Written Service Agreements
Effective July 1, 2014, the Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA) will require industry members who establish a client relationship when trading in residential real estate, property management, or when dealing in mortgages to enter into a written service agreement with that client. Written service agreements help ensure the role of an industry professional is clear , and when clients are better informed, there is less confusion and typically, fewer disputes.
Written service agreements help industry professionals clearly and confidently communicate with clients about:
- the relationship between the parties;
- the services to be provided by the brokerage;
- the obligations and responsibilities of the parties;
- consent for collection, use and distribution of personal information of the client;
- method of calculation of remuneration or how the industry professional will be compensated; and,
- consent to obtain a credit report (for mortgage brokerage professionals).
Establishing a written service agreement with clients also offers benefits and protections to the industry professional. For example, even if a client chooses not to litigate, a written service agreement reduces the chances of dispute and dissatisfaction on the part of the client, because the client has a written record of the roles and responsibilities of all parties to the agreement.
Regardless of their sector, RECA believes all industry professionals should use written service agreements when establishing client relationships. Many commercial real estate practitioners and real estate appraisers already use written service agreements and RECA will continue to work with these sectors to meet the requirements of the Rules as they relate to written service agreements.
For more information about written service agreements in mortgage dealings, please click here.
For more information about written service agreements in residential real estate, see below:
Real Estate Council of Alberta materials
Written Service Agreements: What Residential Buyers and Sellers Need to Know (Consumer Brochure)(this is a two-sided, full colour brochure that can be printed on home/office computers. Set your printer to print on both sides and "Print to Fit." You can trim the edges from the 8.5 x 11 inch paper if you want to after printing. An additional format with two copies of the brochure on each page is available here, you can then cut down the middle of the printed page and you will have two complete copies of the brochure.)
Written Service Agreements: Enhancing Consumer Protection (article 1 in a 4-part series)
Written Service Agreements: Client vs. Customer - What's the Difference? (article 2 in a 4-part series)
Written Service Agreements: Exclusive vs. Non-Exclusive - What's the Difference? (article 3 in a 4-part series)
Written Service Agreements: Top 10 Frequently Asked Questions (article 4 in a 4-part series)
Video from the Alberta Real Estate Association
Written Service Agreements in the News
New realtor agreements aim to clear up confusion for homebuyers (video and story from Global TV Calgary)
Rule change: mandatory agreements coming to real estate transactions in Alberta (CREB Real Estate News, page 6)
New buyer's agreement comes into effect July 1 (article from the Grande Prairie Daily Herald-Tribune)
New real estate rule aims to dash disputes (article from the St. Albert Gazette)
Potential homebuyers to sign written service agreements with realtors (article from the Calgary Herald)
Mandatory service agreement now binds property buyers to their realty agent (article from Spruce Grove Examiner/Stony Plain Reporter)
Written Service Agreements will Offer Real Estate Protection (article from the Lethbridge Herald)
Real estate professionals, home buyers relationship spelled out in new agreements (article from the Edmonton Journal)
Realtor says service agreements protect bad agents (article from Canadian Real Estate Wealth Magazine)
Watch this space for more information about written service agreements in the coming weeks.