Ministry of Government and Consumer Services – Ontario is taking action to protect consumers against unfair or misleading practices that occasionally arise during the real estate bidding process. Effective July 1, 2015, new rules will provide additional protections that will help consumers safeguard their hard-earned money in a fair and informed marketplace.
Protecting Consumers in Real Estate Transactions
New changes also better protect Ontarians when bidding on real estate, particularly in multiple-offer situations, and address “phantom bidding”:
- Real estate salespeople and brokers will not be allowed to imply or indicate that an offer exists unless the offer has been made in writing.
- Real estate salespeople and brokers will have to present all offers in writing.
- Real estate professionals must maintain records of all offers, which will allow the Real Estate Council of Ontario to verify the number of bids.
These new rules are in addition to changes that went into effect in 2014, which give real estate consumers and salespeople more flexibility in the marketplace. Under the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act, since 2014, real estate professionals are able to charge a fee, a commission, or a combination of both for the services they offer.
While traditional, all-inclusive commissions did not give consumers the flexibility they wanted in terms of real estate services they received or how they could pay for those services, the new rules allow for greater flexibility. Consumers now have more choice and are able to select real estate services and compensation arrangements that best meet their needs.
June 29, 2015