Three Key Real Estate Rules That Effect You in 2022

As a kid I recall rules being a pain. It made no sense to me that I needed to go to bed at 8:00 PM in the summer when it was still light out, I wasn’t the least bit tired and all the other neighbourhood kids got to stay up. Nor did it make sense that I couldn’t talk with my mouth full when I very clearly had something important to say. How was saying nothing better than letting it all spill out?

But rules are there for a reason – social rules, healthy living rules, and yes, even rules that govern real estate transactions are there to help make life better, safer, and more fair.

On January 1, 2022 the Manitoba Securities Commission – Real Estate division’s new Real Estate Services Act came into effect. These are essentially “rules” that outline how the Real Estate Industry in Manitoba should operate.

Unlike the rules of our youth, these rules make a whole lot of sense for anyone in the market to buy or sell a home. Three key changes allow for greater consumer protection, through:

  1. Use of service agreements – homebuyers and sellers now have to enter into written service agreements. The agreement outlines what services the brokerage/agent will provide and ensures that all parties are fully aware of what they should expect when working together.
  2. Use of modern technology – Electronic agreements including Offers to Purchase and digital signatures can now be used/accepted.
  3. Fines and Fees – As a deterrent to misconduct, a registrant can now be fined up to $500,000. Those doing business in an unregistered capacity can be assigned monetary penalties or payments of costs, or can be ordered to cease and desist.

Buying a home for most of us will be the single largest purchase that we make in our lifetime and as such we need to know that our best interests are being served, the public is being protected and business processes continue to be modernized and streamlined.

So, rather than balk at these new rule changes, we need to cheer as they are in our best interest. And while you are cheering, don’t forget to eat all the vegetables (Brussel sprouts included) on your plate!

~Ainsley Cunningham

Founder and Project Coordinator, MoneySmart Manitoba
Manager, Education & Communications, Manitoba Financial Services Agency

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