Tag Archives: Tim Syrianos

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Real Insight: Investing In Yourself

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Real Insight: Investing In Yourself

Owning your own home is one the key determinants of economic and social well being

Owning a home is a sound long-term investment financially and emotionally, from building your wealth to giving you a sense of community. If your home investment is your principle residence, price gains are exempt from capital gains tax. Furthermore, it can also be part of your retirement investment and help grow your nest egg.

Homeownership and housing affordability are two of the key determinants of economic and social wellbeing.

Stable housing provides a foundation for parents’ employment stability and income, children’s educational attainment and a family’s health and civic engagement. Access to homeownership can help families build equity over time, which allows them to save for future life investment goals such as education, health, etc.

And owning your home goes beyond your front door — it means contributing to and becoming part of a vibrant community. TREB supports more than 60 shelter-based initiatives throughout the GTA through contributions and fundraising events. In fact, TREB members recently volunteered and raised $150,000 to help build a new home for a local family at Habitat for Humanity GTA’s build at 140 Pinery Trail in Scarborough.

Your home is also an emotional investment; it provides you with the backdrop for all of life’s most important events, where you gather with friends and family to make lasting memories.

Homeownership is one of the largest financial decisions you will make and, in today’s market, homebuyers and sellers need an advantage. Look to a TREB member realtor, who will use their expertise and knowledge to provide the edge you need while moving through the buying or selling process.

Tim Syrianos is president of the Toronto Real Estate Board, a professional association that represents 48,000 professional realtor members in the Greater Toronto Area. You can contact him at TREBpres@trebnet.com. For updates on the real estate market, visit TREBhome.com. If commercial property is what interests you, contact a TREB realtor by visiting TREBcommercial.com.

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Real Insight : Looking to The Future

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Real Insight : Looking to The Future

Smart phone apps like TREB’s Collaborate helping to transform the homebuyer’s journey

Every January, the biggest brands in technology and consumer electronics gather in Nevada for the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). There are so many exciting new real estate and home technologies, with smart homes taking centre stage at CES 2018. Below are some of the latest innovations I’m most excited about.

In the Home

No discussion about smart homes would be complete without mentioning Amazon Echo and Google Home. These intelligent personal assistants allow you to interact with technology with your voice and have made it more commonplace to conduct internet searches, play music and make online purchases from your home through speech commands.

These assistants have also led to an increase in integrated, voice activated smart home products. Products like the Ring Video Doorbell, a smart doorbell that sends alerts, a live video feed and two-way speaking capabilities to your smart phone whenever someone is at your door.

A number of smart light and vent technologies can now also connect with intelligent personal assistants to dim or cool a home based on voice commands.

The kitchen, in particular, is a place where smart home tech is continuing to grow. The FridgeCam, for example, is a product that can be added to a traditional fridge and can suggest recipes based on what’s in your fridge and even indicate when your groceries will expire. Other kitchen technology currently in development includes inductive heating countertops that will intuitively detect and heat pots and pans, while ensuring plates and utensils on the same surface are not heated.

Real Estate Technology

Virtual reality (VR) will work to empower real estate professionals and their clients to tour spatially accurate 3D renderings of multiple listings without the hassle of travelling to multiple locations.

While many VR headsets are expensive, and the technology has a way to go, companies like the Canadian-based Gryd.com have already created budget cardboard VR headsets that allow people to gain 360 previews of listings.

Augmented reality is another developing technology that will allow realtors to superimpose information onto real world environments. By simply having a buyer hover their smart phone camera over a condominium residence, for example, relevant information on the building’s amenities, units available, and more, could be displayed over the screen.

Other products, like the Bluetooth-enabled Igloohome Smart Keybox, make it so you can conveniently access the contents of a lock box through an app, while e-signature solutions are continuing to remove the need for pen and paper to finalize a property transaction.

Currently, a number of smart phone applications are also helping to transform the homebuyer’s journey. One such apps is Collaborate by TREB, which allows buyers to search properties across multiple devices, communicate with a TREB realtor in real time, and comment and like/dislike properties while sharing this info with your real estate professional.

