The Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) has made more than three dozen recommendations to the provincial government on ways it should update the rules governing realtors, including allowing for a more open bidding process for buyers and sellers. This could be a game changer for home buyers who are currently forced to bid blindly against competing offers in Toronto’s hot housing market.
The Real Estate and Business Brokers Act (REBBA), which was put in place in 2002, is in need of changes. “The average price of a home in 2002 was $275,000 in Toronto and most deals were closed by a fax machine,” said Tim Hudak, chief executive of OREA.
Under the current market rules, realtors are not allowed to share the details of an offer with anyone other than the home seller. That means consumers, facing competition from other buyers, have no idea what they are bidding against.
“This would allow for all parties to put everything on the table and have a fully transparent offer process if they so chose,” said Hudak. This would include offer price, closing dates, and conditions.
Among the 37 recommendations, the report also suggests:
- Reverting the total number of hours required to complete a realtor licence to 255 hours, from the newly decreased 120 hours (set to come into effect in 2019).
- Requiring builders and developers to register under the act to sell pre-construction properties.
- Doubling the maximum fines for those who break the REBBA code of ethics to $50,000 for salespeople and brokers and $100,000 for brokerages.
- Allowing realtors to incorporate their businesses, which is permitted in B.C., Quebec, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Nova Scotia.