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History of Alberta Real Estate Act

The History of Alberta's Real Estate Act

Until 1996, Consumers were vulnerable. Surveys conducted in the late 80s and early 90s showed that Buyers thought the Agent they were dealing with was representing them (the Buyers).

In fact both Agents were working for the Seller.

No one owed the Buyer loyalty, obedience, confidentiality, full accounting, disclosure and non-delegation (Fiduciary or trust duties). Often the Buyer's confidences were betrayed, information that affected the value of the property was withheld or the Agent pressured the Buyer to pay more.

However, Sellers were not receiving the full benefit of the Agents they had hired either - the Agent would often reveal important information about the Seller to the Buyer, withhold information about the Buyer from the Seller, advise the Buyer and even negotiate a better price for the Buyer.

Obviously, Consumers were in a bad situation - Buyers and Sellers were relying on Agents that they assumed would keep their confidences, be loyal to only them, etc. There was a lot of undisclosed unintentional dual representation (agency) taking place. It was difficult for the Agent to be fair, honest, show reasonable care and skill and not misrepresent.

Obviously it would be almost impossible to educate the entire population, so the Government of Alberta decided to make the Law reflect the understanding and expectations of the Consumer and Canadian Courts.

On July 1, 1996 the Alberta Government proclaimed the Real Estate Act.
 
Now every Albertan can have an Agent represent only his interests.

Please let me know if you would like me to be your real estate agent and look after your interests.

Copyright 2003 Janet Bossert

 
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