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Our Practice Standards Advisors provide information and answer questions about the standards of conduct required of real estate professionals by the Real Estate Services Act, Real Estate Services Regulation, and Real Estate Services Rules. In addition, they also assist with inquiries related to unlicensed real estate services activity, and the standards of conduct required of real estate developers under the Real Estate Development Marketing Act. They offer confidential email or telephone service for B.C. real estate professionals, and they respond to questions from members of the public.
If you have questions about the conduct expected of a real estate professional, please review the information below, and get in touch with a Practice Standards Advisor today to learn more.
The Practice Standards Advisors are available to answer questions from members of the public who:
- Are concerned about the conduct of a real estate professional;
- Want to know more about the duties and obligations of real estate professionals; or
- Need information about real estate transactions, including unlicensed real estate activity.
If you are wondering whether you should submit a complaint to BCFSA, a conversation with a Practice Standards Advisor can help you to understand if a complaint would be appropriate.
If your concerns fall outside of BCFSA’s jurisdiction, a Practice Standards Advisor may be able to direct you to another regulatory body or law enforcement agency.
The Practice Standards Advisors provide assistance and information on practice-related topics for licensed representatives, associate brokers, and managing brokers.
There are limits to the assistance that the Practice Standards Advisors can provide. They cannot:
- Provide legal advice;
- Review transaction documents;
- Mediate disputes between professionals, your managing broker or brokerage;
- Assist with complaints that have been made to BCFSA;
- Offer opinions or assess the conduct of another professional; or
- Offer counselling or support for personal issues.
Speaking with a Practice Standards Advisor is confidential, unless information disclosed to an advisor indicates the matter presents an urgent public risk, such as misappropriation of consumer funds.
- If you are a real estate professional, before contacting the Practice Standards Advisors, try looking for the information you need in these sources:
Knowledge Base, Real Estate Services Act, Real Estate Services Regulation, or Real Estate Services Rules
- Can’t find the information you need? Your next step should be: Consulting your managing broker.
- If you cannot find an answer to your question through these sources, call or email a Practice Standards Advisor. Before you contact an advisor, keep these points in mind:
A Practice Standards Advisor cannot advise you about an open complaint. If a complaint has been made against you, it is too late to call a Practice Standards Advisor for help. The appropriate time to call an advisor for help is before a complaint is made.
Leaving a voicemail? Be detailed. The Practice Standards Advisors receive a high volume of calls every day. Sometimes, an advisor will not be available when you call, and it will be necessary for you to leave a voicemail. Voicemails are returned in the order they are received, and we endeavor to respond within one business day.
- You can help the Practice Standards Advisors to respond quickly to your inquiry, by including the following information in your voicemail:
- Your full name;
- Your brokerage;
- Your phone number;
- Briefly, your question or the general topic you need assistance with; and
- Any restrictions on your availability for a return call.
- Take notes. When discussing a question with a Practice Standards Advisor over the phone, it is useful to take detailed notes about the information provided.
- Allow one business day to receive a return call or email. The Practice Standards Advisors try to respond to all telephone and email inquiries within one business day from the time the inquiry is received. If more than a day has gone by, and you have not received a response, call us back and indicate when you previously left a message. There may have been an issue with audibility or we may not have received your message.
Please remember to speak clearly and slowly when leaving your name and contact information.
Practice Standards Advisors do not give legal advice. Responses are educational in nature and intended as general guidance.
Real estate professionals must exercise their own professional judgment in applying any guidance to their specific situation. Any guidance provided is confidential and is for the recipient’s use only.
BCFSA is not responsible for any loss or damages arising from any reliance on information obtained from the Practice Standards Advisors.
Real estate professionals are responsible for individually and independently satisfying themselves of the soundness of any information provided by a Practice Standards Advisor. If you have legal questions, you should obtain legal advice.