By: Beacon Real Estate Team
MLS Sold Data Available on Beacon Team Website
Tags: Toronto, Real Estate, Sold Data, TREB, Beacon Real Estate Team
After seven exhausting years and several appeals, the battle between the Competition Bureau and the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) appears to have come to an end. As you have likely heard, the Supreme Court of Canada recently upheld an earlier decision that TREB must allow its members the option to make sales data public and denied TREB the right to appeal.
Until now, TREB members could not share sales data publicly, which in the eyes of the Competition Bureau enabled TREB to monopolize the Toronto real estate market and did not give its members a fair chance to compete. However, TREB members will now be allowed to share sold and other historic listing data on their websites, through password protected access.
This is big news in the real estate industry as it introduces a significant shift in how Multiple Listing Service (MLS) information is accessed and used. It will enable home buyers and sellers to have self-service data access without having to consult their Realtor.
The ruling comes with mixed emotions amongst the Realtor community. While many sided with the Competition Bureau, believing it will make the market more transparent and introduce fairer conditions for clients, others are strongly against it. TREB has consistently viewed the release of such data as a violation of clients’ privacy and an unfair mandate to share intellectual property that over decades its members paid to build.
At Beacon Team, we appreciate these mixed feelings. Although TREB members have spent millions of dollars developing this database (and after all you can’t walk into your local car dealership and get a historic sales list of their vehicles!), we welcome the ability to share as much meaningful data as possible with our clients and look forward to increasing client experience, while allowing us to focus on our value-added services.
Although this decision is final, what specific data and how it will be allowed to be shared is still being ironed out between TREB and the Competition Bureau. TREB’s concern, which we support, is the protection of consumer privacy and accuracy of information shared. For instance, we don’t believe sold data should be available until a property has successfully closed (as this could have serious implications to sellers in the event a deal falls apart) or that fields meant for brokerage-to-brokerage notes and communication should remain restricted as they often contain sensitive or private information (i.e elderly client, property vacant etc).
How Will This Change Benefit Beacon Team Clients?
Beacon Team clients will have direct access to MLS data from our website in two convenient ways:
- Signing up for our Street Match service, which notifies you when one of your neighbours lists their house for sale on MLS (i.e listings around a particular address). If you are currently signed up for this service there is nothing for you to do, you will automatically start receiving sold data as well. The best part about Street Match is that it is automated, so once you register, you won’t miss any new or sold properties in your neighborhood.
- Registering for a user account on our website. Buyers and sellers who register with us will be able to access the enhanced MLS data through self-service search options. To create a user account visit our website, click “register” in the top right, and voila! NOTE: sold data will be available over the coming weeks and our website will be adjusted accordingly as final decisions are made on what we can offer while complying with our obligations imposed by TREB.
How Will It Benefit Beacon Team?
Implementing self-service options will allow Beacon Team members to focus on the value-added services we provide our clients. We appreciate that while having direct access to MLS data may mean a lot to our clients, they will still need guidance to interpret the info properly. Having access to sales and market data is easy (since we already need to provide this to clients today today) but it’s in the accurate interpretation of that data and knowledge of the market and buyer/seller patterns that sets us apart from many other Realtors. It is this set of skills that enables us to help sellers obtain the best possible price for their property or for buyers to make highly informed purchasing decisions.
This public data release will help Realtors who go beyond basic “MLS” services for their clients and who know the market in and out to set themselves apart from those who just rely on MLS data and the privilege of access to attract clients. Buyers/sellers will now seek to find Realtors who offer stronger value propositions and service levels instead of just MLS data in exchange for a commission.
As always, don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about this topic, or want to chat Toronto real estate!