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June 30, 2021 – With British Columbians entering Step 3 of the province’s Restart Plan on July 1, the Real Estate Council of BC (RECBC), the Office of the Superintendent of Real Estate (OSRE) and the British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) are reminding consumers and real estate professionals that while open houses and in-person showings can now resume, health and safety should continue to be a priority.
RECBC, OSRE and BCREA have updated their recommendations on open houses to align with the Government of BC’s lifting of the COVID-19 health restrictions. In 2020, the regulators and the association issued joint statements strongly urging real estate professionals to refrain from holding open houses or in-person showings, and to use virtual tools wherever possible. Now, as BC enters Step 3 at a time when real estate markets across the province are extremely active, RECBC, OSRE and BCREA caution that clear and open communication between clients and real estate professionals continues to be essential.
Erin Seeley, CEO of RECBC, noted “It is important for the real estate industry to maintain public trust and confidence by protecting consumers. With market activity at sustained high levels throughout BC, real estate agents must maintain high standards of professionalism, ensuring their clients are well-informed about all aspects of the services they provide and acting in their clients’ best interests.”
Micheal Noseworthy, Superintendent of Real Estate, said “We want to thank consumers and real estate licensees for their cooperation during these challenging times. We know that the safety of all British Columbians remains a priority as we move through the Restart Plan over the coming months.”
Real estate professionals must also continue to follow the advice and recommendations of the regulators, public health officials, and government to cautiously move through the BC Restart Plan. Brokerages are advised to review the Communicable Disease Prevention Guide for Employers issued by WorkSafeBC to reduce the risk of workplace transmission of COVID-19 and other communicable diseases.
Darlene Hyde, CEO of BCREA, said “BC REALTORS® rose to the challenge presented by the COVID-19 pandemic with hard work and innovative thinking. As BC moves into Step 3, Realtors can continue to support the move forward to the next step and help keep communities safe by following best practices and maintaining clear and open communications with their clients.”
Consumers with questions or concerns about real estate services can find unbiased, independent information about buying and selling property, along with potential risks and issues to watch out for, on RECBC’s website www.recbc.ca/consumers.
RECBC’s Professional Standards Advisors are available to answer questions about real estate transactions and the services to expect from a licensed real estate professional at [email protected].
RECBC has also published updated FAQs for real estate professionals and consumers, addressing questions and issues that may arise in the course of providing real estate services, as health restrictions are lifted.
As announced previously by the Minister of Finance, RECBC and OSRE will be integrating with BC Financial Services Authority (BCFSA) to create a single integrated regulator of B.C.’s financial services sector. Following the integration, expected to take place later this summer, BCFSA will be the single regulator for real estate with authority over real estate education and licensing as well as investigations and discipline for licensed and unlicensed real estate activity.
For more information contact:
Sarah Lusk, Communications Director
Email: [email protected] Tel: (604) 306-2066