TORONTO (CU)_The real estate industry of Canada are waiting on the government to make good on its electoral promise to ban blind bidding for homes. Federal Housing Minister Ahmed Hussen recently revealed plans for the launching of a Home Buyers’ Bill of Rights which is expected to either restrict or impose an outright ban on blind bidding. Some experts point out that since the practice favours sellers, leaving it in their hands to make a decision for open offers accomplishes little to improve transparency, although it seems like the Ontario government does not agree.
The provincial government recently announced changes to its regulations which govern real estate transactions. These changes are expected to leave the decision up to sellers as to whether they opt for an open offer process, where they can reveal competing bids to interested buyers. Additional disciplinary powers for the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO), together with a new code of ethics for real estate agents are expected to be a part of the changes announced by the province’s Minister for Government and Consumer Services, Ross Romano.
The revisions, which will come into force in April next year, are a part of the revised Trust in Real Estate Services Act (TRESA) of 2020, which replaced the Real Estate Business Brokers Act of 2002. They have been endorse by the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA), an association representing real estate brokers and salespersons, and advocating for the “homeowner’s right to sell their home how they want.”
As the federal government continues to monitor recent developments in the real estate industry, many experts are of the view that the changes announced by the Ontario government fall far short of a severe and meaningful attempt to improve transparency in real estate transactions. They point out that the authorities have not even committed to consolidating data on blind bidding in order to analyse the influence it may have on local house price inflation.