Ontario has introduced a long-awaited bill that would make significant changes to the way brokers, brokerages and realtors conduct their business, thereby improving real estate ethics.
If passed, the Trust in Real Estate Services Act will also give consumers more choice in the transaction process and require realtors to reveal the prices and conditions of offers in bidding wars. Currently, all parties must agree before any competing offers are shared.
To encourage compliance, The Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO) would have power to fine realtors and suspend their licenses.
There would also be changes to how real estate professionals are treated, creating a more fair environment and allowing them to operate better by incorporating.
This legislation comes twenty years after the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act was last updated and is a result of much review and consultation by real estate boards and associations across the province, including The Ontario Real Estate Association.
“This bill will modernize the rules governing real estate practices and ensure that the realtor at your side during the biggest transaction of your life has the highest professional standards, training and modern tools in North America,” said CEO Tim Hudak.
The Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) also worked with thousands of its members to initiate the proposal. In a press release, the board applauded what it considers a milestone in the industry.
“We always made sure that preserving consumer choice and consent, along with enhanced industry professionalism, remained central when proposing and discussing legislative improvements with the government,” said TREB CEO John DiMichele. “Furthermore, we are pleased to see business fairness being addressed by allowing all realtors to run their businesses more efficiently by forming personal real estate corporations, if they so choose—a tool that’s available to realtors in six other provinces and many industries in Ontario. TREB’s board of directors started to formally tackle the ability to form personal corporations as a business fairness issue dating back to 2005, and is pleased to see our efforts come to fruition with the help of OREA.”