“The biggest financial transaction of one’s life – buying or selling a home – deserves the expertise of a REALTOR® with the highest professional standards, and that is what the Ontario Government delivered when it passed the Trust in Real Estate Services Act (TRESA) in 2020. TRESA replaced the decades-old Real Estate and Business Act, 2002 (REBBA) and made Ontario the North American leader when it comes to professional standards, training, and modern tools for real estate professionals. These changes are acting on many of the things recommended by the Auditor General in her report released today.
Among other things, TRESA is going to:
- Fix the broken real estate disciplinary system – by giving the provincial regulator, RECO, greater ability to suspend or revoke licenses and pursue investigations of the worst offenders.
- Create higher education standards – specialty designations for real estate professionals will allow Ontario consumers to identify REALTORS® who have training or expertise in a particular area of real estate, like commercial or waterfront properties.
- Increase the transparency of the real estate offer process – by removing barriers to real estate professions working with a consumer to sell a home using an open offer process.
- Strengthen consumer friendly disclosures – by mandating the use of consumer guide created by the regulator and introducing easier to understand terms and relationships.
- Increasing fines for rule breakers – the maximum penalty for salespeople is $50,000, while brokers and brokerages could face fines of up to $100,000.
With the passage of TRESA and the ongoing introduction of supporting regulations, Ontario is on the right track when it comes to strengthening consumer protection in real estate. OREA was pleased to see the Auditor recommend stronger policies around criminal background checks, money laundering and stopping agents from profiting from breaking the rules. Many of the new rules will come into effect in April 2023 and we are grateful to Minister Rasheed and his government for delivering on its promise to modernize real estate rules and improve the home buying and selling experience for Ontario families.”
– Tim Hudak, CEO of the Ontario Real Estate Association