In a landmark decision, the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) has changed their policy and now allows realtors to post the selling price of homes. For the moment, legislation only allows the data to be shared on password protected brokerage websites, but many feel this is the first step into a situation similar to that of the U.S, where sales prices are routinely featured on publically accessible websites. If this policy change came about in Vancouver, how would the market potentially change?
New interactive websites already displaying price data
In fact, the decision has already led to a brokerage website, zealty.ca, posting sales data. The website hosts an interactive map of B.C with up-to-date sales price data; although to access it visitors must register with the site. Yet, the Vancouver Courier reports that this type of information is still not allowed to be shared by realtors in B.C. Zealty is not alone. Property portal Rew.ca has also published sales prices about homes via their Property Insights page.
Benefits to consumer
Experts say that the benefits to consumers are great, even if many feel like publishing the data is an invasion of privacy. It’s thought that it will allow people entering the market to make more informed decisions, and as suggested by MoneySense, if the realtors are obligated to post their commissions, buyers can shop around, potentially finding a discount brokerage that will take a smaller cut.
There’s also the possibility that such a policy being passed will contain a clause that would allow consumers to opt out of having their data shared. Likewise, password protected websites keep the data from becoming too widespread.
Done in the U.S
Even if the policy change comes to Vancouver, industry observers say consumers shouldn’t worry. This kind of data is already accessible in the U.S via public websites, and in changing the policies, real estate boards are simply getting with the times and opening the door to innovation. Whether or not this would have any long-term impact on the market is very much up in the air.