It's high time for greater transparency in bidding – OREA

by Ephraim Vecina30 Oct 2018

The real estate industry should provide buyers and sellers with the option for a more open and transparent home bidding process, according to Ontario’s leading organization representing real estate professionals.

“We believe that people should be offered a choice,” Ontario Real Estate Association CEO Tim Hudak told The Canadian Press.

Hudak stated that while more openness might also result in “a bit of auction fever” that could lead to further price growth, “there are some consumers who want everything on the table, to be open and transparent and there are some homeowners who believe they will get the most money or the best deal through this method.”

The comments came in the wake of the OREA’s petition to the provincial government in early October. The group urged legislators to allow agents - with the consent of everyone involved in a particular transaction - to disclose details like offer prices, closing dates, “and any other conditions to potential bidders if multiple offers are on the table.”

OREA’s recommendation, if accepted by the provincial government, would allow for a fully transparent, multiple-offer process with buyer and seller consent.

Read more: Bidding wars steadily dominating Toronto, Vancouver markets

Murtaza Haider of Ryerson University agreed with the sentiment, noting that the country’s hopeful home owners are in dire need of another option aside from an “ignorance-based bidding” process.

“This will be a very important step to prevent price escalation and inflation at times when prices are out of step with incomes or increase beyond what one would expect them to rise given the level of demand,” Haider argued.

Haider added that greater openness can attract back a significant proportion of would-be buyers who might have been frightened off by bidding wars, especially in more sluggish markets.

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