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September 27, 2018

Unlicensed Real Estate ‘Consultants’ Pose Significant Risks To Home Buyers And Sellers, Say Ontario Realtors

The Ontario Real Estate Association lays out recommendations for strengthening consumer protection and raising professional standards during real estate transactions

TORONTO, ON, September 27, 2018 –To trade in real estate, real estate professionals must follow a strict set of rules laid out in the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act (REBBA). Currently, there are some unlicensed real estate ‘consultants’ in Ontario operating outside of the rules designed to protect consumers, and that needs to change say Ontario Realtors in part one of a three-part report – Roadmap to a New REBBA: Making Ontario the North American Leader in Real Estate Professionalism – being shared with the Ontario Government today. If accepted, this recommendation, along with several others, will modernize the legislation governing real estate professionals in Ontario, raise professional standards and better protect Ontario’s home buyers and sellers in the biggest transaction of their lives.

“Consumers have no recourse against an unlicensed real estate consultant if the sale of their home goes poorly,” said Tim Hudak, Chief Executive Officer, OREA. “There is a grey area in REBBA and these consultants are exploiting it to take advantage of unsuspecting home buyers and sellers. These operators represent themselves as real estate professionals and often target New Canadian communities. It’s time to throw the book at these unlicensed operators.”

Other recommendations brought forward by OREA include:

Level playing field if buying a new or resale home: REBBA currently exempts builders and developers from having to follow the rules that all real estate salespeople in Ontario must follow when trading in real estate.

Providing the option for a more transparent offer process: If buyers and sellers want a transparent, multiple-offer process, REBBA should allow for it with buyer and seller consent.

“When REBBA first passed 16 years ago, it was the era of the fax machine and smart phones were not yet invented – the real estate market has changed tremendously since then,” said Hudak. “It’s time for the legislation to catch up with the modern real estate market. Updating the rules will increase professionalism in our industry, which is what Realtors want and what home buyers and sellers deserve.”

OREA is working with the provincial government to modernize the Act, something that all Parties supported. The recommendations released today are the first of three sets of recommendations that have been prepared by OREA’s REBBA Review Taskforce.

To view a copy of the report, visit: www.rebbareform.ca.

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For more information contact:

Katarina Markovinovic-Praljak

Head of Communications & Media Relations

katarinam@orea.com

416-385-6615


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