Sales data access can lead to more informed purchases

by Ephraim Vecina03 Jun 2016
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.
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,” 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.


  • by Hans Kopp 6/3/2016 10:49:20 AM

    Will the public pay for that information the same as Realtors do?
    And what Realtor doesn't give his Buyer client all the recent comparable sales so they can make an informed decision as to what to offer or not to offer since there are a lot of Realtors out there who purposely undervalue a property to encourage bidding wars?

  • by Miles Godlonton 6/3/2016 10:51:32 AM

    Yes we should change the "entire" industry because Toronto and Vancouver, (the 2 centers of the earth) are out of control, just plain stupid. Just like the National Bank asking the "government" to bring in restrictions on down payments for these 2 cities, last time i checked National Bank makes their own lending policies, why ask big brother, grow a set and do it!

    Miles Godlonton

  • by RC 6/3/2016 11:11:57 AM

    If a buyer is working with a competent representative, they should already be aware of what is or isn't achievable in the area(s) they are looking. Issues often result when prospective buyers run around to open house after open house without any representation hoping to find the right house at the right price. The reality is that very few homes are actually purchased by open house attendees. That was true before the "low list/multiple offer" strategies and it remains true.
    The market is currently in a state where demand for outweighs supply. As a result, multiple offers are going to happen anyway and occasionally a few of those offers are going to be over what the current perceived market value is for the property. This will happen with or without offers from those who believe that property may be available closer to the list price. Providing access to sold data may marginally change the number of offers received but it won't change the outcome.
    If a buyer is working with an agent and is their offers are consistently low in the overall mix, one of two things has happened. Either the agent has misread the buyer and should consider whether they are being realistic in what they can afford and expect or the buyer is not getting the right advice from the agent and needs to re-evaluate whether that agent is the right person for them to be working with.

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