TIM SYRIANOS is president of the Toronto Real Estate Board, a professional association that represents 48,000 professional realtor members in the greater toronto area. You can contact him at TREBpres@trebnet.com. For updates on the real estate market, visit TREBhome.com. if commercial property is what interests you, contact a TREB realtor by visiting TREBcommercial.com.

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GTA home prices decline 12.4%

GTA home prices decline 12.4%

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GTA home prices decline 12.4%

TREB releases monthly market figures reported by GTA realtors

Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) president Tim Syrianos announced that GTA realtors reported 7,792 sales through TREB’s MLS System in April 2018. The average selling price was $804,584. On a year-over-year basis, sales were down by 32.1 per cent and the average selling price was down by 12.4 per cent.

The year-over-year change in the overall average selling price has been impacted by both changes in market conditions as well as changes in the type and price point of homes being purchased. This is especially clear at the higher end of the market.

Detached home sales for $2 million or more accounted for 5.5 per cent of total detached sales in April 2018, versus 10 per cent in April 2017.

The MLS Home Price Index strips out the impact of changes in the mix of home sales from one year to the next. This is why the MLS HPI Composite Benchmark was down by only 5.2 per cent year-over-year versus 12.4 per cent for the average price.

“While average selling prices have not climbed back to last year’s record peak, April’s price level represents a substantial gain over the past decade. Recent polling conducted for TREB by Ipsos tells us that the great majority of buyers are purchasing a home within which to live,” Syrianos said. “This means these buyers are treating home ownership as a long-term investment. A strong and diverse labour market and continued population growth based on immigration should continue to underpin long-term home price appreciation.”

After preliminary seasonal adjustment*, the month-over-month change (i.e. March 2018 to April 2018) in sales and the average selling price was minimal, with sales decreasing 1.6 per cent and the average selling price decreasing by 0.2 per cent.  The month-over-month sales trend has flattened out over the past two months following a steeper drop-off in January and February.

“The comparison of this year’s sales and price figures to last year’s record peak masks the fact that market conditions should support moderate increases in home prices as we move through the second half of the year, particularly for condominium apartments and higher density lowrise home types,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s sirector of market analysis. “Once we are past the current policy-based volatility, homeowners should expect to see the resumption of a moderate and sustained pace of price growth in line with a strong local economy and steady population growth.”

“With a provincial election campaign about to begin, GTA realtors hope that all of the provincial parties will make housing issues a priority. Homeownership is a worthwhile investment that benefits our economy, individual finances and quality of life,” said Syrianos.

“In recent months and years, there has been significant intervention in housing markets by all levels of government, through regulatory changes and taxation. We believe the next step should be tax relief, especially from Land Transfer Taxes, both provincial and the Toronto Land Transfer Tax, and efforts to facilitate an increase in the supply of missing middle housing that fills the gap between single family homes and highrises. Furthermore, we believe that any attempt to increase the Toronto Land Transfer Tax should require approval from the provincial government, given the significance of Toronto’s economy to the province and the connections between the Toronto real estate market and that of the broader GTA.”

______

* Preliminary seasonal adjustment undertaken by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). Removing normal seasonal variations allows for more meaningful analysis of monthly changes and underlying trends.


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Real Insight: Looking To The Future

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Real Insight: Looking To The Future

Smart phone apps like TREB’s Collaborate helping to transform the homebuyer’s journey

Every January, the biggest brands in technology and consumer electronics gather in Nevada for the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). There are so many exciting new real estate and home technologies, with smart homes taking centre stage at CES 2018. Below are some of the latest innovations I’m most excited about.

IN THE HOME

No discussion about smart homes would be complete without mentioning Amazon Echo and Google Home. These intelligent personal assistants allow you to interact with technology with your voice and have made it more commonplace to conduct internet searches, play music and make online purchases from your home through speech commands.

These assistants have also led to an increase in integrated, voice-activated smart home products. Products like the Ring Video Doorbell, a smart doorbell that sends alerts, a live video feed and two-way speaking capabilities to your smart phone whenever someone is at your door.

A number of smart light and vent technologies can now also connect with intelligent personal assistants to dim or cool a home based on voice commands.

