But the two types of licensees have very different jobs.
Strata management companies and their strata managers are legally obligated to protect and promote the interests of their strata corporation clients. Specifically, the strata management company and the strata manager have the following common law and statutory duties:
- undivided loyalty to the strata corporation,
- to obey all lawful instructions of the strata corporation (by the elected strata council on its behalf),
- to keep the confidences of the strata corporation,
- to exercise reasonable care and skill in performing all assigned duties, and
- to account for all of the strata corporation’s money and property that is held or received on behalf of the strata corporation by the strata management company or its related strata managers.
As an agent of the strata corporation, the strata management company and its strata managers are obligated to act on the instructions of the strata corporation which are given by the strata council.
This agency relationship is important for REALTORS® to recognize. When a transaction is pending, and a REALTOR® needs information about a strata unit or complex quickly, they may expect that a strata manager can provide it. However, some information can only be released with the permission of a strata corporation or through established forms, such as the Form B Information Certificate.
Providing documents related to a strata lot transaction is a very small piece of the work of a strata manager. The fees articulated in the Strata Property Act and Regulation don’t adequately reflect either the amount of work required to produce these documents or the level of risk involved, especially given the fact that the turnaround time requested is often quite short.
Real estate consumers can expect the following services from REALTORS®:
- help clarifying the type of home they need and can afford,
- information about available properties and sources of financing,
- appointments to view available properties,
- accurate answers to any questions about a specific home,
- explanation of the forms used in a real estate transaction and assistance in making a written offer to purchase,
- presentation of a written offer to the seller, and
- information about the steps necessary to complete the purchase, once the offer is accepted.
REALTORS® can enter into a variety of relationships with consumers. Those include sole agency (brokerage or designated agent represents only the buyer or only the seller), limited dual agency (brokerage or a licensee represents both the buyer and the seller) and no agency (brokerage or its designated agent limits services to activities such as completing paperwork and showing properties, rather than advising on prices or negotiating).
When representing the seller of a strata unit, a REALTOR® is advised by the Real Estate Council of BC to obtain all of the relevant documents, including the Form B Information Certificate, at the time of listing. This helps the REALTOR® to better represent the seller in the sale of their property, because some information is only available through the Form B Information Certificate.
Most of this information is reprinted with permission from the following pages on the Real Estate Council of BC’s website: