TORONTO, ON, February 1, 2018– Fifteen years ago the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act, 2002 (REBBA) set the bar for professional standards, and now the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) is calling for that bar to be raised to reflect modern practices in the current marketplace in its fourth and final white paper published today: Pursuing the Highest Standards of Professionalism and Ethics in Real Estate. Updating the Act governing the real estate profession is key to maintaining the highest professional standards and protecting consumer interests, say Ontario Realtors.
“The real estate market has changed tremendously since 2002 when REBBA and its Code of Ethics were first introduced,” said Ettore Cardarelli, OREA President. “Industry practices, business models and technology that are common place today were not present for the drafting of REBBA. Updating the Act will ensure Ontario Realtors are held to standards that make sense in today’s real estate market.”
The proposals contained in the Leading North America Once Again white paper are intended to encourage feedback from Ontario Realtors and the public, which will inform the final recommendations that OREA presents to the government later this year. The OREA REBBA Review Taskforce is asking for feedback on various aspects of the Act, including:
- Expanding the definition of a trade under REBBA to eliminate grey areas and enhance consumer protection
- Removing the exemption that allows salespeople who work for builders or developers to trade in real estate without registered
- Reviewing and updating provisions in real estate contracts to ensure they reflect a modern real estate market
- Allowing for greater transparency in the offer process
- Instituting a mandatory “cooling off” period of at least two years before a Realtor who has had their license revoked can re-apply for registration
“Modernizing the Act is an opportunity for Ontario Realtors to strengthen our industry and enshrine the highest professional standards in North America,” said Cardarelli. “We may not get the chance to do this again for many years. We are making the most of this opportunity to once again set the gold standard for real estate regulation in North America.”
OREA has been advocating for the REBBA review since the fall of 2016 and in April 2017 the Ontario Government committed to the review as part of its Fair Housing Plan. Since then, OREA has released four white papers each with a specific focus aimed at improving professional standards. OREA’s consultation has engaged thousands of Realtors in a conversation about the future of the Act and the profession, as well as higher standards in education. OREA members can go to www.REBBAreform.ca to submit their feedback.