News Release Archive

  The Nova Scotia government is enabling the province's real
  estate industry to become self-regulating, a move that will
  benefit real estate buyers and sellers, taxpayers and the
  The Real Estate Trading Act, recently passed by the provincial
  legislature, will empower the Nova Scotia real estate industry
  to regulate itself, including the licensing and setting of
  professional standards for its members.
  "Right now, the taxpayers of Nova Scotia are subsidizing the
  regulation of the real estate industry," Business and Consumer
  Services Minister Sandy Jolly said. "The industry has been
  asking government for some time now to allow it to regulate
  itself, as is done in six other provinces."
  Real estate sales persons are licensed by the Consumer and
  Commercial Relations Division of Business and Consumer
  Services. Division staff also investigate complaints and, if
  necessary, conduct hearings into disciplinary matters. These
  and other administrative matters will become the
  responsibility of the Nova Scotia Real Estate Commission,
  whose members will be appointed from government, the real
  estate association and licensed sales persons.
  The commission will also eliminate confusion and duplication
  by creating a single point of contact for the public for real
  estate issues, rather than the two that exist today: the Nova
  Scotia Real Estate Association and government.
  Ms. Jolly said the industry has shown it is ready for this
  responsibility. "The Real Estate Brokers Licensing Act had not
  kept pace with the changes in the industry, and Nova Scotia's
  real estate professionals have made up for this by introducing
  their own measures to protect buyers and sellers," she said.
  For example, the Nova Scotia Real Estate Association has
  established a code of ethics for sales persons and brokers.
  Also, a potential buyer must sign a form indicating that he or
  she consents to a sales person acting on behalf of both the
  buyer and the seller. Both these items are not covered by
  current legislation but are initiatives of Nova Scotia's real
  estate professionals.
  In 1994-95 the government held only five hearings involving
  the province's 1,350 agents and brokers. Also, licensing
  agents is a fairly routine matter once the applicant passes
  the examination. "With this in mind, our staff and financial
  resources could be put to better use protecting consumers
  where it is really needed,"  the minister said. "The public
  will still have representation on the new commission, just as
  the public is represented on the self-governing bodies of the
  legal and medical professions.
  "This is another example of government getting out of a
  business it shouldn't be in, and focusing our resources where
  they are most needed," Ms. Jolly said. It costs the province
  approximately $160,000 annually to administer the current
  process, but it only takes in $50,000 in licensing fees.
  Speaking on behalf of the industry, Marg Bowlen, president of
  the Nova Scotia Real Estate Association, said realtors support
  the legislation. "This is the most important regulatory change
  in the past 40 years to effect the real estate business, both
  for industry members and the public," she said.
  Contact: David MacNeil 902-424-2933
  mfm                     Dec. 27, 1996 - 2:30 p.m.