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Sales data access can lead to more informed purchases

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Ephraim Vecina | 03 Jun 2016, 08:15 AM Agree 0
Granting unrestricted public access to MLS data would allow buyers and brokers to avoid the red-hot bidding wars that characterize Canada’s most in-demand housing markets
  • Hans Kopp | 03 Jun 2016, 10:49 AM Agree 0
    Will the public pay for that information the same as Realtors do?
    And what Realtor doesn't give his Buyer client all the recent comparable sales so they can make an informed decision as to what to offer or not to offer since there are a lot of Realtors out there who purposely undervalue a property to encourage bidding wars?
  • Miles Godlonton | 03 Jun 2016, 10:51 AM Agree 0
    Yes we should change the "entire" industry because Toronto and Vancouver, (the 2 centers of the earth) are out of control, just plain stupid. Just like the National Bank asking the "government" to bring in restrictions on down payments for these 2 cities, last time i checked National Bank makes their own lending policies, why ask big brother, grow a set and do it!

    Miles Godlonton
  • RC | 03 Jun 2016, 11:11 AM Agree 0
    If a buyer is working with a competent representative, they should already be aware of what is or isn't achievable in the area(s) they are looking. Issues often result when prospective buyers run around to open house after open house without any representation hoping to find the right house at the right price. The reality is that very few homes are actually purchased by open house attendees. That was true before the "low list/multiple offer" strategies and it remains true.
    The market is currently in a state where demand for outweighs supply. As a result, multiple offers are going to happen anyway and occasionally a few of those offers are going to be over what the current perceived market value is for the property. This will happen with or without offers from those who believe that property may be available closer to the list price. Providing access to sold data may marginally change the number of offers received but it won't change the outcome.
    If a buyer is working with an agent and is their offers are consistently low in the overall mix, one of two things has happened. Either the agent has misread the buyer and should consider whether they are being realistic in what they can afford and expect or the buyer is not getting the right advice from the agent and needs to re-evaluate whether that agent is the right person for them to be working with.
  • Gary Little | 03 Jun 2016, 01:22 PM Agree 0
    To be clear, the Competition Tribunal decision does not relate to the public getting unfettered access to the MLS system. It's all about allowing TREB members to get certain information (including sold data) from TREB and including it on their Virtual Office Website. So the public would still get the information from a Realtor but without necessarily having to call up the Realtor and ask for it -- instead they would access the Realtor's VOW. It will be up to the Realtor to create a compelling VOW that incorporates this data.
  • Ti | 03 Jun 2016, 02:39 PM Agree 0
    Over many years in the industry, information accessible to Buyers have changed to a push of a button. The everyday face to face rapport built between Realtor and the client has dwindled at least to what I have observed. Has this information accessible to the Buyer helped our profession? I would say no, not really. In our profession, knowledge as well as experience is key and more information the Buyer obtains not through the Realtor the less valuable we become. This being said would one say that it has made our profession easier, more efficient? Once again not really. Sure Buyers can have abundance knowledge at their finger tips at our expense, however really the process is barely any different, we the professional have to show properties and assist the Buyer through the buying process regardless. So really it just comes down to selection and selection only. There is Individuals who obsessively scan through who are not necessarily buyers but use this tool for many other reasons. For me the information accessible to them should be for those in the buying or selling process only. has private information released solely on the sellers authorization, this includes pictures even of their own private belongings. One suggestion is that maybe once a potential customer initiates contact with a Realtor, the Realtor should be able to supply them with an access code that allows them access to the site and information, but only once the Realtor had an consultation and have determined that this customer has proper motives and will use the tools as they are deemed for and not for recreation purposes. Second suggestion would be, make pay as you use system. If a buyer is in a need to obtain information without their Realtor then they should pay for it, the cost for them to do so would be deemed just another one of the many costs in order to buy, just like the beloved PTT. This suggestion also relates to the controversy of sold data, which is data that Realtors have had access to for many years. So really if a Buyer is need to know this information all they have to do is ask their Realtor anyways. The information system currently has had millions of our monies poured into it over the years to make our profession more professional. The decision makers need to realize that it is not the public who helps them make a living but us, the Realtors. Listen and gather our suggestions like I have taken the time to share with you today.

    When it comes to a national whole regarding the Real Estate Profession, all I hear is Vancouver this and Toronto that. Really, every town in all corners of our country have Realtors and if the voices of those 2 areas dictate regulators and political decisions regarding real estate in our country then this shows that the profession is not fairly represented and has more severe problems than information sharing issues of

    The last suggestion is one that I made to my association over 12 years ago, which I called a "black out". I had the for sight of exactly where the would lead us in the future. This so called black out would be to shut down of the Access data system as a whole. This way we could take the monies that we will continue to use to combat all the legal & political issues that continue to arise and put it into our Broker sites. Why not, we have those anyways, not only do we only have to pay to put information on but also on our Broker sites and then onto our personal sites , then, all the social media sources like Facebook, Twitter, and so forth. This being said can you see that access to information for those not a realtor is not more beneficial or efficient to our industry, it's exactly the opposite. More work and more costs

  • SS | 09 Jun 2016, 12:45 PM Agree 0
    If the bidding process was more transparent, I think that would go a lot further to inform buyers than sales data ever will. We know as practitioners how hard interpreting sales data can be in a fast-changing market. Open up the bidding process so buyers really have information.
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