Contracts can only be cancelled with the mutual consent of the parties.
In BC, REALTORS® use standard form real estate contracts. The wording and terms of these contracts were prepared by lawyers and tested in court. Multiple Listing, Buyer Agency, and Exclusive Listing contracts are made between the real estate brokerage (often referred to as “the agency”) and the client (the seller or buyer).
Realtors work within a legal relationship called 'designated agency'*. This relationship exists between you, the principal, and your Realtor. (The brokerage your Realtor works for is the contracting party, not your agent). The essence of the agency relationship is that the Realtor has the authority to represent you. Note that while the Realtor may be your designated agent, the managing broker is the representative of the brokerage and is responsible for the actions of their Realtors.
*It’s also possible for a Realtor to assist you via a 'customer relationship'. A Realtor who represents you in this way isn’t your agent and has no fiduciary duties to you. A Realtor giving you customer representation can:
- Explain real estate terms, practices and forms;
- Assist in screening or viewing properties;
- Prepare and present all offers and counter-offers at your direction;
- Inform you of lenders and their policies; and
- Identify and estimate costs involved in a transaction.
If you’ve signed a standard form, including:
- a Multiple Listing Contract;
- an Exclusive Buyer Agency Contract; or
- an Exclusive Listing Contract,
you may be able to cancel the contract early if the other party to the contract (your Realtor’s company) agrees.
If you have a concern here is what you should do:
- Discuss your concerns with your Realtor and work out solutions to these issues. Make your instructions in writing and keep notes.
- If your concerns are not addressed, contact your Realtor’s managing broker. Make meeting requests in writing and advise the managing broker why you want to see them in advance.
- If your concerns are still not resolved, contact your lawyer to discuss your options.
- The REBGV can’t unilaterally cancel your listing or buyer agency contract. It can assist you with problems or disputes by contacting your Realtor’s managing broker.
REBGV isn’t empowered to regulate members’ commissions/fees, service levels, services provided, or their civility to you. For these issues, contact your Realtor’s managing broker.
It is a breach of the REALTOR® Code of Ethics:
- to suggest to a potential client that another Realtor’s listing or buyer agency contract should be cancelled early, or to suggest that another member’s contract should be unconditionally released
- to make direct contact with other Realtor’s client(s) if they do not have advance permission
- to publicly discredit another Realtor or brokerage