Levelling the playing field with builders and developers, eliminating unlicensed real estate “consultants” and getting rid of “bully offers” top the list of reforms that the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) is recommending to the provincial government.



OREA’s recommendations also include creating an education program for potential real estate professionals that requires more in-class training and specialization in areas like condominiums, industrial and rural or waterfront properties.

OREA says there is currently a two-tier system of consumer protection that exempts builders and developers from having to follow the rules that all real estate salespeople in Ontario must follow when trading in real estate. Real estate auctions, although rare, are also exempt from the protections.

The association is also demanding removal of the grey area in the legislation that allows unlicensed real estate “consultants” to operate in Ontario.

On the topic of bully or pre-emptive offers, “If a home listing includes an offer date, that’s the date on which all offers should be considered; an offer made before that date should not be allowed,” says Karen Cox, OREA president. “This will ensure that all interested buyers of a particular home get a fair shot at making an offer. For sellers, it means they will have a chance to work with their Realtor to carefully and thoughtfully consider all offers without feeling like they are in a pressure cooker.”

The recommendations also suggest eliminating escalation clauses, a provision that a buyer can use to beat competing offers by automatically topping any better offer with a previously stipulated amount.

“A clause that allows a buyer to automatically bump all other offers out of the running in a multiple offer situation makes for a very uneven playing field,” says Cox. “Further, for the escalation clause to kick-in, a Realtor must reveal private financial information such as the highest offer on a home to the buyer using the clause, which violates the Realtor Code of Ethics. Eliminating contradictory rules like this will strengthen consumer confidence in the province’s real estate market.”

In transactions where real estate salespeople are caught breaching the act that regulates real estate in the province, OREA is calling for a process called disgorgement, which would force rule breakers to pay back any income they made by unethical means.

Also among OREA’s recommendations:

  • Provide the option for a more transparent offer process.
  • Give The Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO) the authority to proactively investigate the worst offenders and kick people who break the rules out of the profession. When an individual’s license is revoked, implement a “cooling off” period of at least two years before the offending individual can reapply for registration. All applicants with violent criminal convictions or fraudulent convictions defined under Section 380 of the Canadian Criminal Code within the last 10 years should be denied the privilege of working in real estate, with no right of appeal, says OREA.
  • RECO should be granted authority to establish administrative monetary penalties, or fines under $2,000, for a range of regulatory violations as an intermediary disciplinary
  • Ontario still does not allow salespeople and brokers from operating their businesses through professional corporations. OREA is calling for fair tax treatment for Realtors.
  • Amend legislation to permit specialty licensing classes for commercial, agricultural, condominium and other forms of real estate.
  • Replace the term “salesperson” with “agent” and replace the term “registrant” with “licensee”.

16 COMMENTS

  1. Eliminate all offer dates altogether.. tired of an agent listing for 200K under value only to advertise selling it for $200k over list price.. falsely inflates prices.. eliminate dual representation… every consumer already thinks/knows how that is unethical.. ask any consumer their thoughts on realtors and you will be told they are less honourable than used car salespeople. That’s why I decided it was time to leave profession. It was embarrassing to be associated with too many morally and ethically bankrupt human beings

  2. If it was a Buyers’ market would we see the same the comments ? Let the parties and the market decide what works best for them and stop trying to regulate behavior.

  3. “RECO should be granted authority to establish administrative monetary penalties, or fines under $2,000, for a range of regulatory violations as an intermediary disciplinary”

    Can someone shed some light on what these penalties will be for? Is this Fintrac related at all?

  4. I’d love to see Offer Dates thrown out; it would make the playing field more fair and then we would get Realtors pricing their listings more realistically.

  5. I strongly agree that once the property is listed is should be ready to accept offer. Also Listing must have a realistic price not $1 or so. We all know that our role is to help clients in making one of the most expensive investment of their life. I believe the title we are allowed to use in our profession does not justify our services.
    I believe the title “Realtor” will be a much better alternate to “Sales Person”

    • Great comments.

      It was illegal not to long ago via MLS rules and regs to post a listing that was not open to offers at the time of posting. It was illegal for over 7 decades actually til the RECO board of directors elected registrants with even the most minor level of experience to direct the industry.

      The $1 Asking Price was warned against by RECO yet RECO has never prosecuted anyone for them…why?

      It is by definition False and Misleading to advertise a home for a price the Listing Brokerage “knowingly” knows the Seller will not accept. Again RECO has failed to simply check out realtor.ca each morning and file charges in the afternoon.

      The $1 Asking Price is also something NO OTHER business is Canada is allowed to do. I mean a Car Dealer who prices a car at $1 must be willing to sell it for $1. That’s right the real estate sales person today who posts a $1 Asking Price Listing is worse than a Used Car Dealer.

      The $1 Asking Price Listing is also a Competition Bureau violation and this is black and white. Why has no consumer simply filed a CB complaint? Because CORE hides these actions as illegal from the public.

      REALTOR is a trademark name owned by NAR and as such cannot be used like lawyer or doctor. Lets also be honest as today ComFREE and PropertyGuys are realtors and that means no representation required.

      When OREA and CREA are solely required to protect the worst and most unethical members in their ranks at the expense of the Best and most Ethical this is where your business model ends.

