It’s official: the Supreme Court of Canada has dismissed the Toronto Real Estate Board’s (a.k.a TREB’s) appeal of the Competition Bureau’s ruling that allows Realtors to release sold data for homes online.
What does that mean for you the consumer? That sold prices are going to be MUCH more accessible. And THAT will help you to become a much better informed Buyer or Seller.
This groundbreaking ruling has been a long time coming – since 2003 to be exact when the battle first began between a flat fee brokerage and TREB for access to MLS and sold information.
Fast forward to 2016 when the Competition Bureau ordered TREB to make sold data available online, calling them “anti-competitive” for not allowing its members to do do. The following year TREB appealed to the Federal Court of Appeal and lost. Then they attempted to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada…and you know the rest.
As you can imagine, whether to release sold data or not has been a very polarizing topic among Realtors, many of who want to keep sold information closely guarded in fear that it will have a negative impact on their businesses otherwise.
We’ve disagreed with this for a number of reasons, chief among them that sold data from transactions that haven’t yet closed is already in the hands of the 52,000 (at last count) Realtor members of the Toronto Real Estate Board and they’ve already been providing that data to their clients for quite awhile. Not to mention that sold data has been public for years via the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC).
Let’s get real: a Relator should be doing A LOT more for their commission cheque than just providing sold information anyway. If that’s all their doing to provide value than they should be working in a different industry.
There should be more transparency in the real estate industry, not less. And that’s why we consider today’s appeal dismissal to be a win, a BIG one.
Here’s how today’s news will impact you if you’re a Toronto buyer or seller:
- ACCESS TO FULL SALES HISTORY: You’ll be able to access the full sales history of a property on Virtual Office Websites (called VOW’s), including a pending sale where the conditions have been waived but the property hasn’t closed yet
- TERMINATED LISTINGS DATA: You’ll have access to data for properties that have been terminated, expired, suspended or withdrawn from the market
- CO-OP COMMISSIONS: You’ll have access to what the cooperating agent (a.k.a. buyer’s agent) is being offered for compensation
- MORE TOOLS: You’ll see new and improved online resources for services like home valuations
Here’s what you won’t see: sellers names or their mortgage info. Sellers can also ask for their listing not to be displayed online (but that will keep it off Realtor.ca and other websites as well).
When is this all happening? In 60 days. That’s the timeframe TREB has to provide Realtors with the data.