The Québec Federation of Real Estate Boards (QFREB) says it is shocked by a new provincial bill that would allow for-sale-by-owner companies to hire real estate coaches that are not licensed with a real estate brokerage.
“Unlike real estate brokers, real estate coaches are not regulated, do not adhere to a professional code of conduct and cannot be held liable for errors, professional misconduct or bad advice that occurs in the exercise of their functions,” says Patrick Juanéda, president of QFREB. “They act as real estate brokers, yet do not hold a licence, do not subscribe to professional insurance and do not contribute to an indemnity fund that protects consumers in the event of a problem.”
Greater Montreal Real Estate Board (GMREB) president Mathieu Cousineau says, “The government’s proposal, which does not clearly define a brokerage operation, will contribute to creating more confusion among the public. We believe the government should better define the activities included in a brokerage operation and reserve them for licence holders, thereby improving the protection of the public.”
The bill is designed to improve the regulation of the financial sector and the protection of money deposits, says the board. It includes an in-depth reform of the Real Estate Brokerage Act (REBA), which governs real estate brokers operating in Quebec.
“In refusing to recognize that consulting services are an integral part of the definition of a brokerage transaction, the minister is maintaining the double standards that exist between duly regulated real estate brokers and real estate coaches,” says Juanéda. “As a result, he is missing a tremendous opportunity to better protect the public.”
The GMREB says, “Although it is too early to comment on the entire bill, the GMREB will analyze the proposal in further detail, but urges the Minister of Finance to carefully assess the potential impact of the proposed changes. It goes without saying that the GMREB invites the Minister of Finance to consult with industry stakeholders on the issues raised by this proposal and its effects on consumer protection.”