The kitchen, in particular, is a place where smart home tech is continuing to grow. The FridgeCam, for example, is a product that can be added to a traditional fridge and can suggest recipes based on what’s in your fridge and even indicate when your groceries will expire. Other kitchen technology currently in development includes inductive heating countertops that will intuitively detect and heat pots and pans, while ensuring plates and utensils on the same surface are not heated.

REAL ESTATE TECHNOLOGY

Virtual reality (VR) will work to empower real estate professionals and their clients to tour spatially accurate 3D renderings of multiple listings without the hassle of travelling to multiple locations.

While many VR headsets are expensive, and the technology has a way to go, companies like the Canadianbased Gryd.com have already created budget cardboard VR headsets that allow people to gain 360 previews of listings.

Augmented reality is another developing technology that will allow realtors to superimpose information onto real world environments. By simply having a buyer hover their smart phone camera over a condominium residence, for example, relevant information on the building’s amenities, units available, and more, could be displayed over the screen.

Other products, like the Bluetoothenabled Igloohome Smart Keybox, make it so you can conveniently access the contents of a lock box through an app, while e-signature solutions are continuing to remove the need for pen and paper to finalize a property transaction.

Currently, a number of smart phone applications are also helping to transform the homebuyer’s journey. One such apps is Collaborate by TREB, which allows buyers to search properties across multiple devices, communicate with a TREB realtor in real time, and comment and like/dislike properties while sharing this info with your real estate professional.

Tim Syrianos is president of the Toronto Real Estate Board, a professional association that represents 48,000 professional realtor members in the Greater Toronto Area. You can contact him at TREBpres@trebnet.com. For updates on the real estate market, visit TREBhome.com. If commercial property is what interests you, contact a TREB realtor by visiting TREBcommercial.com.

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TREB releases condo market report

TREB releases condo market report

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TREB releases condo market report

The average selling price for condominium apartments sold through TREB’s MLS system was up by 9 per cent year-over-year.

The Toronto Real Estate Board president Tim Syrianos announced that the average selling price for condominium apartments sold through TREB’s MLS system was up by 9 per cent year-over-year to $533,447 in the first quarter of 2018.

While the number of condominium apartment sales reported by GTA realtors in the first quarter was down by 29.7 per cent year-over-year to 5,084, so too were the number of new listings, which were down by 11.1 per cent annually to 8,030.

“Sellers’ market conditions for condominium apartments remained firmly in place in the first quarter of 2018. Strong competition between buyers underpinned price growth well above the rate of inflation,” Syrianos said. “We expect the condo market segment to remain strong through the remainder of 2018 and over the longer term, as buyers continue to see ownership housing as a quality long-term investment.”

Inventory levels for condominium apartments in the first quarter of 2018 were above the record lows experienced during the first three months of 2017. However, with months of inventory continuing to trend between 1.5 and 2 months, market conditions remain very tight from a historic perspective.

“The condominium apartment market segment continues to have the lowest price point on average compared to other major lowrise home types,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s director of market analysis. “It stands to reason that condos remain popular with first-time buyers. Strong demand relative to supply will see this segment perform well from a pricing standpoint for the remainder of 2018 and beyond.:

Protect consumers purchasing a former grow-op

On a related front, personal cultivation of cannabis should not be allowed inside homes as growing marijuana can pose significant health and safety issues for unsuspecting homebuyers, such as the growth of mould and fungus. With the legalization of marijuana looming, there are no rules in place to protect a homebuyer from purchasing a former grow operation.

“The provincial government needs to act now to bring forward measures that will ensure homebuyers are protected from the health and safety risks associated with former grow ops,” Syrianos said. “Policy makers must take action to protect Greater Toronto Area homeowners and address the long-term impact of legal marijuana cultivation on the housing stock.

“We are calling for measures to require inspection by municipal building officials, registration of remediation work orders on property title, mandate home inspectors to receive training on spotting former grow operations and restrict the number of plants that a homeowner can grow from four to one in units 1,000 square feet or smaller to protect multi-unit dwellings such as condos and apartments.

