As reported by Nicole Bogart of Global News, granting would-be buyers unrestricted access to MLS data would allow all parties involved in the prospective sale to avoid the red-hot bidding wars that characterize the country’s most in-demand housing markets—namely, Vancouver and Toronto.
“You could inform the buyer that based on prior data the seller has listed the home at a lower price point, based on what other homes in the area have sold for,” RedPin.com co-founder Rokham Fard said. “Then you wouldn’t get mentally drained from going into all of these bidding wars.”
The Toronto-based Spring Realty has taken the first steps in this direction by starting to develop an database that would use previous sales data to forecast which homes are most likely to sell.
“This is really the ‘Googlization’ of the real estate industry in Canada,” Spring Realty owner and broker Ara Mamourian said. “What we want to do is stop wasting people’s time. We want to narrow down on the number of people with a $700,000 budget looking at properties that sell for over $800,000.”
The Tribunal verdict held that the TREB violated competition rules by preventing access to property sales data, with the Board countering that making sales data widely accessible is a violation of clients’ privacy.
The Competition Tribunal’s recent ruling, which would compel professionals in the Toronto Real Estate Board’s jurisdiction to ensure public access to housing sales information, could actually lead to more informed purchases and less headaches on the realtors’ part, according to various observers.