The Real Estate Council of BC has certain obligations imposed upon a buyer’s agent when acting for a buyer. You will learn about Realtor Obligations Regarding Title Searches in this video below by our good friends at Spagnuolo and Co., BC Real Estate Lawyers.
Providing Title Search and Related Documents
One of them is quite straightforward. When a suitable property is found, the buyer has been or will be, as a condition of the contract, provided with the title search, information on easements, covenants, etc. So that’s prior to subject removal and it is black and white. It is one of the obligations imposed on a realtor.
Importance of a Title Search
Also the very first edition of the open house by BCREA Leslie Howard, the President Chief Executive Officer of the Real Estate Omissions Insurance Corp talked about claims and talked about the importance of a title search. Not knowing the client, not knowing title and what is there, what do the charges mean? Has the client been told about them? Have they been told to go see a lawyer or get legal advice on these things?
Is there a Liability on Realtors?
So there’s no doubt there’s some potential liability on realtors. In fact, there have been cases where realtors have been found to be negligent. The examples are realtors being negligent for such things as not properly advising on restrictive covenants, on rent charges, on building schemes and other type things. There is liability on a realtor.
So how does a realtor comply with this?
Advise client to consult a lawyer
Well, you can advise a client to consult with their lawyer. It is a cost to the client and it is inconvenient to the client.
Realtor can review charges
You can review the charges on your own cost to you, risk to you.
Use a third-party company
Or you can use a third-party such as Terra firma which provides title review service.
These are three different options. There may be more, but you need to do this with your clients when you’re acting for a buyer.