“Visit protectontariohomes.ca, launched by the Ontario Real Estate Association for more information on cannabis legalization and to take action.”

trebhome.com


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GTA home sales drop 39.5 per cent from March 2017

GTA home sales drop 39.5 per cent from March 2017

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GTA home sales drop 39.5 per cent from March 2017

GTA home sales down 17.6 per cent relative to average March sales for the previous 10 years, TREB reports

Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) president Tim Syrianos says that Greater Toronto Area realtors reported 7,228 residential transactions through TREB’s MLS System in March 2018. This result was down by 39.5 per cent compared to a record 11,954 sales reported in March 2017, and down 17.6 per cent relative to average March sales for the previous 10 years.

The number of new listings entered into TREB’s MLS System totalled 14,866 – a 12.4 per cent decrease compared to March 2017 and a three per cent decrease compared to the average for the previous 10 years.

“TREB stated in its recent Market Outlook report that Q1 sales would be down from the record pace set in Q1 2017,” said Syrianos. “The effects of the Fair Housing Plan, the new OSFI-mandated stress test, and generally higher borrowing costs have prompted some buyers to put their purchasing decision on hold. Home sales are expected to be up relative to 2017 in the second half of this year.”

The MLS Home Price Index Composite Benchmark was down by 1.5 percent on a year-over-year basis for the TREB market area as a whole. The overall average selling price was down by 14.3 per cent compared to March 2017.

While the change in market conditions certainly played a role, the dip in the average selling price was also compositional in nature. Detached home sales, which generally represent the highest price points in a given area, declined much more than other home types. In addition, the share of high-end detached homes selling for over $2 million in March 2018 was half of what was reported in March 2017, further impacting the average selling price.

“Right now, when we are comparing home prices, we are comparing two starkly different periods of time: last year, when we had less than a month of inventory versus this year with inventory levels ranging between two and three months,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis. “It makes sense that we haven’t seen prices climb back to last year’s peak. However, in the second half of the year, expect to see the annual rate of price growth improve compared to Q1, as sales increase relative to the below-average level of listings.”

TREB continues to stress that housing and housing affordability need to be at the forefront of the policy debates leading into this year’s provincial and municipal elections.

“A well-functioning housing market is not only important to ensure that people have a place to live, it is also important because it supports hundreds of thousands of jobs, billions of dollars in spin-off expenditures and billions of dollars in government revenues,” Syrianos said. “Issues such as the below-average level of housing supply and often inadvisable policy ideas and negative measures such as land transfer taxes, vacancy taxes, speculation taxes and second home taxes should also be thoroughly debated by all candidates,” said Syrianos.

Click here to read TREB’s full report.


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Real Insight: Metrolinx Inspiring New Ridership

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Real Insight: Metrolinx Inspiring New Ridership

The design excellence program is about incorporating good urban design and architecture to help spur sustainable growth

Many GTA home buyers rank a convenient commute high on their list of new home must haves. Whether it’s the journey to the office, shops, schools, or a transit stop to embark on the next leg of a trip, commute times can be a major selling point when deciding on a home purchase.

For half a century, GO Transit has played a vital role in people’s commutes across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA). Over the next 25 years, the $45 billion regional transportation plan developed by Metrolinx will increase service and connect even more communities, resulting in improved commutes and more housing options.

Beyond laying down new tracks and trains, Metrolinx has ambitious plans to transform how people get around by adopting the principles of what is known as design excellence. Design excellence is about more than just visuals, as Metrolinx is thinking about how their new transit developments should be designed to better integrate into communities, build ridership and instill a sense of pride in transit.

In essence, the design excellence program by Metrolinx is about incorporating good urban design and architecture to help spur growth, increase sustainability, usability, and improve passenger comfort and safety. All while ensuring public dollars produce thoughtful and costeffective results.

The Eglinton Crosstown LRT, Toronto’s first stand-alone rapid transit line in almost two decades, is receiving the design excellence treatment by Metrolinx.

The ECLRT will have new and identifiable station buildings that support city building, clear signage, streetscaping to beautify the neighbourhood, as well as outdoor platforms with built-in snow melting that will reduce snow clearing costs and the need for salt, which damages vehicles and the environment. Metrolinx will also enhance neighbourhood connectivity with the ECLRT, incorporating designs that encourage sustainable travel options such as walking, cycling and carpooling.

The transit project, which will stretch from Weston Road to Kennedy Road, will contribute to Toronto’s midtown in more ways than one, simultaneously creating new transit connections and improving the public realm.

