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The online real estate landscape will be revolutionized with the Tribunal’s decision to allow sold data to be shown!

The antiqued real estate market might be coming to an end after an unprecedented decision by the federal Competition Tribunal, which ruled that the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) was stifling competition by limiting access to past home sales data. (Tess Kalinowski, The Toronto Star) In the long-overhauled decision, which began sometime in 2011, the federal Competition Tribunal sided with Canada’s Competition Bureau by issuing a decision that will open up the real estate industry to more online competition and online services.

The Board (TREB) could be forced to allow public access to past selling prices of properties in its Multiple Listing Services (MLS) data. ( Sophia Harris, CBC News) The ruling is yet to establish how this will in fact affect the current TREB rules under which real estate agents can only disclose certain information such as sold price data to personal clients.

This will revolutionize the online home buyer’s market and will definitely open doors for online websites and brokerages to publicly display confidential information that the Board has safeguarded to protect it’s professionals.  The anticipation is that the Toronto real estate agents will soon be allowed to post online data such as the selling price of homes, which most homebuyers cannot obtain themselves, unless they go through a realtor. This information will not only enlighten home shoppers, but will also help bring more transparency to the real estate market.

“Current homebuyers are tech savvy and prefer to do their own research before approaching a realtor” says Savitha Vijayakumar, CEO of Realtyforsale Incorporated, Brokerage.  “We won’t be making any new plans until we know exactly what the Competition Tribunal’s decision means to the real estate market. We remain optimistic that the decision will favour online brokerages such as our website”

Realtyforsale.ca plans to offer data such as past sold price of homes, but the website cannot launch this service until the tribunal gives the ‘go ahead’. Realtyforsale.ca aims to empower homebuyer by providing information surrounding home purchase and believes that information such as past sold data should be open to everyone.

The tribunal has not yet ruled on how sold data will be released.   It is waiting for submissions from TREB and the Competition Bureau on appropriate ways to incorporate the information into brokerage web listings.  “If the tribunal rules in favour of open data, this will give us an opportunity to list past sold data, what homes sold for in particular neighborhoods and home’s estimated true selling price.   This will save customers a lot of time and empowers homebuyers to do their own research without calling their realtor, with just a few click of the button” says Vijayakumar, CEO of Realtyforsale Incorporated.

TREB has not yet commented about this case and will not do so as the case is still before the tribunal. The tribunal will hear proposals from both TREB and the Competition Bureau next month before it reveals precisely how its ruling will shake up Toronto’s real estate industry. What is astonishing about this whole trial is that one of Canada’s largest trade associations has been found to have violated the Competition Act.












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