As the review of the act regulating Ontario real estate continues, the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) is asking members for feedback on several proposals, including removing the exemption that allows salespeople who work for builders or developers without being registered and creating greater transparency in the offer process.

“The real estate market has changed tremendously since 2002 when REBBA and its Code of Ethics were first introduced,” says Ettore Cardarelli, OREA president. “Industry practices, business models and technology that are common place today were not present for the drafting of REBBA. Updating the act will ensure Ontario Realtors are held to standards that make sense in today’s real estate market.”

The proposals are intended to encourage feedback from Ontario Realtors and the public, which will inform the final recommendations that OREA presents to the government later this year, the association says.

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Other proposals include expanding the definition of a trade under the act. “A lack of clarity in the definition has permitted some unregistered individuals to market themselves to consumers as professionals who can help facilitate a real estate transaction,” says the proposal. “These unregistered ‘consultants’ pose a significant risk to consumer protection.”

In suggesting greater transparency in the offer process, the proposal says, “Under the current system, registrants are not permitted to disclose the contents of any offer to the other party apart from the seller. Bidding blind can create suspicion and mistrust, especially if the listing agent has their own offer…If the parties (buyer and seller) want a transparent offer process, the act and code should allow for that with the consent of the parties.”

Another proposal would deny registration to anyone applying who has “a violent or fraudulent criminal conviction in the last 10 years…with no right to appeal.”

There is also a suggestion that would institute a mandatory “cooling off” period of at least two years before a Realtor who has had their licence revoked can re-apply for registration.

Another proposal would fine buyer agents “when a confirmed appointment for a showing does not show up and a timely or reasonable explanation is not given.”

Members are asked to give their opinions on the proposals at

“Modernizing the act is an opportunity for Ontario Realtors to strengthen our industry and enshrine the highest professional standards in North America,” says Cardarelli. “We may not get the chance to do this again for many years. We are making the most of this opportunity to once again set the gold standard for real estate regulation in North America.”


  1. Re: Mandatory Interboarding For Listings

    I would like to present an idea that can serve our sellers better, and help with the flow and integrity of our MLS data in Ontario.

    Currently when a realtor member of one board lists outside of the board’s jurisdiction, it is not mandatory for the realtor to interboard that listing into the board the listing is in.

    For example,

    TREB member lists a property in Barrie, that member does not have to interboard the listing in Barrie. This is not servicing the Barrie seller well, because if a Barrie member does not have TREB membership ( which many don’t ) they may not even know the property is for sale.

    In addition inaccurate and incomplete data occurs for the local Barrie realtor to prepare CMA, Evaluations for buyers etc….and as time goes on every board is going to eventually have incomplete data.

    Making interboarding listings mandatory will stop this.

    Rita Giglione, Broker
    RLP First Conact Realty

    • I agree. If a Registrant is working outside of their own area they most definitely should be mandatory to inter-board the listing. Doing otherwise is only for the benefit of the Registrant not the client.

    • This is important. This happen often between OMDREB/TREB. At the very least the seller should be aware of this.

    • Rita, it’s likely just me and my opinion…

      My comment is not meant to be argumentative, and certainly many will disagree with the concept:

      When I worked at RLP for many years, (when branches were corporate-owned; the company didn’t believe in franchising) one of the strict head office rules and regs forbid working outside an office geographic boundary.

      For example, agents in Brampton were forbidden to list property in Rexdale or Bolton, each within a half-hour drive of Brampton. Or any place else outside the RLP branch office jurisdictional mapping.

      Some agents disagreed and tested the water temp and did so anyhow. There was a threat of being fired.

      But personally I was a strong believer in the territorial system and developed a most strong referral system; and I maintained it even after I opened my own boutique brokerage back in 1991, when I then had ten years’ experience strength and history to draw on.

      I will never forget how many times I was told and overheard said: “She’ll NEVER make it!” And that was already in 1980; and even more agents and managers were in agreement often in 1991.

      As many readers know, I am a strong believer in farming. So the combination of the two concepts made it possible for me to write 400-500k in net commissions to the branch, representing 60% of the trades written. I even referred out business to the other end of Brampton, rather than take on a fiduciary relationship where I didn’t feel qualified to represent those clients.

      Using Barrie as the pointed example, is pertinent; how can a Toronto agent possibly know what is needed to represent business there? We’re not talking contract law, as that is provincial, ministry driven, and the contract field should be pretty level. But such an example question might be: “what’s behind the mini-forest behind a listed subject property (whether buying or selling)?”

      The seller likely knows the regional dump is there. Would that get disclosed or even questioned by the TREB rep? Especially if he drives there after dark to list or sell, and doesn’t even see the trees. In summer in full bloom, looks very nice. No leaves in winter reveals things not seen in summer. But neighbours talk. (Didn’t your agent tell you about the “smell” when the wind blows in a certain direction?)

      This example is based on a true story in a different, but near Brampton, small town. Cost the Brampton agent and the seller a deal with multiple offers being presented and a neighbour-chat about the beautiful mini-forest, discussed outside while awaiting results. This sort of example always costs someone money.

      And: doing business out of town takes the agent away from back-at-home base-business wherein lies his expertise, territorial business that he would know like the back of his hand, with his eyes closed, that he could turn into instant earnings, and supporting his fiduciary.

      Regardless of the status of any given market, it’s just impossible to know details such as who built what, where and when, and unless incredible work goes into the representation, who could know the new highway is designated to pass right overhead, albeit ten years down the town planning area calendar.

      There’s not enough print space to accord points of similar reference. I could never understand doing such business and the dangers agents put themselves and their clients in by doing contracts outside their (map) areas of expertise.

      But then again, it is just my opinion and I only know what worked for me, year after year generating a (non-team) 24% market share. And only a transaction a week. Typically 35 referrals in any given year, sending clients out or service referrals coming in (directly to me, not through the manager who would decide what agent to give the referral to; a whole other story. “I” generated those referrals, other agents didn’t.)

      I was living proof, the extra mileage to do out of town transactions, that could be written off, definitely wasn’t worth it. But what worked for me was all the business I was doing locally while others were travelling to Barrie and other nearby towns.

      Carolyne L ?

      • Thanks for your input, what you have explained was in the past, and I am not aware of any offices restricting their realtors not to list or sell outside their board. The fact is approx.1/4 of sales in Barrie are made by other broad realtors. I’m sure other areas are seeing similar happening….Burlington, Toronto etc…..
        Carolyne, it is not a question of whether realtor should or should not list outside of their area, since we are licensed to sell in Ontario, it is a question of how to deal with this in order to better serve sellers and keep integrity of data.


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