Tania Artenosi, the President of the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA), shares insights on the importance of consumer choice in the real estate industry, particularly in the context of recent legislative changes in Ontario.
Empowering Homebuyers and Sellers
Purchasing a home is a monumental financial transaction in the lives of many individuals. As such, it demands the expertise of a real estate professional whom you genuinely trust and like. The Government of Ontario has recently introduced legislation designed to empower consumers by allowing them to work with professionals who genuinely have their best interests at heart. This change marks a significant step towards making the home buying and selling process more accessible and transparent.
Elevating Professional Standards
OREA has been at the forefront of promoting excellence in the real estate industry. Through collaboration with the Government of Ontario, OREA has advocated for high professional standards, ethical conduct, robust educational training, and the incorporation of modern business tools in the industry. A major achievement was the passage of the Trust in Real Estate Services Act (TRESA) in 2020, replacing the decades-old Real Estate and Business Brokers Act (REBBA).
Introducing Designated Representation
A key development post-TRESA has been the collaboration between OREA, the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO), and the provincial government to develop and implement regulations that advance the cause of professionalism and ethics in real estate. A notable outcome is the permission for Designated Representation.
Designated Representation, or an additional representation relationship between real estate professionals and consumers, offers an elevated level of consumer protection and choice. It enables buyers and sellers to engage with a real estate professional they have confidence in when navigating the most significant financial transaction of their lives.
A Departure from Multiple Representation
In the existing framework in Ontario, all listing and buyer representation agreements are with a brokerage, rather than an individual REALTOR®. When a single brokerage is working with multiple clients in a single transaction, it is referred to as multiple representation. However, this setup has limitations as the brokerage must remain neutral, preventing the disclosure of certain details.
With Designated Representation, consumers can have an agency and fiduciary relationship with the designated real estate professional(s) rather than the brokerage. This fundamentally shifts the dynamics in favor of consumers, ensuring their interests are represented without compromise.
Enhancing Consumer Choice
The introduction of Designated Representation strengthens TRESA by underscoring the significance of consumer choice in real estate. It aligns Ontario with other provinces where this model has proven to be successful, offering consumers more flexibility in selecting the REALTOR® of their choice.
Flexibility for Brokerages
Unlike provinces that implemented similar models, Ontario brokerages are not required to choose one agency model over the other. The government’s decision to allow brokerages to use both types of representation on a transaction-by-transaction basis offers greater flexibility.
Ongoing Support for Regulations
OREA remains committed to collaborating with RECO, the Ontario Government, and industry partners to introduce supporting regulations. As these regulations continue to evolve, OREA will provide updates to its members and board leaders, ensuring transparency and adherence to the highest standards in the real estate industry.
Consumer choice is at the heart of these changes, and OREA is dedicated to ensuring that Ontario’s real estate market remains consumer-focused, transparent, and driven by professionalism and ethics.
Pritish Kumar Halder is an experienced real estate professional with a deep understanding of the real estate industry in Ontario, Canada. His expertise lies in market trends, consumer preferences, and industry regulations. Pritish is committed to promoting consumer choice and transparency in the real estate market.