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Agent: TREB ruling good for industry, buyers

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Real Estate Professional | 02 May 2016, 08:15 AM Agree 0
Many agents may not agree, but one industry veteran argues the recent sold data ruling will help improve the industry
  • Ian Hocking, Broker | 02 May 2016, 11:12 AM Agree 2
    Well it's certainly an interesting development. The Real Estate and Business Brokers ACT (I.E. The act that governs all real estate activities in Ontario) presently forbids agents to display sold data information or even identify a sold house on their websites without permission. (Yes all those agents who have a page on their website displaying a picture of how many homes they have sold and any details about that home are breaking the law) The obtaining of that permission to advertise is required to be sought from either the Buyer and Seller or the Buyer of the property depending on who owns it. Contrary to popular belief it is not OK to write that permission into the offer, it needs to be documented in a separately written agreement as there should be nothing in an offer that benefits the agent directly and depending on who owns the property it requires a different permission.

    Sold data is publically available , just go down to the registry office, pay $8 and go look it up if you need it so badly. Agents pay through their fees to CREA for access to government information, I.E. they can look it up online. And yes, agents do publish the sold data to each other via their own 'agent to agent' system.

    The devil will be in the detail, but the public should be aware that the price they are paying for or selling their homes is about to become very public. I'm not sure that's in the best interest of everyone, especially the Buyer or the Seller to whom we owe a fiduciary duty, including confidentiality. This is as much a privacy issue as it is the quest to 'display all'. I doubt it will ultimately affect agents very much as we all know the information and the public can easily find out by either going down to the registry office or calling over their friendly real estate agent , "For free" and having them do an evaluation on their home. During that evaluation, not only will they be given the sold data but they'll also have it 'interpreted' for them. Having the information and interpreting it are quite different things.

    Ultimately there seems to be some thought process that displaying the price that homes are sold at is going to change the way business is done. Since the data is already readily available I suspect this isn't going to help change very much at all, except the privacy of Canadians is being violated again. Does this all start to sound a little like our friends from the south where that information is readily available on the internet. I live in Canada because of things like the privacy rules, and as a Canadian I object to having the value of my assets published for all and sundry to look at.

    So viva the competition bureau, thanks for allowing the Real Estate industry to publish my personal information on the internet. Oh and , for RECO, better sharpen the pens and re-write the ACT so we don't all breach REBBA by publishing sold data.
  • Gord Ja | 02 May 2016, 11:27 AM Agree 1
    Well said. I think TREB should vigorously challenge releasing of sold data on basis of privacy. As a private individual, I certainly don't want the sold price of my house splattered all over the Internet.
  • bb | 02 May 2016, 11:34 AM Agree 1
    finally a good response, this must come up in communication between the Fed's and CREA & TREB.........there is something else going on here...........somebody has the Feds wound up in order to carry on their own real estate business cheap and cherry pick from our years of building a system. The complainants seem to be using Fed tax dollars (my $) to shake out what they want without working for it. The sold data is available but u have to go to the Land Titles and search...........woops now there is a fee.

    AS for TREB info something more glaring to me while preparing a CMA is the lack of square feet in a home. It is just a range published in the MLS, not exact or estimate ( -).

  • Frank | 02 May 2016, 11:37 AM Agree 1
    As another veteran I totally agree with Fraser Beach. The more educated and informed a buyer or seller is on the state of the market, including recent sales activity, the better it is for all concerned. Just because sales data will become available to anyone that asks, it will not undermine or diminish the role of a "good" realtor. To suggest otherwise is to assume that all realtors are equal just because they have a licence and the tools to access sales data. We know very well that is not the case. A bunch of numbers referring to sale prices, asking prices, days on the market, bedrooms, bathrooms, etc. etc. will be meaningless unless one has the knowledge and skill to decipher the data. If it were that simple to arrive at a fair market value of a property, then one might just as well refer to the assessed information for the property. Now that is a scary thought! The real primary concern, as Ian Hocking has eloquently pointed out is the violation of privacy of Canadians.
  • KY | 02 May 2016, 01:00 PM Agree 1
    Very well said - I totally agree, this is a blow to our privacy.
  • John Murphy / Broker | 02 May 2016, 01:16 PM Agree 1
    This is another great example of abuse of power. The Competition Bureau has authority over "us all". If you are in an industry that competes for business, they have the power to control your industry. Once they have legislated the Real Estate Industry to the point where anyone wanting to know their neighbors business can simply dial a number for an "automated" list of recent sales they may move on to investment companies. How would people feel if their portfolio of stocks and bonds was available to anyone who might have an interest.
    Once again, in reading some of the comments of people outside the Real Estate Industry, it's easy to form an opinion when the decision will have no effect on you. Members of organized Real Estate are educated and trained on a regular basis to help those outside the industry make informed decisions with one of the greatest assets they will ever own. By having access to "sold data" without the experience and expertise to translate it, the public will have enough information to get themselves into trouble.
  • The Truth | 02 May 2016, 01:28 PM Agree 0
    All information should be made public, the reality board in Canada has long monopolized their "illegal" hold over the public.

    There is no reason "agents" should have access to info in an organized format and the public shouldn't. The reality board has prevented any other company or person from creating a website to compete with the MLS site. They should all be put in jail for creating a monopoly and enslaving the Canadian public.

