Home seller rights do not trump homebuyer rights: Ontario survey

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Ontarians overwhelmingly support transparency in the bidding process

Ontario residents support the right of sellers to choose how and to whom to sell their property.  But they don't exclusively favor sellers over buyers. Ontario residents support the right of sellers to choose how and to whom to sell their property. But they don’t exclusively favor sellers over buyers. Photo by Luke Hendry/Belleville Intelligencer/Postmedia Network

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Blind bidding in real estate continues to draw government and industry attention, with frustrated buyers wary of a practice that forces them to bid while not knowing what others have offered.

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The federal government has proposed limiting or banning this practice, but some in the real estate industry believe most Canadians prefer the status quo of blind bidding, and they now have some data to back it up.

The Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) recently released the results of a poll claiming that 60 percent of Ontario residents “believe homeowners have the right to sell their home in the way they think is best.” keep”.

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Tim Hudak, CEO of OREA, rejects the idea of ​​”denying millions of hard-working families a choice about how to sell their home by banning the traditional bidding process or blind bidding.”

But a deeper dive into the data reveals more nuanced findings, with most Ontarians supporting the rights of buyers and sellers alike.

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Most survey respondents (87 percent) believe homeowners “should be able to sell their homes in the way they think is best for them,” but 77 percent also support the notion that “potential buyers should know which ones Offers were made a home before you bid.”

As a result, two clear messages emerged from the OREA survey.

First, Ontarians support the right of sellers to choose how and to whom to sell their property. But they don’t exclusively favor sellers over buyers and overwhelmingly support transparency in the bidding process.

Let’s take a closer look at the survey of 1,500 Ontario adults conducted by Abacus Data, a market research firm, in early May. It should be noted that the data has been weighted to reflect the Ontario population for age, gender, education level and location.

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One would have naively assumed that homeowners and renters have different preferences about how real estate is bought and sold. However, the survey shows similar responses from both groups.

For example, 91 percent of homeowners think it is a very good idea, a good idea, or an acceptable idea that homeowners should choose the type of sale in their favor, while 83 percent of renters also supported the idea.

But do renters prefer listing transparency more than homeowners? Not much. The poll found that 76 percent of homeowners and 77 percent of renters support the idea that all potential buyers should know what others have offered before bidding.

Who is not so enthusiastic about offer transparency? Those who believe the Ontario government should make housing affordability a low priority.

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In comparison, a large majority of those who believe the government should give housing affordability a very high priority, a high priority or a medium priority supported transparency in tenders.

Support for bidding transparency was also similar across Ontario’s political divide: 82 percent of Ontarians who voted for the NDP in 2018 and 80 percent of Liberal voters supported bidding transparency, as did 76 percent of those who voted Conservative .

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The poll also found that most homeowners and renters alike frown on the idea that “homeowners are forced to sell their homes at auction to the highest bidder.”

Reactions were similar across the political spectrum, with most of those who voted for the Big Three parties in Ontario’s most recent election opposed the idea of ​​restricting homeowners’ choices at auctions.

The results suggest striking a balance between buyer and seller rights. Most Ontarians support the right of buyers to sell their properties as they see fit, but most also support transparency in bidding so buyers know what others have offered before bidding.

Both governments and the real estate industry should pay attention to what voters are telling them: don’t just protect the rights of sellers; Buyer rights are just as important.

Murtaza Haider is Professor of Real Estate Management and Director of the Urban Analytics Institute at Toronto Metropolitan University. Stephen Moranis is a real estate industry veteran. They can be reached through the Haider-Moranis Bulletin website, www.hmbulletin.com.

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