On April 22, OREA had a pleasure of meeting with the Honourable Tracy MacCharles, the new Minister of Consumer Services, responsible for the Real Estate and Brokers Act, 2002 (REBBA).
Elected to the Ontario Legislature on October 6, 2011 as MPP for Pickering –Scarborough East, Ms. MacCharles is one of ten cabinet newcomers appointed in February, 2013 by the Premier Kathleen Wynne.
OREA came to introduce the Minister to the organization and discuss some of the priority issues facing Ontario REALTORS® today. The meeting focused on permitting real estate sales people to form personal corporations, ongoing review of the Condominium Act as well as electronic agreements of purchase and sale. OREA also took the opportunity to discuss the most recent legislation introduced by the Minister. Bill 55, Stronger Protections for Ontario Consumers Act, 2013 proposes two key changes to the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act (REBBA), 2002:
- Permitting flexible remuneration of fees and/or commissions payable to real estate brokers. Currently, under Section 36 (1) of REBBA, 2002 consumers can pay either commission or an agreed upon fee but not both. The government plans on removing this restriction.
- Addressing the issue of so called ‘phantom offers’ by enhancing transparency around competing offers in real estate transactions.
While OREA is generally supportive of the move to flexible remuneration, there are some concerns regarding the proposed requirements aimed at addressing phantom offers. OREA is committed to working with the government to find a solution that addresses these concerns and mitigate the impact on REALTORS® and real estate consumers.
OREA thanks Minister MacCharles for the warm reception and looks forward to working with her on real estate related issues.