Duties and ethical obligations of my broker
The duties and obligations of the professionals who are authorized to act by the Organisme d’autoréglementation du courtage immobilier du Québec (OACIQ) are prescribed by the Real Estate Brokerage Act (REBA). By entrusting the OACIQ with the role of enforcing this Act, the government ensures that all Québec real estate brokers adhere to a strict code of conduct which establishes their duties and obligations.
Here is what you can expect from your OACIQ licensed professional throughout your transaction under the Real Estate Brokerage Act.
Your OACIQ licensed professional must always act with utmost transparency and integrity. For instance, the seller’s broker must disclose in writing to the party represented the terms of any shared remuneration offered to the other brokers collaborating in the transaction and representing the buyers.
He is also required to inform all the parties to a transaction of any factor he is aware of that could unfavourably affect your transaction. For example: neighbours say that the property concerned was used to grow cannabis. Your broker, who is aware of the situation, must inform you about it.
Information and verification
Your real estate broker must show the accuracy of the information he gives you by relevant documents and he is responsible for all the information he disseminates. For instance, if you are a seller, your broker must carry out the usual checks, including the amount of municipal and school taxes, as well as any other information contained in the property’s description sheet (year of construction, lot size and area, etc.). For this purpose, when signing the contract, the broker will mention all the documents he will need from you in order to confirm a lot of information about the immovable. For example, you must, among other things, provide your broker with the following documents: ownership title, inspection or expert report, certificate of location, loan documents and the deeds of loan and hypothecary security. The broker must also keep a copy of these documents on his records.
Certain situations must also be disclosed without delay and in writing to all the parties engaged in a transaction. Does your broker have a personal interest in the property you are considering for example? Does he buy or sell for himself or for a member of his family? Or does he refer you to a specific financial institution from which he receives compensation? He must inform you in writing and without delay, in accordance with the terms and conditions set out in the Real Estate Brokerage Act.
In addition, to protect all the parties to a transaction, a broker must ensure that their rights and obligations are recorded in writing and reflect adequately their will. To do so, he must reasonably inform all the parties to a transaction of the rights and obligations arising from the documents they sign. He must also verify the identity of any party, including the person signing a brokerage contract or a transaction proposal, whether this person is signing in his own name or as a representative of an estate, a legal person, a financial institution, etc.
The regulations also stipulate that your broker must verify your identity before signing a brokerage contract. He must conduct this verification using a valid photo document issued by a government such as a driver’s licence, passport, Medicare card, etc. Note that the broker must also make sure that the confidentiality of the information you provide to him is respected and protected.
Loyalty and representation
The broker is bound by a duty of loyalty to his client. He must promote your interests and protect your rights. The Real Estate Brokerage Act requires the broker, for instance, to present you with all the properties available on the market that meet your requirements, or to explain to you why he chose not to present you with certain ones.
Duty to advise
Your OACIQ licensed professional also has a duty to advise and inform you objectively by providing all the explanations needed to fully understand and appreciate the services he is providing. In practice, your broker must explain and make sure that you fully understand all the clauses of the forms he is asking you to sign.
The Real Estate Brokerage Act enforced by the OACIQ prescribes many obligations for licensed professionals. One of them is availability. When he cannot ensure a reasonable degree of availability, the broker must designate another licence holder as a replacement. To get the services you are entitled to, he must also take the necessary measures to ensure that all communications are dealt with in his absence and that all files are properly followed up. When the broker is unable to meet his obligations, the agency executive officer takes over and ensures that the broker is replaced.
You feel that your broker is not fulfilling his duties and obligations?
The OACIQ’s mission is to protect you. Don’t hesitate to contact Info OACIQ. An information agent will be able to inform you about the duties and obligations of your broker and direct you to the appropriate resources.
You may also check the protection mechanisms made available to you in accordance with the Real Estate Brokerage Act.