As the title says, the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) has been ordered to open up sales data to the public. (CBC full news article)
This is good news!
It’s been back and forth for quite awhile with the Competition Tribunal and TREB. The Tribunal said that TREB was restricting access to data on its proprietary Multiple Listing Service.
Basically TREB was creating a monopoly and to get sold prices, you had to go through a Realtor. There are other services that pull from the land registry information such as Geowarehouse that show sold prices, but not past pictures or listing information and it’s quite expensive to register.
TREB has 60 days to implement these changes (from June 3), so we’ll see what they do over the next coming months.
What you’ll see more now is that online websites that offer sold prices, but you will also need to provide your contact info. Same typical fashion as what agents are doing with online listings now…and you can probably expect the same type of cold calling once you sign up…this won’t change.
Providing more information to the consumer is always better, will it change the industry? Probably not that much. It’ll be just a bit easier to get it in the future.
The industry still needs a good shakeup. It could be a combination of technology, open market access like this ruling or something else…I’m not too sure.
Even with this open data, you’ll still only probably see 10% or so not use an agent to represent them during the buying and selling process.
There’s also a lot of brokerages, agents and sites out there racing to the bottom of the barrel in terms of the lowest commission. This will appeal to a certain percentage people who are always looking for the deals and don’t see any value…they’ll probably do this with their car mechanic, contractor, lawyer or accountant etc.
There’s also another group who value the service of the agent and believe they can better protect them when buying and ensuring the highest potential sale price when selling.
Either way, when you’re buying or selling, this is probably the largest investment in your life…so I urge people to educate themselves…no matter what commission the agent offers, make sure they’re professional, provide good customer service, and are trustworthy.