When you buy or sell a home, it’s the largest transaction of your life, so you deserve to work with a well trained, competent, trustworthy real estate agent. That’s why you’ll be happy to hear the provincial Real Estate and Business Act (REBBA) from nearly 20 years ago is about to get an overhaul.
After consulting with real estate industry leaders, the Ontario government has decided to replace REBBA with the Trust in Real Estate Services Act (TRESA). If the new bill is passed, it will help protect buyers and sellers, and also provide realtors with new freedoms.
“The Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) applauds the Government of Ontario’s introduction of Trust in Real Estate Services Act, 2019,” said Karen Cox, Ontario Real Estate Association President, in a statement. “This Bill has been a long time coming, and we’re thrilled to see the Ontario Government is determined to put buyers and sellers first, while ensuring REALTORS® have the tools and training needed to do the best job for their clients in today’s modern marketplace.”
Shortly after the announcement, the Toronto Real Estate Board also announced its support and praise for the proposed Act.
“As Canada’s largest real estate board, TREB is consistently striving to be at the forefront of the real estate industry to benefit our Realtor members and their clients,” said John DiMichele, TREB Chief Executive Officer. “We believe that the Trust in Real Estate Services Bill is an important milestone in this regard, and we are proud of our efforts that helped to bring it forward. In recent years, TREB has worked diligently to consult with thousands of our members via surveys and focus groups to form the basis of new regulatory proposals, and we worked jointly with the Ontario Real Estate Association in communicating these to the provincial government.”
First of all, TRESA will give the Real Estate Council of Ontario more power to suspend and revoke licenses. This is important because there are many rules to follow when working as a realtor, and you should be confident that your realtor is conducting business by the book.
Part of the stricter disciplinary system is an increase to potential fines. For salespeople, the maximum fine will be $50,000, and for brokerages, it will be $100,000. Larger fines will hopefully do more to keep potential offenders in line.
TRESA will also create special designations so realtors can better focus on what they know best, and what they’re most interested in, for example, condo properties, commercial, or waterfront real estate. This will also help buyers and sellers find a realtor who specializes in their type of property.
Finally, TRESA will allow realtors to incorporate their real estate businesses, opening many doors to how the corporation is managed and developed.
We’re glad to see this old Act getting refreshed. The real estate industry has changed a lot over the last couple decades, so a change was due! We’ll see if it has an impact on the buying and selling experience in Ontario.