Following a MortgageBrokerNews.ca article about home sellers who lie on their listings to entice buyers, readers took to the forum to show their support for my regulatory oversight.
“Perhaps TREB should publicize the ‘danger’ of these types of MLS postings; the problem is TREB's message is weakened by registrants that … knowingly or otherwise provide inaccurate info on listings,” one mortgage broker wrote on MortgageBrokerNews.ca. “Until RECO stops simply pounding its chest and starts actually penalizing bad operators these problems will continue.”
Regulators will be coming down hard on Realtors whose clients have misrepresented home details in a bid to bolster listings.
“The listing that appears on the MLS is fundamentally an ad that is placed by the sales rep,” says Bruce Matthews, the deputy registrar of regulatory compliance for the Real Estate Council of Ontario. “And they have to assume accountability for the information that’s there.”
Matthews pointed to two particular provisions in RECO’s code of ethics that are most frequently complained about. The first is regarding inaccurate representation – “For example, if you’ve got a home that is 1,900 square feet but the listing suggests that it’s 2,000 square feet,” Matthews says.
Better oversight and regulation will help buyers avoid getting swindled by sellers, as was the case with one commenter’s neighbour.
“My neighbour bought their home in the winter and the yard was covered in snow,” one anonymous commenter wrote. “The listing realtor stated the yard was fully landscaped, when the snow melted there wasnt even any top soil.
“The seller moved back east & the realtor ‘claimed’ not to now.”
Mortgage brokers are echoing calls for regulators to target a prevailing issue with MLS listings.