New Real Estate Legislation in Ontario


In the next few columns, I’ll be sharing information about updated legislation that affects the real estate industry in Ontario. The Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO) explains these changes in a consumer guide called Working with a real estate agent: Things you need to know. Please call or text me directly for a complete copy of the guide.

As of December 1st, 2023, Realtors in Ontario are working under new legislation. The Trust in Real Estate Services Act (TRESA) updates the previous Real Estate and Business Brokers Act (REBBA) from 2002. The Act addresses, among other things, the nature of the relationship between Realtors, buyers and sellers. To understand the significance of these relationships, we first must understand the Realtor’s role.

Licensed Realtors guide their clients through complex real estate transactions, providing advice and information to help buyers and sellers make decisions that last a lifetime. Realtors complete extensive industry education (and continuing education) to help them fulfill this role. They also carry consumer deposit insurance and professional liability insurance.

As a client, when you list your home with a Realtor, the Realtor will offer strategic advice in keeping with market conditions. They’ll arrange photos, virtual tours, staging, and offer referrals for professional assistance (skilled trades, landscaping, etc.) before you go to market, to get the best results. Your agent will manage showings, handle offers as they come in, and negotiate with the buyer’s agent on your behalf to achieve success in terms of price, conditions and closing date. Once the sale is firm (with no conditions), they’ll guide you through the process of getting the paperwork to your lawyer and closing the transaction successfully. 

Realtors are governed by strict provincial standards that protect their clients throughout the process. Under the provincial legislation, your agent must keep your information confidential except where required by law, and avoid sharing details that could hurt your position in the marketplace, even after your relationship has ended. Unless your agent receives written consent from you, they are not allowed to share why you are buying or selling, or how much you may be willing to pay (or take) for a home. They are required to disclose anything they know that may impact your decision, such as re-zoning that might impact property values in a negative or positive way.

Agents are required to demonstrate undivided loyalty to their clients by protecting and promoting their client’s interests above the interests of the agent, the brokerage, or any other party. Realtors must avoid entering into a conflict of interest that could prevent them from acting in a client’s best interest. If a conflict of interest arises, the agent must inform their client, and cannot provide any additional services without the client’s written consent.

Next week we’ll explore why having an agent is essential, and how Ontario’s new TRESA legislation changes the real estate landscape for buyers and sellers. #Advice #AskDavid #TheNegotiator

David is a top-selling Broker in Kitchener-Waterloo Region. He works personally with you when