Realtor Leo Ronse has concerns the regulations aimed at preventing fraud will also impact home buyers, sellers, and realtors. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance)

Langley realtors reject regulations as too strict

Langley home sellers are among those worried new

New regulations designed to crack down on fraud will also hurt honest real estate agents, say realtors in Langley and the Fraser Valley.

This winter, the Office of the Superintendent of Real Estate has put forward new rules that are aimed at banning realtors from representing both buyer and seller in a real estate transaction.

The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board, (FVREB) which includes realtors from North Delta to Abbotsford and Chilliwack, is protesting the ban on “dual agency.”

“It’s going to affect the buyers and sellers,” said Leo Ronse, a 22-year veteran realtor in Langley.

As long at there is transparency and professionalism, dual agency is not a problem, Ronse said.

But the province’s real estate watch dog is ending the practice to prevent fraud, particularly a type of fraud known as “shadow flipping.”

In shadow flipping, a realtor approaches a homeowner, often an elderly or longtime resident, and offers to sell their home for them. A home that should be valued at $1.5 million might be sold to an associate of the realtor for $1 million. The new owner then turns around and re-sells the house again at proper market rates, with the buyer pocketing the difference and the realtor collecting commissions on both sales.

Police investigations in Metro Vancouver have also turned up links between money laundering through B.C. casinos and the purchase of high-end real estate in the region.

Ronse argues that the problems with shadow flipping are primarily in Vancouver.

Beyond shadow flipping, there are legitimate reasons for re-selling houses, including people who buy houses, fix them up, and then sell them again as a business, Ronse pointed out.

The rules can be so restrictive that a realtor can be entirely forced out of a transaction, dropping representation of both buyer and seller, Ronse said.

If he were working to sell a house, and a client of his from another transaction asked to look at it, Ronse said the new rules might mean he would have to stop representing both of them – the rules would say he knew too much about the potential buyer. Both seller and buyer would have to find new realtors to represent them.

The FVREB is also pushing back, writing a letter to the Real Estate Council of B.C.

“Requiring licensees [realtors] to walk away from these clients at their time of greatest need and emotional pressure – during the offer and negotiation – does these clients a great disservice, eliminates choice, and trivializes their relationship with their agent, which has developed over weeks, months and often years.”

The B.C. Privacy Act and professional standards already cover many of the issues at stake, the letter argues.

Ronse said the solution is to hammer the bad realtors who are ripping off clients with heavy fines.

“If you fine them a comission, who cares, they’ll just do it again,” he said.

The new rules are expected to come into force this spring.

Just Posted

Developers to unveil plan to transform Aldergrove mall into new town centre

Community to find out new Aldergrove Town Centre plan for dormant 10-acre lot in heart of downtown.

Tardi and team playoff bound in junior curling worlds tonight

Friday night Team Canada’s men’s team faces off against Norway, hoping to secure a spot in the finals

Langley’s Hong takes silver in Winter Games vault

The Langley athlete completed a tricky move in competition to clinch the podium.

First phase of 208th widening in Langley Township budget

Work could star this year, if the council approves the first project.

Injured nurse back in the saddle after horse riding accident

Keya Milaire has been recovering from an accident that occurred on May 24.

National Energy Board approves Trans Mountain pipeline again

Next step includes cabinet voting on the controversial expansion

Girl heard saying ‘Help my Dad’ in suspicious radio message on Vancouver Island

Police asking for help following mysterious signals from somewhere between Comox and Sayward

Reports of rashes prompt closure of all Harrison Hot Springs pools

Public pool available after Fraser Health shut down all five mineral pools until further notice

Man sentenced to 7 years for smuggling drugs and shooting at border guards in Sumas

Nathan Hall was arrested in Abbotsford in 2013 after day-long manhunt

No treatment for highly infectious measles, says doctor

10 cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver as of Friday

Two more measles cases confirmed in Vancouver

It brings the number of total cases within the city connected to the outbreak to ten

B.C. Special Olympics officially underway in Vernon

Athlete’s Oath: “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

Vancouver Aquarium wants your help to name a baby killer whale

The public helped name Springer’s first calf, Spirit, and is being asked to help with the second

Guards protest firing of fellow officers charged with assault at B.C. prison

Corrections officers demonstrated in Maple Ridge on Friday afternoon

Most Read