Best Practices for Avoiding Conflicts of Interest

Avoiding conflicts of interest and working in the best interests of your clients have always been among the most important duties of a real estate professional.

Real estate professionals in BC cannot represent parties with competing interests in the same transaction. This means that managing the potential for conflicts of interest at the start of your relationship with a consumer is very important.

Here are a few simple, proactive steps you can take to avoid conflicts of interests.

  1. Communicate clearly, early and often
    Before you begin working for a client, clearly describe your duties, obligations and the scope of the services you will be providing. Clearly discuss the types of conflicts that may arise, and options on how you and your client may resolve them. Let the client know what your obligations are under the Real Estate Services Act, Regulation and Rules.
  2. Standardize your processes and procedures
    Run your business like a business. Mistakes and poor or untimely communications occur when things get busy and crucial steps are missed. Standardized processes and checklists can help ensure that this does not happen to you.
  3. Remember your role
    You are a trusted advisor with special expertise. You must always act in your client’s best interest, taking reasonable steps to avoid any conflicts of interest. If a conflict does arise, you must promptly and fully disclose it to the client.
  4. Deal appropriately with conflicts of interests as they arise
    Unanticipated conflicts can arise. What should you do in situations where your clients suddenly and unexpectedly develop competing interests?

Best Practice Advice for Conflicts of Interest

  • Discuss potential conflicts at onset of client relationship
  • Review all disclosure forms that may be presented
  • Communicate clearly, early and often
  • Remember who you work for
  • Deal appropriately with conflicts of interests as they arise

Published on May 04, 2018