'Danger Report': Real estate pros fret court could break lock on secret sales data


There’s speck doubt Canada’s real estate industry feels under shut in these days.

Just check out the recent Danger Report commissioned by the Canadian Licit Estate Association (CREA), which analyzes “negative game changers emerging in authentic estate.”

Top threats include people selling their homes without an deputy, consumers pressuring agents to reduce their commission, and the prospect of doing inside information — such as st selling prices of homes — greatly available.

“It kind of shows you what their fear is, and open matter is really behind a lot of this,” says broker John salis with Realosophy Realty in Toronto.

“They’re distraught the agent is going to get cut out.”

salis argues that worry is what’s byway the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) in its long and bitter contest with Canada’s Competition Bureau to keep certain sales observations under lock and key.

John salis Realosophy Realty real estate

John salis with Realosophy Realty in Toronto stipulates he’s ready to make public on his website once-protected real estate statistics. (Realosophy Realty)

Federal Appeal Court steps in

In April, the Match Tribunal ruled that TREB was stifling competition by limiting access to info — including a home’s final selling price. Currently, Toronto legal estate agents — and most agents across the country — control and specify this information to clients at their discretion.

The tribunal’s decision at ones desire enable brokers to make st sales prices and other statistics, like how long a home has sat on the market, widely available on Toronto genuine estate websites.

TREB, however, appealed the tribunal’s ruling. Federal Court of Plead hearings in Toronto wrapped up on Tuesday, with no word yet on when the court at ones desire reach a decision.

One of the board’s main arguments is that openly posting a internal’s final selling price compromises the privacy of sellers and buyers.

The wield the sceptre “opens the door to misuse and abuse of their sensitive personal monetary information,” said TREB CEO John DiMichele in a statement in July.

But application critics argue this case has nothing to do with privacy matters. Instead, they believe this is TREB’s last gasp at bothersome to protect its 45,000 member agents from the digital era where consumers poverty more power and easy access to information.

Already in Nova Scotia, homebuyers can access charge history for properties online.

“It’s about who controls the flow of information, and TREB wants it to be them and Realtors,” orders salis.

Toronto broker Fraser Beach agrees, calling the reclusiveness argument “a smokescreen, a red herring that the real estate board hold in checks dragging in.”

‘It’s not private’

Since 2011 Beach has been supplying anyone who gestured up with daily online reports featuring the final selling charges of Toronto homes.

But he shut it down in September after receiving a cease-and-desist dis tch from TREB’s legal counsel.

Beach argues that since Toronto instruments can currently supply clients with st sales prices, the knowledge is already out there.

“If [45,000] people have access to information which they can swap to anybody they care to, it’s not private. There is no privacy issue.”

That’s not how realty doctor Ross Kay sees it. He claims a real estate agent handing beyond a few sold listings to a client is not the same as making the information widely available online.

“What that means is that every single rticular detail in a home’s listing would be available to any major corporation or bank to download” and to dig for data, says Kay who lives in Burlington, Ont.

Real estate sign sold

Industry critics argue the Toronto Material Estate Board’s court battle has nothing to do with privacy problems. (CBC)

Critics point out that anyone can go to the land registry office and unearth out what a home sold for. But Kay argues that at least that access won’t embody sensitive information like revealing photos of the home included in the pushed listing.

“You won’t have access to photographs of the little girl’s bedroom, you won’t press access to what kind of TVs that family purchases.”

Toronto domino clout?

The Canadian Real Estate Association also claims privacy is a valid argument.

In its submission to the Federal Court of Appeal, CREA sided with TREB’s fix. It also repeated its argument that if the tribunal’s ruling stands, it should be restrictive to the Toronto area.

“Competitive and regulatory conditions vary across the dominions of boards,” stated CREA in a court document.

Regardless of the arguments, actual estate expert John Andrew believes the Competition Bureau disposition eventually get its way — and the effects will be widespread.

“The writing’s on the wall,” the Queen’s University professor verbalizes. “It will be difficult to overturn the Competition Tribunal’s decision.”

Andrew also believes the kill’s ruling will have a domino effect across Canada, with other corporeal estate boards starting to voluntarily release once-guarded sales matter.

“Toronto will be precedent-setting — no question about it,” Andrew says.

‘Evolve or get liberal behind’

Even with more access to information, Andrew credence ins many people will still opt to hire an agent.

“Most Canadians categorically want an experienced person to hold their hand and guide them in every way the process,” he says.

However, he warns that the real estate labour needs to move with the times and embrace the idea of making uncountable data easily accessible online, because that’s what consumers fall short of.

He com res the situation to the taxi industry which ignored the technological upheaval — until Uber came along and started stealing market portion with electronic billing and an app to order your ride.

“You either evolve or you get left-wing behind.”

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