You may have bought and sold real estate for many years and are quite familiar with the process but as of December 1, 2023, Realtors® in Ontario have new rules and regulations they must follow. Our new guidelines are referred to as TRESA or Trust in Real Estate Services Act and it is consumer protection legislation that has been implemented through the Ontario Government. There will be many changes for Realtors® but we would like to go over what you as the consumer can expect with the New Rules for Realtors® in Ontario.
One of the first differences is the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO) Information Guide that MUST be given to someone BEFORE any services are provided by the real estate agent. There is a requirement for you the consumer to sign the acknowledgement that you did receive this guide and it was explained to you.
So if you are used to seeing a home listed for sale and just calling the listing real estate agent to show you the property, they will send you the 13 page information guide and ask you to sign having received it PRIOR to showing you the property. You are NOT agreeing to be represented but just ACKOWLEDGING having had the opportunity to review the information and make an informed decision with regards to the representation you would like.
Other changes are for multiple offer situations. A Seller can now decide if they want a closed offer situation or an open offer situation. Closed offer situation is what we have had previously. As a seller and listing agent was not able to disclose anything about the other offers only the number of competing offers and if any of the offers put an agent in a multiple representation situation. With the new model, a Seller can elect to have an open offer process. Things the Seller can decide to have their Realtor® share would be price, closing date, deposit, conditions or other information that they would feel necessary to share. The ONLY thing a seller cannot share is anything that could reveal the identity of the Buyers. A Seller may start as a closed offer process and then decide they want an open process when offers are in front of them. EVERYTHING must be in writing. The Buyer should be aware this is a possibility. Buyers also can have their Real Estate Agents include a clause that their offer can be rescinded in the event of a change to an open offer process.
This may all seem very confusing to you if you have previous experience buying and selling. This is definitely a time to hire your experienced, trusted Real Estate Professional. You want to know your best interests are being protected. We are hoping more public information is shared so that Buyers and Sellers do not feel they are being pressured or hoodwinked into having to sign something before they look at a home. The goal of the new legislation TRESA is to allow consumers to have more choice and to know their rights and expectations.
If you have any questions about our new legislation, please feel free to reach out to any of our Mullin Group Team Members and we would be happy to explain.