Agreement reached between the CREA and the Commissioner of Competition What is the actual impact on you?
The Organisme d’autoréglementation du courtage immobilier du Québec (OACIQ) has reviewed the Consent Agreement reached by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and the Commissioner of Competition. The Agreement was ratified by CREA Members on Sunday, October 24, 2010 and made public the next day.
What the Agreement says
Under this Agreement, the CREA must allow a seller to retain the services of a broker for the mere posting of a property on the MLS System, without the seller also having to use all of the other services offered by the broker.
The OACIQ’s position
What you need to know
The Real Estate Brokerage Act is not impacted by the new Agreement. Therefore, current rules continue to apply to your professional practice, including as concerns the marketing of a property, which includes listing on the MLS System. This means you will continue to be held to your obligations to inform, verify and advise your clients in accordance with the Real Estate Brokerage Act currently in force in Québec and the regulations thereunder.
Here are some of the obligations to which you are bound as a broker:
- in residential real estate, have a written mandatory brokerage contract in order to list a property
- in residential real estate, receive your remuneration only upon the signing of the act of sale
- advise the seller properly, including when setting the asking price
- verify and be able to demonstrate the accuracy of the information you are given
- list a property on the MLS System without delay when requested by the client, providing all relevant information, including the amount of property taxes and room measurements
- explain to your clients the services you offer
- recommend that the seller complete a “Declarations by the seller” form
- present to the seller any promise to purchase you receive
- include all required statements on the detailed description sheet
- be reasonably available to your clients and to other brokers
- inform all parties to the transaction objectively of all relevant facts
- put the rights and obligations of the parties in writing
- take steps to discover any unfavourable factors and disclose them to your client
- deposit any amount collected in advance into a trust account in accordance with the terms and conditions outlined in the Organization’s regulations
- collaborate with other brokers upon request
- offer a reasonable remuneration sharing scheme
- indicate in writing to the seller the remuneration that will be offered to collaborating brokers
- disclose to collaborating brokers any information relevant to the transaction.
Use of forms
In accordance with the transitional measures developed for the implementation of the new Real Estate Brokerage Act, the current mandatory forms must continue to be used until October 31, 2011*.
As of November 1, 2011, new forms will have to be used. To this effect, you will be invited to share your comments and suggestions during the OACIQ’s consultation tour on the new forms that will take place in spring 2011.
But regardless of the type of services you offer after October 31, 2011, you should know that you will not be released from your ethical obligations.
And finally, be assured that the OACIQ makes it its duty to help you offer the best possible services to your clients and to constantly enhance the image of the profession in everyone’s eyes.
The information agents in our Info OACIQ Centre are there to answer your questions and direct you to our various services. Do not hesitate to contact them by phone at 450 462-9800 or 1 800 440-7170, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
To read the press release issued by the OACIQ yesterday regarding the new Agreement, click here:
* IMPORTANT NOTICE:
The Québec government has initiated the process to act on the OACIQ’s recommendation to defer the effective date of the Regulation respecting contracts and forms – and therefore the use of the new forms themselves – to July 1, 2012.
As a result, the current regulations and forms will continue to apply until June 30, 2012 rather than October 31, 2011 as initially announced.