This agent is still giving out MLS sold data

by Olivia D'Orazio27 Apr 2015
The Toronto Real Estate Board’s tribunal hearing with Canada’s Competition Bureau may be postponed, but the debate on sold data is far from over, with one agent promising to continue to publish that information.
 
“The public wants to get more involved and do their due diligence…and determine for themselves what is happening with real estate values,” says Fraser Beach, the broker of record for Select/Plan Real Estate and the agent behind TOsolds.ca. “The service was invaluable to them to know what’s really happening in the market place.”
 
Beach says the public is increasingly set on playing a leading role in the purchase or sale of their homes, and access to the Board’s sold data is a crucial part of that.
 
Further, Beach says that if agents believe their only value is in gatekeeping the information, they could soon find themselves in the same boat as travel agents.
 
“(Agents should) not depend on hoarding info as the raison d'être,” he says. “There are a lot of things an agent can do to put a deal together and hold it together. The concept of hoarding data – the time has gone for (agents) to exist on that basis.”
 
But what about the proprietary nature of the information? Agents in the REP forum have, time and time again, pointed to the fact that their board fees pay to collect, organize and keep MLS sold data. What does Beach have to say to that?
 
“I think that’s a self-serving attitude,” he retorts. “Let’s face it: that’s what organized real estate has done for the last 50 years. They’ve become gatekeepers but in the information age, that approach doesn’t wash anymore. If they don’t get with the times, they’ll be replaced with a process that doesn’t require an agent.”
 
Beach is also addressing client privacy concerns associated with the release of data about their home values.
 
“The real estate boards and some agents put a lot of emphasis on the privacy aspect, but anyone who deals in the law of privacy, it doesn’t wash for a number of reasons,” he says. “(Clients) sign off on providing this information to anyone who is interested.
 
“If you want to know what the property down the street sold for, it isn’t private information; it’s information that 41,000 (GTA agents) have access to and are free to give it out without any restriction.”

COMMENTS

  • by Rob 4/27/2015 12:05:19 PM

    If an agent gave out the sold information on one of my listings without the written consent of the seller I would report him/her to the privacy commissioner.

  • by 4/27/2015 12:13:27 PM

    In BC all sold data both on both private sales and MLS sales is available to the public on bcassessment.ca. It has been that way for years. So don't understand the debate in Ontario.

  • by EddieN 4/27/2015 12:14:49 PM

    Issue 1. The one who pays for a product or service, owns that product and service, but it may come with limitations that you have to abide by. That's a contract we all sign when we join our association. Issue 2. Taking random sales data from the mls is incorrect and a disservice. Just because a sold price is displayed on mls, does NOT mean that the transaction actually closed and therefore, that is NOT the sold price nor is it the value of the property. Tossing a bunch of incorrect data at the public does more disservice than the opinions of "experts" in the media. If someone wants to have real sold data, people can go to their local city hall or land registry office. Agents who think they can drum up business by breaking the rules are desperate, unprofessional and incapable of getting business any other way.

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