The recent Danger Report commissioned by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), is an interesting read. It talks about things that can imperil the real estate profession.
Topping the list of concerns is people selling their homes without an agent, followed by consumers pressuring agents to reduce their commission, and the prospect of making inside information — such as past selling prices of homes — widely available.
CREA has reason to fear which is why the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) is locked in battle with Canada’s Competition Bureau to keep certain sales data under lock and key.
In April, the Competition Tribunal ruled that TREB was stifling competition by limiting information starting with a home’s final selling price. Currently, Toronto real estate agents as well as agents across the land control and provide this information to clients at their discretion.
The tribunal’s decision would enable brokers to make past sales prices and other data, like how long a home has sat on the market, widely available on Toronto real estate websites.
One of the board’s main arguments is that openly posting a home’s final selling price compromises the privacy of sellers and buyers.
But critics say this is one way of protecting the close to 50,000 real estate agents from losing business. A comparison can be made to taxi drivers who were most resistant to change until Uber became the game changer.
There is little real justification to prevent homebuyers from accessing the past sales history of homes they intend purchasing. Currently they are forced to enlist the help of an agent who will simply get the information which is already out there. It is simply a matter of who controls the information.
If real estate agents can have access to the sales history of a home, why shouldn’t anyone interested in buying the home have that information?
Allowing homebuyers to have full access to real estate information will reduce the need for some to eliminate the agent, but there will always exist people who will prefer buying a home with the help of an experienced, not to mention a professional real estate agent. – CINEWS