Changes Coming to The Ontario Real Estate Act

Province is considering new measures to bring a higher level of professionalism to real estate in Ontario.

Former provincial PC leader Tim Hudak is the current CEO of the Ontario Real Estate Association. This past January he introduced a new program to modernize the current real estate act. (REBBA). It has been many years since the current rules were written and the industry has changed a great deal in that time. Advances in technology alter the way we do business and markets (especially like Toronto) have seen dramatic spikes in prices. 

real estate bidding war

The idea of these changes is that by updating the rules, the level of professionalism and the standards of client care will increase. 

“Ontario REALTORS have brought forward bold ideas to bring the real estate rules into the 21st century to benefit the consumer, raise the bar on education, strengthen professional standards and hold those who break the rules to the highest level of discipline.” he stated. 

One of the more controversial suggestions includes permitting realtors to disclose details about a competing offer to another bidder, if all sides involved agree. This would include offer price, closing dates and any conditions. Transparency in the offer process is something that many of us have been looking at for a long-time. 

There is also talk about special designations for agents. I would not be allowed to call myself an “income property expert” unless I get the appropriate accreditation. I also think that this is a good idea as many agents don’t have a clue about all facets of our business. By improving the education and mandatory upgrade courses for agents, the overall quality level of services should improve. 

The provinces report suggests many new changes, including: 

  • Reverting the total number of hours required to complete a realtor license to 255 hours, from the newly decreased 120 hours (set to come into effect in 2019).
  • Requiring builders and developers to register under the act to sell pre-construction properties.
  • Doubling the maximum fines for those who break the REBBA code of ethics to $50,000 for salespeople and brokers and $100,000 for brokerages.
  • Allowing realtors to incorporate their businesses, which is permitted in B.C., Quebec, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Nova Scotia 

They are also advocating that agents may no longer double-end a deal and dual agency will no longer be permitted. 

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