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TREB issues warning about “sold” data use

The Toronto Real Estate Board is reminding its membership not to compromise sales history.

In light of sold data being opened after the Supreme Court of Canada last week refused to hear TREB’s appeal in its litigation against the Competition Bureau, brokerages began posting sold data within hours. However, according to the Tribunal Order, sold data can only be posted on password-protected virtual office websites.

“This is required by the Tribunal Order,” said Brian Facey, a TREB legal representative. “It applies to VOWs, which are password protected, as defined in the Order.”

The country’s largest real estate board put out a FAQ about how brokerages are to proceed in presenting the public sold data. John Pasalis, president of Realosophy, a VOW that testified against TREB during the seven-year-long litigation, agrees with that a measure of responsibility is necessary in presenting sold data.

“I think you have to have some rules around how it’s being used, so I don’t disagree with TREB clarifying that,” said Pasalis. “We do need some clarity because you can’t have half the brokerages doing whatever they want, posting it without registration, and the others following the rules and requiring sign-ins, so it’s important for them to clarify these issues.”

The real estate board provided its membership with information and compliance guidelines, going so far as to threaten revoking membership and access to its MLS if guidelines are ignored. In a statement, TREB warned non-compliant individuals and service providers that it would pursue legal action against them.

“We are working with our members to ensure TREB is in full compliance with the order. TREB has issued a document to our membership on the decision and what it means,” TREB President Garry Ghaura said in a statement.

In the FAQ, TREB is clear that sold data cannot be “scraped, mined, sold, resold, licensed, reorganized or monetized in any way, including through the sale of derivative products or marketing reports. The data cannot be used for commercial purposes other than to provide residential real estate brokerage services between a realtor and client or customer. Breach of this by either a member or the member’s clients or customers may result in legal action (including damages) against the member and the cancellation of TREB membership and TREB MLS system access.”

By Neil Sharma

REP magazine  www.repmag.ca

 

 

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