“I do agree with what TREB is doing and I’ve spoken to clients about it and every single one has said they would not be happy if the data was made public,” Matt Johnston, an agent with RE/MAX, told REP. “I don’t understand why the fight has gone this far.”
The Toronto Real Estate Board officially announced earlier this week it is appealing the decision by the Competition Tribunal that would force the board to release its sold and pending sold data, citing privacy concerns.
"This order provides little protection for the consumer and opens the door to misuse and abuse of their sensitive personal financial information and the content of an Agreement of Purchase and Sale contract that has not closed. The consumer has privacy rights and only the consumer should be the one to determine, with clear understanding, when and where their personal financial information is disclosed," said John DiMichele, TREB's chief executive officer.
The Competition Tribunal ordered TREB to release its data to the public in late June.
Initial agent sentiment has been in support of TREB.
And while critics may accuse industry players of being self-serving – and argue the release of sold data will erode their competitive advantage – Johnston says it won’t have a detrimental effect on his business.
“It won’t have any impact on agents; the value of what we provide is not in the data alone,” he said. “I don’t think it will have any impact on the business I do.”
Agents are cheering for TREB in its fight to protect sold data, and one argues clients are also on the Board’s side.