The Davenport Diamond guideway, which will help increase service on the Barrie GO line and facilitate two-way electrified service, is another example of design excellence in action by Metrolinx.

The guideway initially drew some concern with residents in the area due to its size and proximity to households. However, through the principles of design excellence, which emphasize community engagement and public realm improvements, the benefits being proposed have since changed the tone of the conversation about the project.

Over public consultation sessions, Metrolinx outlined how design excellence promises that the guideway will not only allow for speedier transit service, but will also introduce a new piece of public infrastructure that contributes back to the community. It is set to feature prominent public realm improvements, a linear greenway park connecting to the West Toronto Railpath and includes a significant and prominent integrated art piece commissioned for the elevated rail portion.

While design excellence was not built into many of Ontario’s transportation projects in the past, Metrolinx has made great strides to change this by ensuring good urban design and architecture are part of the package.

Transportation is crucial, especially in a region grappling with gridlock and congestion, and the commitment to design excellence by Metrolinx promises to deliver a high standard for the region. It’s exciting to see what’s in store for the region’s transportation infrastructure over the next 25 years.

TIM SYRIANOS is president of the Toronto Real Estate Board, a professional association that represents 48,000 professional realtor members in the Greater Toronto Area. You can contact him at TREBpres@trebnet.com.

For updates on the real estate market, visit TREBhome.com. If commercial property is what interests you, contact a TREB realtor by visiting TREBcommercial.com.

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Real Insight: Housing Plays Key Role in Economy

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Real Insight: Housing Plays Key Role in Economy

TREB participating with working groups to help formulate policy and keep homeownership affordable.

I am very proud of the work the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) and our realtor members do to help raise awareness of important housing issues facing the Greater Toronto Area.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently announced the Liberal government’s National Housing Strategy, and the role that the federal government must play in housing. “Housing rights are human rights, everyone deserves a safe and affordable place to call home,” Trudeau said.

Canadians believe in the pride of homeownership and in helping others achieve the same dream. Adequate housing is fundamental to society, and the housing market plays a key role in our local, provincial and federal economies. Back in November, National Housing Week was a perfect opportunity to have a conversation about these important housing issues and needs.

A number of volunteer TREB representatives met with numerous MPPs at Queen’s Park to provide information on the state of the housing market, as well as information about several important public policy issues related to housing.

TREB believes that it is important to contribute to the development of public policy on housing. That’s why we have made it a priority over the last year to work with all levels of government as they have considered various public policies relevant to housing markets.

In recent months, TREB has participated in provincial and municipal housing working groups to help formulate policy intended to keep housing and homeownership affordable and accessible.

In addition to actively participating in these working groups, TREB will continue to contribute to housing policy discussions by providing valuable information, dialogue and evidence based data about the important housing issues facing the GTA, including consumer homebuying intentions in our annual Market Year in Review and Outlook, which was released on January 30.

Watch for more information about this report in the coming weeks.

Tim Syrianos is president of the Toronto Real Estate Board, a professional association that represents 48,000 professional realtor members in the Greater Toronto Area. You can contact him at TREBpres@trebnet.com. For updates on the real estate market, visit TREBhome.com. If commercial property is what interests you, contact a TREB realtor by visiting TREBcommercial.com.

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Real Insight: TREB Working With Province to Ensure Greater Efficiency

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Real Insight: TREB Working With Province to Ensure Greater Efficiency

TREB is demonstrating its commitment to consumer protection and efficiency for real estate transactions in meetings with the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services. TREB has met multiple times with Ministry officials to provide input on their ongoing consultations regarding potential changes to the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act, 2002.

We are happy to work with the Province to ensure that the rules governing the real estate industry are modernized and adjusted to ensure consumer protection and an efficient marketplace for real estate professionals and the public. We also believe that consumers deserve to be treated with fairness, honesty, and integrity when purchasing a home, often the biggest financial decision in most people’s lives.

Phase One of the current provincial review is focusing on issues associated with multiple representation situations, consumer understanding of real estate transaction agreements, and penalties for unethical behaviour.

