Manitoba agents under the spotlight

Investors in Manitoba may be greeted by a new kind of real estate agent and landscape in the future, if the government gets its way.

The Manitoba government plans to have a public consultation on real estate services and personnel and change legislation, if necessary. Minister Ron Lemieux said this move is a direct result of agents not doing a very good job of explaining the legal issues and other details when buying a house or condo. Input is also being sought on agent fees, duties of agents and bidding up prices.

Local agents, however, are not happy, citing that they are already regulated enough. "We love regulation as it weeds out the bad apples but I do believe this is just another move by our government to get involved more in our industry and control citizens," says Geoff Archambault from Century 21 Advanced Realty in Manitoba.

Working with the Manitoba Real Estate Association, Lemieux says the government hopes to change Manitoba’s Real Estate Brokers Act - a piece of legislation that has not been changed in the last 35 years. "The legislation needs to change," Archambault tells CREW. "It needs to be modernized, especially with regards to the electronic signature. That would be a good move but I hope this exercise is not just another waste of tax payer's money."

Earlier this year the government passed legislation requiring warranties on new homes. It will take effect in 2014 and the province will also launch public consultations on renovations and home repairs to ensure homeowners are getting fair treatment.

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