The Disclosure of Representation in Trading Services is a new document as part of the June 15, 2018, changes to the Real Estate Services Act in British Columbia and a partial replacement of the previous Working with a Realtor form.
The basic idea behind Disclosure of Representation in Trading Services (DORTS) is to inform a client of a Realtor—both sellers and buyers—what their rights are in the relationship, and the duties and responsibilities the Realtor owes to their client.
The Benefits of Representation
When considering a real estate transaction, consumers must decide if they wish to be a Client of a licensed real estate professional or act independently as an Unrepresented Party.
When choosing a licensed real estate professional to represent you, you can expect as their Client:
- Expert advice: BC Realtors receive specialized training.
- Protection: licensed BC Realtors are regulated by the provincial Real Estate Services Act which aims to protect the rights of consumers.
- Oversight: the Real Estate Council of BC works to ensure BC Realtors are competent and knowledgeable. They can investigate and discipline individuals for professional misconduct.
What to Expect as a Client
Unlike an Unrepresented Party, as a Client of a real estate professional, BC Realtors owe you the following special legal duties:
- Loyalty: they must put your interests first.
- Avoid conflicts of interest: any situation that affects their duty to act in your best interest must be avoided.
- Full disclosure: they must provide all information they know that may affect your decisions.
- Confidentiality: they cannot reveal your private information without your permission.
Your Options as a Client
In BC, licensed Realtors provide their services through companies known as “brokerages”. When you become a Client of a real estate professional, the agreement that you sign is with their Brokerage.
Depending on the Brokerage you choose, you will be represented in one of two ways:
- Brokerage Agency: all Realtors employed by the firm represent you. All are bound by the same legal duties described above.
- Designated Agent: Only your chosen Realtor represents you. They cannot share your confidential information with other Brokerage agents without your permission.
Before receiving any trading services from a Realtor, they must provide you with the DORTS form. This not only applies to residential properties. It must also be supplied to those working with a real estate professional to rent or lease property and for commercial real estate transactions.
Once you have reviewed the DORTS document, you have the option of signing the form to confirm that you received this consumer protection information.
Your agent must sign the disclosure form and submit it to their Brokerage. If, after reading the DORTS document, you decide that you do not need a Realtor to represent you, they may be required to present you with the Disclosure of Risks to UnrepresentedParties form.
Why do we have DORTS and not Working with a Realtor (WWR)?
Before we had DORTS we had the Working with a Realtor (WWR) document.
The June 2018 replaced WWR with the DORTS and some other documents (Privacy Notice and Consent)
There are several reasons for the 2018 changes on how Realtors are regulated in BC.
Prior to the the 2018 updates to how Realtors are regulated in BC, there have been some high profile cases of Realtors doing things they should not have done. We also saw prices for real estate in Vancouver increase very quickly. (see below)
There is some speculation the changes to the Real Estate Services Act was the result of the BC government and media blaming the real estate industry over rapidly rising real estate prices in the Vancouver area.
For more information on the Disclosure of Representation in Trading Services, visit the Real Estate Council of British Columbia’s website.