule change will keep clients informed about and understand what can be expected from their relationship with a real estate professional, minimizing confusion and disputes.

“The objective of the rule change is to advance the relationship and to clarify expectations,” said Kevin Clark, council chair for the Real Estate Council of Alberta.

“This change will affect buyers in that they will now sit down with an agent and put into writing what the expectations will be … there are a lot of areas to cover in real estate.”

The signing of a written service agreement has been the standard practice for residential sellers in real estate, but it is a new rule to sign a buyer representation agreement. This is said to enhance consumer protection, and will help with clients’ understanding of what the real estate professional will do on their behalf and which and what services will be provided, Clark said.

The written service agreement will also outline expectations of service, the obligations and responsibilities of the parties, the consent for collection, use and distribution of the client’s information, and will provide a method of calculation of how the real estate professional will be compensated.

Association statistics indicate there were approximately 65,000 residential transactions in Alberta in 2013.

Further information on the rule change can be found at: www.reca.ca.


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