Ontario introduces new measures to improve transparency in real estate sales process

New measures provide sellers with option called 'open offer process'

Ontario introduces new measures to improve transparency in real estate sales process

The Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) has weighed in on new measures that the provincial government introduced to improve transparency in the home buying and selling process.

The changes provide sellers with an option called the “open offer process.” This process allows home sellers to share bids on their property and disclose the details of competing offers if they prefer to do so. That means they will no longer be restricted to selling their property through a closed or traditional offer system.

OREA CEO Tim Hudak said that the new measures were part of a package of reforms that OREA worked closely with the province. He said the changes strike the right balance between improving transparency in the offer process and protecting the right of a homeowner to sell their home the way they want instead of blanket bans on the traditional offer process.

“We called for the province to introduce these common-sense reforms and we’re pleased to see them coming forward,” Hudak said.

Moreover, the new measures vest more powers in the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO) − the regulatory body that enforces rules for salespeople and brokers – “to better target enforcement and compliance initiatives to activities associated with the highest risk to the public.”

“Since 2017, OREA has urged the province to empower RECO, strengthening the discipline and enforcement process in a bid to raise professional standards in the industry,” Hudak said. “The new measures will give RECO extra powers to throw the book at agents who are violating consumer trust.”

The new measures also provide an updated code of ethics, which, according to Hudak, will enhance professionalism by focusing on ethical obligations that real estate agents have toward clients and the public.

The new measures will take effect on Apr. 1, 2023.

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