Real Estate Coaching: Lack of Protection for the Public

L'ÎLE-DES-SŒURS, QC, Oct. 9, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - The Québec Federation of Real Estate Boards (QFREB) is responding to allegations made by DuProprio on October 7 in its press release. The QFREB would like to reiterate that consumers who are advised by a real estate coach do not have access to any protections, as these coaches offer no guarantees, they are not subject to any professional norms nor codes of conduct, and are not covered by compensation funds or professional liability insurance. In addition, these stakeholders advise and support selling-clients without adhering to the requirements of the Real Estate Brokerage Act and its regulations. It is therefore important to avoid widespread confusion in the property resale sector. The public must be able to easily recognize what constitutes a real estate agency or broker, and what does not. The QFREB is therefore asking Québec's Finance Minister to clarify the Real Estate Brokerage Act in order to eliminate any confusion among the public in order to better protect consumers.

Freedom of choice in real estate: a fundamental right that the QFREB respects

A selling-owner who chooses to sell their property by themselves is a fundamental right that has always existed and that is respected by the QFREB. It is the confusion between the services provided by for-sale-by-owner (FSBO) companies, including DuProprio, and the services provided by real estate professionals that makes it necessary to update the Real Estate Brokerage Act in the spirit of public protection.

If we look at DuProprio, the company has significantly changed its business model in recent years. At first, it focused on the sale of advertising services such as posters, web ads and photos. Then it gradually added services that are identical to those provided by real estate brokers.

Why is the public better protected when working with a real estate broker?

Real estate brokers are governed by the Real Estate Brokerage Act and the regulations that stem from this law. Real estate brokers' professional services must comply with ethical requirements and certain professional duties. Consumers who use the services of a broker are protected by the Fonds d'indemnisation du courtage immobilier (compensation fund) and the Professional Liability Insurance Fund.

The public is at risk when using FSBO companies

It is troubling to see stakeholders who provide services that are part of a brokerage transaction and who give themselves the title of real estate coach or adviser. In doing so, they usurp a part of the real estate broker professional designation. The public expects to be protected when using a real estate broker or a real estate coach/adviser. These new stakeholders are confusing the public.

Real estate coaches and advisers do not take any accredited mandatory continuing education training. This goes against everything that is being done in Québec's professional community.

The Superior Court has repeatedly stated that the intervention of a real estate broker reduces risks

The risks associated with these FSBO companies have been documented in several cases heard before the courts. The Superior Court has repeatedly affirmed that the intervention of a real estate broker increases the pool of buyers, makes the transaction secure and reduces risks.

The QFREB asks the Minister to clarify the Act in order to improve the notion of public protection in the property resale sector

To eliminate confusion and clarify what constitutes a real estate brokerage transaction, the QFREB proposes clarifying the definition of a brokerage transaction. The law must determine what constitutes real estate brokerage and what does not. When a company assists or advises the public regarding a property resale transaction, they are engaging in real estate brokerage and must therefore adhere to regulatory requirements.

About the Québec Federation of Real Estate Boards

The Québec Federation of Real Estate Boards is a non-profit organization composed of Québec's 12 real estate boards and the close to 13,000 real estate brokers who are their members. Its mission is to promote and protect the interests of Québec's real estate industry so that the boards and their members can successfully meet their business objectives.

 

SOURCE Fédération des chambres immobilières du Québec

For further information: Manon Stébenne, Manager, Communications and Public Relations, 514-762-0212, ext. 157, manon.stebenne@fciq.ca

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