TRESA a win-win for real estate industry

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The new Code is smaller in size, but truly outlines what is expected in the areas of integrity, quality of service and conflicts of interest

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The “Trust in Real Estate Services Act” (TRESA) is an appropriate name for the legislation that now governs how real estate agents and brokerages can operate in Ontario.

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This consumer protection legislation governs our conduct, which is a positive thing. Our business is based on engendering trust when it comes to representing clients, whether they are purchasing resale or new construction. TRESA has replaced the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act (REBBA) to build on our already established trust. 

Phase 2 of TRESA took effect on December 1, 2023. The amended Code of Ethics now covers only the ethical requirements rather than technical and procedural requirements.

The new Code is smaller in size, but truly outlines what is expected in the areas of integrity, quality of service and conflicts of interest. Plus, realtors must provide consumers with a new information guide, which is available at www.reco.on.ca – the same guide used by every realtor across Ontario.

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This new guide explains the benefits of working with a realtor for a real estate purchase, the risks of buying without representation, plus what obligations realtors owe to buyers, and vice versa. 

Among the many changes for agents and brokers is also a clarification of disclosure statements, as well as a definition of a transparent offer process. Increased communication with buyers and sellers is promoted, and of course, better communication in any scenario is best for everyone involved. For example, sellers can direct the brokerage to share details of competing offers with other buyers, as long as no personal information is disclosed to identify who is making the offer.  

 The Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO) provides a new Continuing Education course regarding the Phase 2 legislative reforms. The course covers items such as competing offers, professional conduct, representation and resulting agreements, disclosures, and in general, relationships when trading in real estate. And a purchaser and agent do develop a relationship, so when the parties involved know where they stand from the beginning, there is more chance for a favorable outcome.  

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Like Ontario Building Code, which is reviewed regularly and amended to protect new home buyers even more, REBBA, and now TRESA, have made Ontario a leader in North America in professional standards for real estate professionals. In the long run, these higher standards for agents and brokers are bound to improve the market, with potential purchasers having more confidence in us. The last few years have shaken the markets, but historically, we bounce back from challenges even stronger than before.  

I consider what real estate professionals do a noble profession. After all, “home” has a special place in our hearts. And real estate is still a solid, tangible and potentially lucrative life and financial investment. The markets are picking up, so this new professionalism standard has come at an ideal time. There will be a third phase of TRESA in the future. For more information, visit www.orea.com/tresa  

 

Barbara Lawlor is CEO at Baker Real Estate Incorporated. Keep current with The Baker Blog at [email protected]

 

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