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TRESSA- What it means to the consumers

Sunday, November 26, 2023   /   by Rob Mills

TRESSA- What it means to the consumers

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On Dec 1st the rules for governing Realtors in Ontario will be changing.  Let’s take a look at what changes are happening and how it impacts home buyers and sellers in the GTA.

What was the old law?

GTA real estate agents were governed by a law called Real Estate & Business Brokers Act or REBBA 2002 for short.  This comes to an end on Dec 1st 2023.

What’s the new law?

The Trust in Real Estate Services Act or TRESSA.

Why the change?

The old law was 25 years old and in that time many changes have happened in real estate and it was important to update some of the rules of REBBA to reflect current needs.

What Are The Main Changes?

Agency rules

If a buyer wishes to buy a property that is listed by the same brokerage under REBBA buyers and sellers would have to agree to “Multiple Representation”, which handicapped agents in what information and advice they could offer.

Now GTA home buyers and sellers can be offered “Designated Representation”, which means the brokerage can assign a different agent to represent both the buyer and seller in the transaction, ensuring they can both get separate professional advice to ensure they are better protected.

Buyers can also choose to be Self Represented, that means they are forgoing any professional guidance from an agent.

Disclosure of defects

Before TRESSA sellers did not have to disclose latent issues affecting the property.  Now they are obligated to disclose information that would affect the habitability of the home.  This will give home buyers more security when buying, especially when in multiple offer type scenarios where buyers feel obligated to forsake home inspections.  

Disclosure of contents of offers

Under REBBA sellers were not allowed to disclose anything about a competing offer to a buyer.  Sellers will now have the right to disclose certain information about a buyer's offer in a multiple offer scenario.  They can’t disclose anything private but can choose to disclose things such as the price, deposit and conditions should they wish to.  

Stronger powers for RECO

The RECO or Real Estate Council of Ontario will now have expanded powers to govern, fine and investigate GTA Real Estate Agents who don't follow the rules that govern them.  Long called for by the majority of Realtors who comply by the rules, we are pleased to say that there will be more opportunities to investigate and discipline the small minority of agents who tarnish the reputation for the majority who play by the rules.

There are several other changes that have been made, but these are the main ones.  If you want to learn more we will be launching a series of posts to explain in more detail how these impact GTA home buyers and sellers.

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  real estate, advice, buyer, seller

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