Supreme Court Decision Paves Way for Home Buyers to Have More Access
Rejoice homebuyers! The ReVa team has been working hard to bring more information being readily available to first time homebuyers! This is now possible as the Supreme Court of Canada has rejected to hear an appeal from the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) regarding keeping agents from publishing home sales data.
What does this mean?
Information on TREB’s MLS collects and displays information on properties for sale in the GTA. This includes current list prices, pictures, and data on past sales prices. Some of this data is restricted to TREB’s realtor members, and clients who can only access it through their realtor. Now this information is going to be available to everyone. CTV News’ article, “Supreme Court to announce whether it will hear a real estate data case” claims that this gives buyers a huge advantage as the data is easily accessible, where buyers and sellers will be able to educate themselves on house pricing and how to negotiate without relying on agents to send them the information they need.
How did it start?
Financial Posts article, “TREB takes housing data dispute to Supreme Court, says federal ruling violates rights of real estate clients” documents the 7 years history regarding this matter. The fight over the publication of data started in 2011 where the Competition Bureau (an independent law enforcement agency) challenged TREB’s policy of not publicly releasing home sales numbers. Their reason was because it compromised and disrupts competition, and is a violation of their real estate clients and their privacy. Furthermore, they claimed that the board holds copyright over the data and thus, has a right to determine its use. However, the Appeals court responded by pointing out that the data is already available to the clients of these realtors, and can also release it up to 100 clients at a time, giving these clients an advantage over others. This was then taken to the Supreme Court of Canada by the TREB members asking for an appeal to keep its members from publishing home sales data on password-protected sites.
The Supreme Court of Canada rejected the appeal and refuse to hear TREB’s appeal on August 23, 2018. They ruled in the favour of the Competition Bureau, as the court claimed that creating this information public was not a privacy concern, and TREB’s restriction on this information prevented competition and digital innovation in the real estate market. Now, GTA realtors can publish home sales data on their websites and consumers will have access to real estate data all across the country. To know more about the verdict as it develops, read the Financial Post’s article, “Supreme Court refuses to hear TREB’s appeal in real estate data publication case”
This can change how home buyers now enter the market and look for houses. For more information, like Agent ReVa on Facebook, or simply send her a message to see how she can help you find the house you have always wanted!