What is the duty of a realtor to disclose all material facts to a prospective buyer of a property?

British Columbia, Canada


The following excerpt is from Garnot v. City of Prince George et al., 2002 BCPC 720 (CanLII):

Recognizing that there are some divergences of opinion expressed on various points in the foregoing authorities, I think it is nonetheless fair to generally summarize the position in this way: A realtor has a duty to disclose all material facts known to him or her which could affect a reasonable purchaser’s willingness to enter into an agreement of purchase and sale. The listing realtor’s duty is normally satisfied, however, by making inquiries of the vendor and of other sources readily available to him or her (as, for example, by making reference to information available in the realty office concerning previous transactions involving the same property). In the absence of some reason to doubt the accuracy of the information thus obtained, however, it is not incumbent upon the realtor to inspect the premises or independently verify what he or she has been told. It must be remembered, after all, that the rule of caveat emptor (buyer beware) is still very much alive in this country, perhaps especially in cases involving real estate transactions: See, for example, Fraser-Reid v. Droumtsekas (1979) 1979 CanLII 55 (SCC), 103 D.L.R. (3d) 385 (S.C.C.0.

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