June 2018 Update
Residential sales in the Powell River real estate market took a dip in May at 22 sales; down from April at 33. We’ve had a big bump in new listings in May at 62 which is roughly equal to the May numbers for the past two years. In those years, sales have tended to follow so this year’s dip may be indicator of a change in the market. By the May stats we were in a balanced market for the first time since March 2016. We are seeing homes sitting a little longer on the market which may suggest that buyers are taking a step back to watch and see what happens. Another factor in buyer behaviour is that having been in a rising market for two or more years, some of the pricing on new listings are perhaps too ‘optimistic’. However, there are still many interested buyers out there and well-kept, well priced homes are still moving quickly. I think we’ll continue to see steady sales in the next months with less upward pressure on prices.
Client or Unrepresented?
Recent changes to the rules by the Superintendent of Real Estate will require more disclosures by REALTORS working with buyers and sellers in real estate transactions. The first is the nature of the relationship you have with a licensed REALTOR. As a “client” you’re entitled to:
- Loyalty to you and you alone
- No conflicts of interest that would affect my ability to act in your best interests
- Full disclosure of all facts that may affect your decisions
- Protection of your private information including price, motivation and preferences
Another option is for you to act as an “unrepresented party”. In this situation, you will have none of the above protections. Any of the REALTORS you may deal with in a purchase or sale will be working with “clients” to whom they owe their complete loyalty.
You will have an opportunity to choose either a client or unrepresented party relationship as you move forward in a transaction. These rules haven’t change, but there are higher expectations for more disclosure regarding the relationship you have with your REALTOR.
Before June 15 your REALTOR was allowed, with your permission, to work with two buyers or a buyer and a seller on the same transaction. That will become very rare under the new rules. As mentioned in the previous article, your REALTOR owes you 100% loyalty as an agent. When acting for two parties in the same transaction this is not possible.
After June 15, if you call the listing agent about his/her listing, the REALTOR will need to disclose to you right away that he/she is acting for the seller and can only supply you with public, factual information. Even though you may have worked with this REALTOR in other transactions, he/she will refer you to a trusted colleague if you wish to purchase his/her listing. Alternatively, you could choose to move forward as an “Unrepresented Party”, but you will be acting entirely alone in the transaction without advice or help from the listing REALTOR. As mentioned in the previous article, this leaves you and the listing realtor in a risky situation. A listing REALTOR can work with you as a buyer on other properties, but can not be your agent for his/her listing.
New Rules and You
What can you expect to see when the new rules take effect? First you can expect to hear a lot more talk about your relationship with your REALTOR and consequent disclosure documentation. This isn’t a bad thing and need not take too much time. At times it may feel like a REALTOR is trying to ‘sign you up’, but that’s not necessarily the case. We’ll just be fulfilling our duty to ensure that you’re very clear on our relationship. More significantly, it may be frustrating to phone a listing realtor about a listing and find that the realtor is unable to sell you that house – you’ll be set up with another trusted colleague. Similarly, people who have worked with one realtor on a number of transactions over many years may be frustrated to find themselves being referred to another REALTOR. In some ways, one’s ability to make informed choices has been reduced. It’s change and practices will work themselves out over time.
Feature Listing: 14997 Saltery Rd
3 Bedrooms | 2 Bath 1669 sq ft
ROOMY, AFFORDABLE, COMFORT! ROOMY, AFFORDABLE, RURAL COMFORT! With 3 bedrooms and two baths, this neatly-kept home in the small community of Saltery Bay is a great buy. The kitchen and living room area is large and bright with an adjoining sitting room and a good-sized dining room. The bedrooms are well-away from the living area and provide quiet solitude. It’s very nicely kept and move-in ready! The yard has lots of room for gardens, creative landscaping, play space for kids and may offer an opportunity to build a shop in place of the existing large shed. A wrap-around deck is great for BBQing or enjoying the cherry, plum and apple trees! The home is 30 minutes south of the city of Powell River and only 2 minutes from the 1st ferry on the way to Vancouver. If you’re a regular commuter between the lower coast and Powell River, this location could be just the right fit. Take the 3D VIRTUAL TOUR, visit my website, or give me a call to schedule your own personal viewing.