      • Some excellent points. It sure sounds like – “BAIT AND SWITCH”. It is misleading, unethical, unprofessional and should be stopped.

  6. Need supply more house condo to keep price in control. Not only ownership. Rental property. Instead of putting money in fake stock market. Which give return only to rich.
    Bank make billions profit, can do lot more to invest rental business. Only Toronto need 40000 unit per year. Where is supply. City put rule rule rule . Some time it take 6/8year to get a big development zoning permission.

  7. Why does Orea not get rid of Offer dates!!! This only inflates prices and contributes to Buyers over paying for under valued properties, which in turn causes the problems that we are in today. Federal government implementing Foreign tax and Stress Test are two perfect examples that has directly affected our industry and economy. If a property is placed on the MLS then Offers should can be presented at any time. This levels the playing field, not getting rid of Bully or pre- emptive Offers. Are industry is perceived as a joke and unprofessional by the public. We are not looked at as professionals.
    Why are we allowing properties to be undeelisted by $100-200-300 thousand or more to go on the MLS? A total joke and misrepresentation to both Sellers & Buyers. These properties should not be allowed to be listed on the MLS.
    Is is astonishing the crap We hear from Tim & Karen and other board members.
    The property is either on the market or it’s not.
    If they wish to hold back Offers then they should not be allowed on the MLS. Then the Seller can do whatever they want.
    This will clean up the games that are being played by realtors!! Also lobby to get a Capital Gains tax implemented if a property is Sold by Assignment or within 2 years of purchasing a property. This will take care of flippers and result in prices not inflating through the roofs with false values. Our children will have greater difficulty buying a property if we do not clean up this industry. These are reasons why Tim Hudak never became premier, no idea what he should be doing.
    Do we even need OREA??
    What have they done for us??

    • We would not be in business if it weren’t for our associations. Become a contributing realtor and find out the hard work that goes in to protecting our profession.

    • I totally agree with your statement the industry is taking total advantage of form 244 holding offers Clients have overpaid for their houses and now 2 1/2 years later or finding it hard to even get back what they paid for them let alone any profit this is something I said would happen and it is I still don’t understand why we need 4 bodies governing us we have Crea, Reco, Orea And our individual boards with 4 sets is of fees. Our chosen profession is becoming less ethical the time.

    • We don’t need OREA, they know it so they are desperate to reset their mandate from education to lobbying. As for Tim Hudak he’s as useless now as he ever was.

  8. Hey Tim how do home prices rise? You know the math the formula that has never been taught to registrants.

    I suspect Tim does not know Real Estate Consultants like GrapeVine have existed longer the American Franshise Brands who introduced the Desk Rental Model into Ontario.

    I suspect Tim has never been told how we conned him with REBBA 2002 in allow brokerages to still do dual agency and to hide the previous 30 years where we mislead the public into believing we were representing buyers when we were not.

    Does Tim know that TREB began counting FSBO in 2013 and that until today they have never admitted to the public how they lied to buyers in 2014 and 2015 when comparing to the previous years sales?

    Where is the request to bring TREB or RAHB under the oversight of RECO to prevent the public from being mislead by board economists who don’t even know the stats they release were created decades ago to cover
    up the incompetence of the membership?

    I cannot imagine being a Broker Owner today and watching as my business is continually placed in jeopardy because of organized real estate paid staff.

    Let’s jump to something that will bring another huge Competition Bureau complaint against OREA for lobbying to limit the business choices of other real estate service providers.

    No wonder he could not beat Wynne.

    • Nelson, you wrote, in part:
      “I cannot imagine being a Broker Owner today and watching as my business is continually placed in jeopardy because of organized real estate paid staff.”

      ===

      Someone in our field might need his litigating services at some point … Many Board EO’s and others in ownership or supervisory capacities might benefit from adding him to their contact list. He is also an excellent networker and is quick to reply personally (a rarity in law offices) if contacted.

      My contact for copyright and any sort of IP law is Mark Biernacki (
      416) 593-5514 or
      [email protected]

      I have his written permission to give out his contact information for ease of access.

      He covers these areas of law; he explained:

      “My practise is restricted to intellectual property, but spans most of that field. I litigate in all areas of intellectual property, including patents, trademarks and copyright. I also assist clients in securing copyright and trademarks. About the only area of IP that I no longer practise is drafting patent applications, but there are many others in my firm who do.”

      Carolyne L 🍁

  9. I am pleased to see OREA taking a position on many issues that are legitimate concerns of consumers. It’s important for organized real estate to be on the forefront of these issues and to take a strong stand on enhancing professionalism within our industry.

  10. A few years ago I noted from OREA’s financial reports that unused course fees were far greater than needed to complete the courses. That there is a huge surplus which will go unused is a recent admission by OREA. Such over-billing and cash-cow funding practices should be a concern to every OREA member.

    OREA did nothing in the last 10 years to advance the education of incoming registrants. They’ve shown themselves to be a bloviated, over-rated ineffective agency which is now trying desperately to remain relevant. Meanwhile Hudak’s attempt to interject into strengthening REBBA 2002 was nowhere evident during his tenure as Minister of Consumer and Business Services.

    It’s a dinosaur, an interloper, just parroting board positions, duplicating forms (CREA/Boards) that I wish would either be absorbed by TREB, fired by TREB or ,just quietly go away!

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