It is not clear what or how information will be distributed in the future, but one thing that is going to be true soon, your information is going to be public soon.
A ruling has been passed that the Toronto Real Estate board practices are anti-competitive with regards to information regarding properties.
The most “Valuable Information” that people want is sold information. That is what is going to be public most likely. Whether or not owners names, or more information is going to be released is yet to be seen.
Before any of this happens, TREB, will be appealing the decision. TREB’s stance is that your information being released will be a violation of the public trust.
So what does this mean for the future of Real Estate?
Well this will dramatically change the landscape of how Real Estate is sold. It will change how the model currently exists, and everybody will have the same information. So will this kill the Real Estate Agent?
My answer is no, for some, and yes for others. I have long held the notion since websites and information has become more widely available, that Real Estate agents are not just statistics. I believe those agents were, are and going to be a dying breed. While the information they give is valuable, the job is so much more, that stats, and sold info is an afterthought now.
If you look to our neighbours to the south, the public currently have all the information they want. So what has this done to their market? It hasn’t changed much, and in most cases, the clients are much more informed.
What it has done has sprung up a lot of data mining companies that gather your information, and sell it to Realtors or to the public to neatly organize everything for you.
There is also a curiosity of CREA only wanting to make available the Toronto Real Estate board information. While this is very curious, I do not understand why one board would be targeted amount thousands across Canada. It may be the competition tribunal does not have the funds to attack every board, and that by attacking the biggest one, it may think that the others would voluntarily submit to the same fate as TREB.
So my predictions are that many people are not going to want their privacy violated and that some rich people will revolt and file lawsuits. The next thing I can see is the MLS system becoming obsolete, and the big real estate companies joining a data sharing among themselves. The next thing I think we will see as long as the market is hot, is a lot of pocket and private exclusive listings. Finally I see a lot of transactions being done by numbered company.
Either way get prepared for your neighbour to know everything and anything regarding the house you just bought and all of the other investments you might have.