Serving One Master

Matthew 6:24 “No one can serve two masters, since either he will hate one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”

June 15th Real Estate Agents in BC are banned from Limited Dual Agency. It’s an old lesson and it’s time now for agents to understand what this really means.

To me, it’s the goal to avoid conflicts of interest. My interest to support and protect the interests of my client needs to be placed at the forefront of my actions. Yet, real estate is a consumer game. Buying, selling, products, services, features and benefits, and emotions are involved. It’s not so cut a dried as some would like.

Let’s say I work for a developer selling new downtown condo’s and they are selling fast. My mom wants to buy one. Today, based on the rules, I would have to step aside and get my mom and the developer new individual agents. Agents that neither really know. Interesting. I don’t think this serves either of them very well at all. The delay could cost my mom a place to live. Mmmm.

Or, I list a home down the street in my area and my buyer clients whom I have shown many, many properties want to view the property. Technically, I am now in a conflict. And worse, if they want to buy it, I could again be double recused. This one I understand but I still struggle with.

Can agents create a thriving business serving one master? I know we can. But it’s a hard profession to succeed in and perhaps one of the hardest to “make it”. So, next time you meet with your agent, discuss these changes and how you will tackle these issues should you run into them. You will need to be flexible and you may not feel “served” but let’s hope you get the deal!

Don’t call the listing agent!

By now you have read, “Limited Dual Agency is truly limited” and “Let’s party, Ok maybe not…” blogs posted earlier. If you haven’t please click back and have a quick read. Apart from my poor grammar an misdirected humour, the reads are quick and easy.

So, what does “Don’t call the listing agent” mean?

Well, first off you can call the listing agent. He or she can give you factual information on the property. Technically they can even show you the property during an open house. Booking a showing with them is most likely a no-no unless they bring in another agent who is entirely unconnected to the seller. If, during your conversation, you discuss anything personal about you or the seller (motivation, price other than list price, use, dates, desires etc) you will be putting that agent into a conflict of interest. Afterwards, the agent will have to recuse themselves from any dealings with you and the seller, their first client. (See Implied Agency in a week or so on this blog)

Why this change?

Simply put, Real Estate Agents in British Columbia can only serve ONE Master as of June 15th based on the banning of “Limited Dual Agency”. This is a good thing. It’s new, but it’s good. More than 20,000 agents across B.C. are learning the new rules and many of us are spot on yet some are still learning. We will get better at interpreting the rules but for now, it’s a new set of tools.

So, why should you not call the listing agent?

1) The Real Estate Council of B.C. really doesn’t want you to call because of the ban on limited dual agency. It’s a natural by-product of the ban.

2) You are working with an agent you already trust or have an agreement with. Call this agent. He or she can get you all the info you need just as fast and often with more detail and learn motivations and details that will help you make a good choice. Your agent can dig deeper. There maybe a delay, but the seller’s agent will welcome the call and often “hold” the property because they know you are working with a pro.

3) By calling the listing agent, you could inadvertently harm your negotiating position and do yourself a disservice should you choose to place an offer. It’s easy to give away personal details on a call or email and this may harm you later on.

4) The Real Estate Council of B.C. wants you to know that the listing agent serves the seller’s interest only, not yours. The listing agent’s goal is to sell the unit for the highest price, at the best terms and as quickly as possible to benefit the seller. Period. 

5) If you speak directly to the listing agent, you could create a conflict of interest. (See recusal or visit CNN and research Jeff Sessions and Donald Trump… same thing) By virtue of this, if the listing agent has learned anything personal about you, it could hurt your position.

By working closely with your Real Estate Agent, the Real Estate Council of B.C. believes that you will get better protection and better advice. The result moving forward will be better transactions and better results for consumers overall.

Here is what you will get as a client from your agent.

Loyalty

Avoid Conflicts of Interest

Full Disclosure of Relevant Information

Protect Your Confidentiality

Result: Expert Advice – Better Protection of Your Interests.

Dean Desrosiers is a Realtor and Associate Broker who helps people buy and sell houses in the Central Okanagan, British Columbia. He works with clients, not unrepresented parties.

Let’s Party! Ok, maybe not…

As I dropped my daughter off so she could go overnight camping with friends, I realized at my ripe old age, parties are tough on me and take a greater toll on my body. I suspect my daughter will be bright eye and bushy tailed the next day just fine. Me, I require a little more recovery but I still love parties.

However, there is one party you won’t see me get involved in: “Unrepresented Parties”.

BC’s ban on LDA (see my last blog) is accompanied by new real estate agency law. What’s most interesting is that the Real Estate Council of BC is forcing consumers to choose one of two paths: Client or Unrepresented Party.

The Client path looks to be paved with good intentions, loyalty, avoiding conflicts, full disclosure and privacy. Sounds great to me. I honestly feel I have been working this way for 10 years. Not perfectly I am sure, but trying.

And, the Client path sounds even better when you learn more about the Unrepresented Party road. It’s like a bush party gone bad with burning tires, hung over people everywhere and all your private bits out there for everyone to see. You could wake up (from a transaction) and realize you are hung over and your stuff is missing. Have fun getting home!

My practice is and always has been based on working with clients. As such, I will be showing you some new forms and I will need you to sign them. It will be a great experience and I will help you with the biggest financial decision of your life, as client and agent.

If you choose to remain unrepresented, I wish you the very best. I can share facts with you but not advice and remember, anything you say to any agent as an unrepresented party, can and will be used against you in the real estate transaction.

Next up, I will define the true nature of being a Client versus Unrepresented Party.

Limited Dual Agency is truly limited.

June 15, 2018 saw the Real Estate Council of British Columbia overhaul the agency rules affecting more than 20,000 real estate agents in the province. 

At the core is the banning of “limited dual agency” or LDA. LDA is when the real estate agent, with the permission of both the buyer and seller (or sometimes both buyers) in a transaction, agree to let one agent(or team) act as “moderator”.

During the transaction, the LDA agreement allowed the agent to bend his or her fiduciary duty to facilitate the sale. Acting alone and technically working impartially, the agent was able to control the transaction for the benefit of the seller and the buyer. This was the theory.

BC has taken the bold step to ban LDA and it’s exciting.

I am not here to debate the good and bad of LDA. It’s gone and this is fact. It is also fact that sellers and buyers will not fully understand what this ban will mean. Many people will need to rethink the way they approach buying and selling real estate in BC. Some will be happy, some sad and some confused… at first. In time, it is expected that consumers will come to realize the benefits of the new approach.

If you would like to learn more in a hurry, call your agent up for a coffee. There is a four page form they need to share with you. 😉

Keeping busy by standing still

People that perform at a high level share the ability to solve “good” problems. Of course, problem solving is essential for getting things done. Few jobs or projects roll out without a hiccup or two. But ask yourself, what type of problems are you solving; self inflicted ones or those presented to you by others? You may feel that you are an excellent problem solver but if you are solving self-inflicted problems too often, your keeping busy by standing still.