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Canada real estate transactions: Selling prices to be made public

A recent Supreme Court decision is expected to change the face of real estate in the country. Certain information -- like the selling price -- regarding sold properties in real estate transactions in Canada will now be made public. The high court chose not to hear an appeal regarding the ruling of a lower court, which decided that the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) must allow certain information about homes for sale to be made public, including what a home sold for previously.

The decision has been a hard pill to swallow for real estate boards across the country. They argue that making such information public violates the privacy of the homeowner. This has been a contentious issue since 2011 when the Competition Bureau said that withholding such information slows competition. Realtors are loving the decision, with one CEO of a real estate company saying that making this type of data public will assist buyers in making more informed decisions and allow real estate salespeople to help their clients make what may be the biggest financial purchase of their lives.

The release of this information will begin in about two months. TREB wants to ensure that this information should be made available in a way that respects privacy. It should also be safely used, TREB added.

Rules and laws that govern the real estate industry in Canada are constantly changing. A lawyer who has experience with real estate transactions and the law is in a position to be able to offer guidance to clients on how the laws might affect their potential real estate deals. Getting legal advice may make the difference between a dream transaction and one a seller or purchaser wishes to forget.

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