    Finally a move in the right direction' there is still a long way to go to make things right by removing the Reality Board of Canada and righting all their wrongs.
  • The Truth | 02 May 2016, 01:35 PM Agree 0
    "TRAINED" ha ha, what a joke. Do you mean the 6 week online course that is a joke and is a huge money grab put on by the Monopoly of the Canadian Realty Board. Truth is you know your job as a realtor is a joke and anyone could do it since there are so many "rules" put in place to make it hard for anyone to just buy or sell a house. You know it's true and that's why you do it.
  • Tommy Mice | 02 May 2016, 06:52 PM Agree 1
    TREB is an organization that ties our hands up and kicks our faces when facing challenges from people who have money to hire strong legal consultants. I always doubt what are we paying for every year while observing our professionalism and interests are not protected. For having more or less 30,000 members and with huge amount of annual fees we are paying, it's funny that we cannot hire a better lawyer to defense out turf. If TREB has to disclose the data kept in our data base, Coca Cola should disclose their ingredient in their coke, Kentucky Fried Chicken has to open up their resume'....... For people who misunderstand, the data TREB kept in our system is private property of TREB, MLS is a system that establish and maintained by TREB members, it should not be openly accessible by anybody else other then TREB mambers paying annual dues. If anyone wish to hands on this imformation, that's easy, simply go Land Registry and pay a fee. Or else, simply complete the five phase real estate cource and get a license and pay annual fee as a TREB member.
  • T. | 04 May 2016, 11:32 AM Agree 1
    Dear 'The Truth',

    Judging by your comments, you are simply a very uneducated person when it comes to anything Realtor based. I would agree that there are some uneducated and less then desirable salespeople in our industry. This is the same for virtually all businesses globally.

    However, before you make your ignorant comments regarding the '6 week online course that is a joke' and the thought that just 'anyone could do it' should know your facts well before posting comments. I suspect that you did not even read what comments were posted in detail from those in the industry before making yours. Being in the industry for over 20 years as a realtor and having 4 generations of family doing the same, your ignorance is baffling to me. It is very clear that you in reality know very little....simply assumptions that are not researched.

    Frankly, I do not believe that anyone of us working in our industry knows how this will play out....time will tell. I do strongly believe though that anyone of the opinion who thinks that all information should be made public has not truly thought out what this means and ramifications it could lead to. Privacy and protection being the main focus and issue with this decision.

    As agents, we have all been dealing with and educating those who 'think they know' simply because they read something online or a 'friend' gave them some info. In the end and as pointed out numerous times above, it you do not know how or are not trained AND experienced to decipher this information...then truly what does it accomplish? I also am guessing that you would never want all information about everything you do in your own life made available to the general public any time they wish? Personally, I go to see my doctor for a reason....because they are trained for these very reasons we employ their services. Same with visiting our

    If you assume anyone can do this......PLEASE go find out what is involved with getting your license, then take the mandatory courses and start your 2-year probation period. Then during that 2 year period, take your mandatory IN CLASS 3 other courses. But.....during your articling period, let do an offer together! I would love to show you and school you on what reality is truly like in our industry.

  • | 08 May 2016, 02:22 PM Agree 0
    Times they are achangin
    adapt or PERISH
  • | 08 May 2016, 03:17 PM Agree 0
    Well this is the END of working with a Realtor.
    My uncle worked for many years as a Realtor in York, Pennsylvania and this same Private Assiation data is now available to all without the owners approval or Agents approval. It devastated his industry. He now works for the town inspecting homes.
  • Thomas M. | 13 May 2016, 12:16 PM Agree 0
    What other industry has to give their collected, paid for, and carefully curated data away for free? The information is private and paid for! It seems I have paid for 30 years to belong to four organizations, two of which, i'm still trying to figure out why they are there. No less than 12,000 and upwards of 45,000 realtors have built and paid for this system over decades. I get penalized for wrong information, and I carefully document property information and data, what the heck? let the public have it. give it away for free...shut down or sell it to the highest bidder...value? $1 with no data integrity. After all, everyone knows that if you google the word accounting, you can be an accountant, or google how to do your own divorce, you're a lawyer, so real estate info is just as easy right?
    Ill just run an exclusive agency, and agree to share information with my colleagues. (Oh wait, was'nt that the intention of MLS to start with? ) Lets just see how quickly the integrity of the data of MLS deteriorates when Joe Public is in charge of the information. What a crock this whole thing is. Our industry is broken, and The Competition Bureau doesnt have a clue how this impacts privacy and data integrity. So, again...take the data...its yours. You maintain it. Its like a house, if you don't maintain it, it will be in the ground in 5 yrs. Oh, but many jobs are there at TREB? OREA? CREA? RECO 300? 500? hhmmm. wait...benefits, pensions, salaries, vacations....Oh...Mr real estate broker, just suck it up and comply.
  • DL | 13 May 2016, 09:03 PM Agree 0
    I have no real problem with the release of Sold once the transaction has closed. By then it is Historical and not all that helpful to the general public. Posting the sold data before the deal closes prejudices the seller particularly if the deal fails to close. As pointed out in an earlier post people can probably phone their friend the friendly realtor or go to the registry office to get the info. I haven't done a lot of reading on the issue but I hope when sold prices are disclosed the listing is not made available to the public making the sold price less useful.

    Our American counterparts have apparently been dealing with sold prices disclosed for a couple of years and they have managed to survive
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