Helpful Resources

BC Real Estate FAQ – Important Information About Your Upcoming Real Estate Transaction

What should I be concerned about regarding Asbestos, Underground Oil Tanks, and Knob and Tube Wiring?2018-02-04T23:05:31+00:00

These are 3 key areas which are commonly found in older homes and can be expensive to remediate.

Asbestos can often be found in homes typically built before 1990. Asbestos fibres pose health issues if inhaled however if left undisturbed or encapsulated the danger can be minimal. We suggest hiring a qualified hazardous materials handler to test and, if needed, provide estimate of remediation costs.

Underground oil storage tanks can be found in homes built prior to 1970 and are more prevalent in specific areas within the region. Today’s regulations require the tanks are removed from the ground. Insurance companies will not provide new coverage if the presence of a tank is confirmed. We suggest hiring a buried tank scanning specialist to determine if an underground oil storage tank exists on the property as contamination may be expensive to remediate.

Knob and tube wiring is difficult to insure for new policies and upgrading may be required. We can recommend electrical inspectors to examine the percentage of live knob and tube in the property and provide an estimate of upgrading.

How do I Make A Complaint?2018-02-04T23:02:53+00:00

The Victoria Real Estate Board’s Professional Standards committee has a complaints process. More information can be found here

What Are The Sellers Responsibilities Concerning Known Defects?2018-02-04T23:04:18+00:00

Sellers have the obligation to disclose known latent defects to buyers under the Multiple Listing Service. A latent defect is one that is not obvious on a reasonable inspection of the property which would have a substantial impact on the buyer’s use or enjoyment of the property. The Listing Agent would have asked the seller if they have knowledge of material latent defects when completing the Property Condition Disclosure Statement at the time of listing the property for sale. If a buyer believes that information about a known latent defect has been withheld by the seller, legal opinion should be obtained.

Stigmatized properties: these include properties where a death or haunting may have occurred. They are not required to be disclosed unless a client specifically asks the question. While these may not affect the market value of a home, certain buyers are highly sensitive. Be sure to advise us if this is a concern to you.

How do I find out about property transfer taxes?2018-02-04T22:53:42+00:00

BC’s Property Transfer Tax is a land registration tax payable (by the buyer) when an application is made at any Land Title Office to register changes to a certificate of title. The Property Transfer Tax is distinct from property tax, which is the amount paid on an annual basis for services received from local government.

The Property Transfer Tax rate is 1 per cent on the first $200,000 of the fair market value of the property, plus 2 per cent on the fair market value over $200,000. For more information from the BC Ministry of Small Business and Revenue, click here.

Can I rescind a Contract of Purchase and Sale?2018-02-04T22:57:33+00:00

Once accepted by the seller and buyer, a Contract of Purchase and Sale becomes a binding agreement that creates certain responsibilities that each party has agreed to accept and/or perform.

Can I rescind a listing contract?2018-02-04T22:58:07+00:00

The Multiple Listing Contract is a legally binding contract. Rescission can only occur with mutual agreement by both parties.

How do I get my deposit back?2018-02-04T22:58:30+00:00

The Real Estate Services Act states that a real estate brokerage holds deposits with respect to a trade in real estate as a stakeholder. The money is held for the transaction and not on behalf of one of the parties. If a party does not remove a subject clause, or the trade is for some other reason not going to complete, the brokerage requires the signature of both the buyer and seller in order to release the deposit. If either party will not agree to the release of the deposit, then the parties may have to apply to court for a determination of the deposit issue. You may also want to refer to the “Information about the contract” section of the Contract of Purchase and Sale under #2 – Deposits.

Can I find out if a licensee has had any complaints filed against them?2018-02-04T22:53:59+00:00

Disciplinary orders are posted here. The Council does not provide information about whether complaints have been filed about individuals; only orders related to a finding of professional misconduct are posted.

How can I find out whether someone is licensed under the Real Estate Services Act?2018-02-04T22:54:08+00:00

Use our online Licensee Search to verify if an individual has a valid BC real estate licence. Our database will tell you whether a particular individual or company is licensed, the kind of real estate services they are licensed to provide, and their business contact information. Only information related to currently licensed individuals is available.

Does a licensee have an obligation to have known about a defect and should they have advised me of it?2018-02-04T22:54:16+00:00

Sellers and their licensees have an obligation to disclose known latent defects to buyers. A latent defect is one that is not obvious on a reasonable inspection of the property and which would have a substantial impact on the buyer’s use or enjoyment of the property. If a buyer believes that information about a known latent defect has been withheld by the seller or the seller’s licensee, legal advice should be obtained.

How do I file a complaint about a real estate licensee?2018-02-04T22:54:24+00:00

If you have been involved in a trade in real estate in which you believe a real estate licensee may have acted improperly, or you have engaged a brokerage to provide you with rental property management or strata management services, and believe that licensee has not acted properly, you may contact the Real Estate Council to file a complaint.

The Real Estate Council is not empowered to resolve commission disputes, make monetary settlements or adjudicate contract matters. To find out more, read Making a Complaint About a Licensee or contact the Council and request a Complaints Package at 604-683-9664, toll-free 1-877-683-9664, or by email at info @

Looking for more detailed information? Check the BCREA and RECBC websites listed below.
Real Estate Council Of BC
BC Real Estate Association

Important Documents


The best way to be prepared is to do some research. Here are some documents that will help you understand the process moving forward.

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