Recently Canada’s Competition Tribunal has ruled in the lengthy battle between the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) and the Competition Bureau. The fight began years ago over who should have access to the detailed data about home sales.
The bureau’s stance is that REALTORS® limits competition and subsequently keeps costs high by restricting access to data on its proprietary Multiple Listing Service®, on which more than 90% of all Canadian home sales get processed.
On the other side, TREB argues is that it owns the data and needs to limit access to it for the privacy of buyers and sellers.
The tribunal ruled in favor of the Competition Bureau late last week. A detailed ruling will be made public but for now, a one page explanation has been released. “The tribunal concluded that the restrictions have had, are having, and are likely to have the effect of preventing competition substantially in a market” the release states.
It’s not clear what the ruling means for consumers as the tribunal has yet to explain what penalties may be imposed or if TREB may be ordered to open up it’s data to anyone requesting it at some point. It’ll be interesting to see how and if this will impact our local Saskatoon real estate market. One thing is certain though, if the data is made public, consumers will see the value of a REALTOR® doesn’t just consist of the data.
Saskatoon real estate agent
Century 21 Fusion