Are you breaking sold data laws?

by Olivia D'Orazio13 May 2015
Many agents wouldn’t hesitate to provide potential clients with a comparable sales analysis, but one broker says even that is prohibited by most provincial legislations.

“(Sold data) is private, (and giving it to clients) is actually illegal,” says Ian Hocking, a broker in Barrie, Ont. “It flies in the face of the real estate council’s legislation.”

The current climate surrounding the release of sold data is especially precarious as the Toronto Real Estate Board prepares to go up against Canada’s Competition Board. The case, which has been ongoing since 2011, will – hopefully – culminate in a tribunal hearing decision in September. That ruling will determine whether sold data will remain private information or be opened to the public using the MLS.

TREB says its members pay to collect, organize and keep the proprietary information, and point to the privacy issues around when the information is released. The Competition Bureau, however, says the Board’s hoarding of the information is anti-competitive, and ii is likely looking for agents already flouting the rules in an effort to make a case for itself.

Still, many agents, desperate for business, will concede to potential client demands for sold data in an effort to win listings. Some sales reps, Hocking adds, even provide the information over the phone without qualifying the prospect.

Agents are faced with another gray area during listing presentations. Hocking says the key is to take the sold information with you when the presentation is finished.

“During a CMA process, we’re allowed to bring along comparables, but we’re not allowed to leave them behind,” he says. So … I can offer sales data, but I can’t leave the data behind.”
 

COMMENTS

  • by Consumers start charging for use of sold data 5/13/2015 1:48:23 PM

    Agents should be getting permission from owners and paying them if they want to use our sold data especially if they are breaking their OWN RULES!!! They said they are protecting(keeping it private) our data but handed out it against their own rules and for their own benefit!!!


    No wonder consumers are upset and thank goodness the competition bureau is around to help out the consumer!! The greedy agents brought on all this attention ,now the majority of agents are paying for the greedy ones legal battle...no wonder they are fighting

  • by 5/13/2015 3:45:28 PM

    As an Agent who deals with many out of town Sellers, CMA's must be emailed to said clients. If there is not an opportunity to physically sit with potential clients for a listing presentation, how is it possible to "take the sold data with you". This is the digital age and the majority of people expect to receive everything in digital format, whether the transaction is being dealt with long-distance or not.
    Also, the MLS is not the only way to obtain "sold data". The Assessment Authority information is available to the public, so why would the comment above propose that Agents/Brokerages be charged?

  • by Lawrence 5/13/2015 4:34:17 PM

    Isn't government licensing or one taxing authority (CRA) anti competitive? Why is it that I can't choose to pay a lower cost at an alternative business for a drivers license renewal? Maybe I can pay another tax collector too. I find the one I'm forced to use keep charging me 35% tax on my income then 13% on my purchases and is bloated with wasteful spending. I guess it's ok to look out for consumers and not citizens.

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