TREB supports, in principle, the proposal to move towards a mandatory designated representation model. This approach is consistent with numerous other Canadian jurisdictions, and we believe that it will allow for the efficient operation of the marketplace, while ensuring consumer protection.

Under Mandatory Designated Representation (MDR) that the government is proposing, where a circumstance arises that a buyer and seller are represented by the same real estate brokerage, the brokerage would be required to designate different representatives from that brokerage to represent each client. A salesperson/broker within a brokerage would be prohibited from representing both the buyer and the seller, or more than one buyer, in the same trade with limited exceptions such as a private arrangement between family members or there are a small number of registrants in areas serving a small market or community.

However, TREB is advocating that there should also be provisions (transactional representation) to allow for consumer choice in how and by whom they are represented when working with their brokerage and licensed representative. Transactional Representation will be an option when a representative is representing both a buyer and seller in the same potential transaction with their consent. Three options will be presented to the consumer: unrepresented; represented by another representative for that transaction; or Transactional Representation.

Transactional representation eliminates the ability for a representative to represent both clients by restricting the services they can offer to both a buyer and seller. If they consent, the representative becomes an impartial facilitator.

The vast majority of TREB Members are ethical and comply with the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act. There should be a review for consistency in enforcement and disclosure of fines and penalties. Any actions in this area should be evidence-based. With this in mind, we look forward to continuing to work with the Province on all aspects of this and other important issues such as raising educational standards and requirements.

Tim Syrianos is president of the Toronto Real Estate Board, a professional association that represents 48,000 professional realtor members in the Greater Toronto Area. You can contact him At TREBpres@trebnet.com. For updates on the real estate market, visit TREBhome.com. If commercial property is what interests you, contact a TREB realtor by visiting TREBcommercial.com.

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Real Insight: Changes To Act Will Benefit Consumers

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Real Insight: Changes To Act Will Benefit Consumers

TREB working alongside government to modernize Real Estate and Business Brokers Act

The Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) is demonstrating its commitment to consumer protection and efficiency for real estate transactions in multiple meetings with the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services to provide input on potential changes to the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act, 2002.

We are happy to work with the province to ensure that the rules governing the real estate industry are modernized and adjusted to ensure consumer protection and an efficient marketplace for real estate professionals and the public. We also believe that consumers deserve to be treated with fairness, honesty and integrity when purchasing a home, often the biggest financial decision in most people’s lives.

Phase one of the current review is focusing on issues associated with multiple representation situations, consumer understanding of real estate transaction agreements and penalties for unethical behaviour.

TREB supports, in principle, the proposal to move towards a mandatory designated representation model. This approach is consistent with numerous other Canadian jurisdictions, and we believe that it will allow for the efficient operation of the marketplace while ensuring consumer protection.

The mandatory designated representation that the government is proposing, means that when a circumstance arises that a buyer and seller are represented by the same real estate brokerage, the brokerage would be required to designate different representatives from that brokerage to represent each client. A salesperson/ broker within a brokerage would be prohibited from representing both the buyer and the seller, or more than one buyer, in the same trade with limited exceptions such as a private arrangement between family members or if there are a small number of registrants in areas serving a small market or community.

However, TREB is advocating that there should also be provisions (transactional representation) to allow for consumer choice in how and by whom they are represented when working with their brokerage and licensed representative. Transactional representation will be an option when a representative is representing both a buyer and seller in the same potential transaction with their consent.

Three options will be presented to the consumer: unrepresented, represented by another representative for that transaction, or transactional representation.

Transactional representation eliminates the ability for a representative to represent both clients by restricting the services they can offer to both a buyer and seller. If they consent, the representative becomes an impartial facilitator.

The vast majority of TREB members are ethical and comply with the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act. There should be a review for consistency in enforcement and disclosure of fines and penalties. Any actions in this area should be evidence-based. With this in mind, we look forward to continuing to work with the province on all aspects of this and other important issues such as raising educational standards and requirements.

Tim Syrianos is president of the Toronto Real Estate Board, a professional association that represents 48,000 professional realtor members in the Greater Toronto Area. You can contact him at TREBpres@trebnet.com. For updates on the real estate market, visit TREBhome.com. If commercial property is what interests you, contact a TREB realtor by visiting TREBcommercial.com.

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