The battle for greater transparency with Canadian residential real estate has inched closer to victory. On Thursday, the Supreme Court in Ottawa denied an appeal by TREB, Canada’s largest real estate board representing 39,000 realtors, of a case that would allow consumers and brokers wider access to guarded real estate data.
An investigation by the Competition Bureau accusing TREB of anti-competitive practices has long garnered the attention of real estate practitioners, greatly anticipating how more transparency in one province will ultimately affect the entire country and change how we interact with residential real estate online.
The Bureau’s application in 2011 with the Tribunal sought an order prohibiting TREB from enacting, interpreting and enforcing rules, policies and agreements that prevent or impede the entry of alternative and innovative business models that give consumers variety and empower them with information.
Said the Commissioner of Competition, John Pecman: “We welcome today’s decision by the Supreme Court of Canada that denies TREB’s application for leave to appeal. We continue to believe that prohibiting TREB’s anti-competitive practices and allowing real estate agents to provide the services of their choice is the only way to ensure that consumers and real estate agents alike can benefit from increased competition for residential real estate brokerage services in the Greater Toronto Area. Today’s decision brings us one step closer to that goal.” Preach.
In the US, you can already find detailed information about a property on a public facing website. What it sold for in the past, how long it has been on the market, you know, the kind of insight you’d expect when spending hundreds of thousands of dollars. Canada is bound to follow suit, it’s only a matter of time. Transparency will be the equalizer, and we will finally realize the full potential of real estate portal innovation.
- Supreme Court chooses to avoid Toronto real estate competition case [Globe and Mail]
- Supreme Court won’t hear TREB appeal [The Star]