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Ontario buyers could soon see transparency in real estate bidding

Selling home in winter months home with sale sign

Typically when selling a home, a seller hires a real estate agent, places a “for sale” sign on the yard, lists their property and waits for offers to come in.

Interested buyers make blind offers, not knowing what their competition offered, and hope that their bid will be accepted. Because they have no way of knowing the figures offered by others many potential buyers offer amounts well north of the listed price in hopes of securing the property.

Though this system works more in the favour of sellers, not all of them are satisfied. Some prefer to sell their home to the buyer who they feel will most appreciate the home. However, in the traditional process, those who offer the most are usually the ones who get the property.

“There are some consumers who want everything on the table, to be open and transparent.”

In Ontario, it’s legal to share details of competing offers with other potential buyers, but only if all parties involved agree. Though this process helps to avoid blind bidding, it’s quite rare, especially when the market is hot, and supply is low.

However, the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) is looking to change the standard process. Earlier this month, OREA asked the Ontario government to amend the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act in order to make it possible for agents to share with each other offer amounts, closing dates and all other details pertaining to prospective buyers.

Though OREA isn’t looking to make this process mandatory, it would give buyers and sellers a way to opt for a transparent sale process if that’s what they choose.

OREA’s chief executive, Tim Hudak, mentioned that many folks in Australia and the U.S. are seeking more transparent transactions in real estate and suggests making this the reality for folks at home too. According to Hudak, people should be offered a choice.

“There are some consumers who want everything on the table, to be open and transparent,” he said. “And there are some homeowners who believe they will get the most money or the best deal through this method.”

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Misael Lizarraga

Misael started as an English teacher in Mazatlan, Mexico but his passion was in real estate. Now, he works with a handful of clients reporting on real estate news from across the world under his primary business: