There was an important ruling in the Supreme Court and I wanted to explain how it might affect you. Don’t worry, it’s great news!
Last week, the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) lost a seven-year battle with the Competition Bureau to prevent home sales data from being published online. They claimed that they were trying to 'protect' consumer privacy.
But the Supreme Court ruled that TREB was being anti-competitive and they must now make the data available to the public.
Before this court decision, Canadians had limited ways of knowing what properties were sold for. With this ruling, more websites will publish sold information so anyone can see the prices.
About the Toronto Real Estate Board
The Toronto Real Estate Board is a not-for-profit corporation and it is Canada’s biggest real estate board with over 50,000 licensed real estate brokers and salespeople.
Just like accounting and some other professions, every realtor in Toronto is required to be a member to maintain their real estate license. Given how many members there are, not everyone will agree with the position TREB takes.
The truth is some realtors see this ruling as a threat to their job while others welcome this change because people will be more educated to make better choices. A real estate agent whose priority is their client’s interest over profit will provide more value in many other ways than just showing numbers.
In fact, even before this ruling, many realtors were distributing sold data because, like me, they believe in empowering people with more information to make better buying and selling decisions.
How more data helps buyers and sellers
Here are three ways buyers will be able to use data on sold prices to make better decisions:
You can easily get more accurate information on how much your desired home is actually worth rather than relying on someone else to tell you.
You’ll get to see the entire sales history and if a house isn’t selling. Then you can dig deeper to see if there are any red flags.
You can be more prepared and ask specific questions to your real estate agent about the information you found.
With easily accessible information, sellers can have a better sense of how much they should list their home for to maximize their returns rather than relying solely on their real estate agent.
I tell the stories behind the sales
I’m thrilled people will be able to get more information so we can collaborate and choose the best strategies based on what’s going on in the market.
Whenever I work with buyers, my job is to not only provide them with information, but to also tell them the stories behind the numbers in addition to answering questions about the full purchasing process.
A database alone can’t tell you specifically why one house sold for $500,000 while another similar property sold for $450,000. But I can tell you what’s going on behind the scenes because of my experience and relationships.
Are there cracks behind paneled walls? Will there be a new factory built the building?
I had one client who wanted to buy a condo. Because I had sold another unit in the same building to someone else, I was easily able to call my client so she could give honest answers to all of my client’s questions about the building and the neighbourhood.
Buyers can tap into my relationships to get the real stories and context around the prices.
More on the decision
Here are a few articles if you want to learn more about this ruling:
I will keep you updated and help you make sense of any big changes in the real estate market that affect you.
Feel free to connect with me anytime you have questions about this news or anything else you’d like to know.