Ontario will allow home sellers to disclose how much buyers offer for the same property

The Ontario government is allowing home sellers to disclose the details of competing offers. However, blind bidding is still not banned.

According to Minister of government and consumer services Ross Romano, sellers will decide whether they want to “choose an open offer process”.

“Sellers will no longer be limited to traditional offer system,” – he noted.

Meanwhile, blind bidding (a home buying process where buyers make their bids for a property without knowing the bids other buyers make) is considered to be one of the drivers of extreme home prices growth.

This measure is part of a larger reform to the Trust in Real Estate Services Act.

The changed rules also include providing more clarity for buyers during the home buying process, a new code of ethics for real estate agents, and more powers for the Real Estate Council of Ontario in terms of dealing with violators. They will all take effect on April 1, 2023.

The Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) says it welcomes the new regulations and is working closely with the province in order to implement them.

“They show the right balance between increasing transparency to the offer process and protecting a homeowners’ right to sell their property the way they want, instead of just banning the traditional offer process,” – noted the Association chief executive Tim Hudak.

Meanwhile, certain experts believe more transparency is the right move, but the provincial government’s recent decision will not do much to make the bidding process completely fair.

The new rules come a week after Ontario premier Doug Ford said he wouldn’t like to introduce more changes.

They also follow the federal government’s announcement released a few weeks ago saying the minister of housing, Ahmed Hussen, would work with provinces and territories in order to put a stop on blind bidding and introduce a Home Buyers’ Bill of Rights.

At the same time, certain realtors and industry experts have been speaking out against a complete ban of blind bidding, stating that it will hardly cool Canada’s hot real estate market and that sellers should have the right to decide how to sell their own property.


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