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Sale prices of homes were somewhat off limits to the public in Toronto -- until recently. The Supreme Court of Canada has granted real estate agents the right to publish what homes have sold for. The federal court has indicated the privacy concerns that have restricted making these prices known are non-existent; however, the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) isn't happy with the decision and plans to appeal.

Publishing information publicly has been off limits to TREB members, although they have been allowed to share data between each other. A TREB spokesperson said giving members carte blanche to post these figures on social media sites invades the privacy of both sellers and purchasers. The Toronto real estate governing body is planning on applying for a court order to stop any release of such information until the court decides on the appeal.

The Competition Bureau has been fighting TREB for years about publishing sale prices publicly. The recent court decision upheld a 2016 bureau order stating that MLS information, including sale prices, should be able to be posted online. Realtors are happy with the Supreme Court's decision saying it will allow prospective home buyers to do research online prior to purchasing a home. Even though the ruling applies to TREB only, it is expected to set a precedent for other Canadian boards under pressure to make sales data public.

Laws are always evolving when it comes to real estate in Canada. Having the advice of a lawyer who stays on top of these laws would be helpful when working any real estate deals. A lawyer would advise his or her clients of the "do's and don'ts" of home buying and selling.

Source: The Globe and Mail, "Federal court gives Toronto real estate agents data-publishing rights", Janet McFarland, Dec. 1, 2017

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