Letter: Province’s attempt to address escalating housing prices ‘misguided’

Editor: In what was probably a well intentioned but, in fact, a sadly misguided attempt to address the issue of housing affordability in B.C. the provincial government is making changes to the regulatory structure of the real estate industry.

The message delivered was that the industry has not done an adequate job of self regulation. A few facts seem to be missing. The government creates the regulatory rules through the Real Estate Services Act and the Real Estate Council enforces the act as required.

As a 39-year realtor and past real estate council member I can attest that the members of the council are dedicated to protecting the public interest and vigilant in dealing with licensee who break the rules. This is our industry and we are dedicated to providing professional services and quality results for our clients. Improper behaviour is not tolerated.

Another missing fact is that all complaints against licensees are received, processed and investigated by highly trained staff, investigators, and lawyers employed by the council, not by real estate licensees.

When a disciplinary hearing is conducted the panel can include licensee and public council members. In my six years on the real estate council I sat as a panel member on about 50 disciplinary hearings and when a licensee was found to be in breach of the requirements of the act, the sanctions were significant.

The vast majority of licensees in the province are highly competent and hard working members of the community, providing high quality service to their clients.

The overwhelming majority of buyers and sellers are able to achieve their real estate goals with the assistance of their agent and trusted advisor.

Our industry will work diligently to implement the changes which will result from the recent government actions and we will continue to deliver the services our clients have come to rely on and expect.

The truly unfortunate aspect of all of recent the media attention is that it will have absolutely no effect on housing affordability. The buyers and sellers of properties create the marketplace and set the prices by their willingness to purchase and sell property.

Licensees provide the research, marketing, promotion, agency representation and negotiation skills to enable clients to achieve the desired results.

Jim McCaughan

Managing Broker, Landmark Realty Corp.

Abbotsford

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