New Reforms: B.C. Real Estate Market To Be Rescued

On Tuesday, an independent panel appointed to review the regulation of B.C.’s overheated housing market, released a report which consists of 28 recommendations with the sole aim of introducing new policies for real estate agents in order to protect home-buyers. After several investigations were done by The Globe and Mail, they decided to form a panel who regarded the practice as “shadow flipping” wherein houses are flipped during the last stages of the sale.

B.C. Premier Christy Clark is expected to deliver an announcement regarding her government’s response during a press conference.

The following are what you need to know about the report, the panel, including concerns as well as any other prospects affecting the market.

What does the report entail?

After several months of evaluation, the panel managed to arrive at a conclusion and released a report which includes 28 recommendations that would address and help resolve the issue of agents who are taking advantage of homebuyers, as well as how they’ll be punished.

Amid the recommendations, a sense of urgency was called for to drastically increase fines. According to the panel, the maximum fine for a real estate agent should be increased from $10,000 to $250,000 and the maximum fine for a broker should also be increased to $500,000.

The panel also stated that double- ended deals should not be allowed.

However, the issuing of licenses will still remain in the hands of the Real Estate Council of B.C. and will continue to introduce new policies and investigating matters. The panel believes that it’s best to choose members outside of the industry. Three of the members are representing the public’s interest.

Controversy is arising as one of the recommendations calls for the removal of real estate boards’ ability to investigate any problems concerning the members of the public. As an alternative, the panel suggests the real estate council should be the only body in charge of regulating and implementing laws regarding the market.


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