Currently in Quebec, a broker can represent both the buyer and the seller in a real estate transaction. That is to say, with a sales brokerage contract, a broker can draw up an offer to purchase for a buyer. The buyer is considered as being unrepresented, albeit with the promise of fair treatment.
But people do not always see things that way. In fact, many buyers prefer to contact a listing agent directly in the hopes of getting a lower price or that their offer to purchase will be treated preferentially. From a legal standpoint, however, they actually have nobody “on their side.”
On June 10, 2022, Bill 5 will be enacted, prohibiting a real estate broker from representing both the buyer (purchase brokerage contract) and the seller (sales brokerage contract) in a transaction. One of the two contracts must be cancelled. The purchase brokerage contract is the less commonly used.
I see this as a step toward prohibiting dual agency, and while it says so semantically, in reality Bill 5 has less impact than it would appear. So to answer the question, “What does it change?” my answer is not much, because a broker in Quebec will still be able to represent a seller and be the one to draw up the purchase offer from a buyer by providing them with fair treatment.
My two cents: my personal recommendation to a buyer who wants to make an informed decision in a given market is always this: shop around for a broker before you shop around for a property, And do business with that broker, and that broker only, whether it’s to purchase a new property, a property being resold, or to make an offer to purchase when the seller is being represented by the same broker you chose.