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New Ontario real estate rules to give 'more transparency' for buyers

House for sale in Windsor-Essex, Ont. on Wednesday, April 20, 2022. (Chris Campbell/CTV Windsor) House for sale in Windsor-Essex, Ont. on Wednesday, April 20, 2022. (Chris Campbell/CTV Windsor)
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Potential home buyers in Windsor-Essex may no longer be left in the dark about competing offers, thanks to new rules in the Ontario real estate market.

"Now, home sellers have the option to disclose the highest offer they have, to disclose the conditions or disclose all of it if they do so choose but it is up to them top make that decision,” said Joyce Blackmere, broker and director of sales at Dan Gemus Real Estate. “It definitely is a positive. It gives more opportunity and more transparency for buyers to better understand potentially the property they are offering on.”

This is one of several new rules the province is putting into effect starting Dec. 1, 2023, completing Phase 2 of legislative and regulatory changes introduced under the Trust in Real Estate Services Act (TRESA), 2020.

The province also implementing an updated code of conduct, they say, will strengthen consumer confidence related to integrity, conflict of interest and the prevention of fraud.

“Buying, leasing and selling real estate is one of the biggest and most important decisions a person or business will ever make so it’s critical that rules for real estate brokerages, brokers, and salespersons reflect modern business practices that foster a strong and vibrant real estate market,” said Todd McCarthy, minister of public and business service delivery. “We want to ensure Ontarians feel empowered and informed when participating in real estate transactions, and for professionals in the sector to be seen as trusted and ethical. These latest rule changes coming into effect December 1 will help us do just that.”

The Real Estate Council of Ontario will also receive new powers and tools to better hold brokerages and their agents accountable for non-compliance with the new rules.

This marks a historic moment for real estate professionals in Ontario and is the result of a decade of hard work, advocacy and collaboration with the province,” said Tim Hudak, CEO of the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA). “Thanks to TRESA, Ontario will raise the bar on consumer protections and become a North American leader in professional standards, ethics, and modern business tools. OREA commends the Ontario government for their work on TRESA and looks forward to collaborating on the third phase of implementation.”

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