TREB warns realtors on false sales data after $3.1M listing shows $1 price
Light from the sunset hits the skyline in Toronto, Ont., on Tuesday October 31, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mark Blinch
Realtors must report accurate sales prices for properties they've listed now that the public can access that data, the Toronto Real Estate Board is warning its members.
"We have received reports that some members have been reporting inaccurate figures in the sold prices of their listings due to privacy concerns raised by their customers," TREB wrote in a letter sent to its members.
The Canadian Press obtained a $3.1-million dollar listing in Scarborough that appeared to be reported as selling for $1.
The listing now has an updated sold price tag of $2.98 million, according to Mongohouse, a website that includes sold prices.
TREB did not immediately respond to a request for comment, or questions about that particular listing.
Publishing false prices is contrary to TREB's rules and policies, and could lead to disciplinary proceedings, the board said in the letter, as well as possible membership suspension or termination.
The real estate board has been embroiled in a seven-year long legal battle to prevent the release of home sales data online, citing privacy and copyright concerns.
It lost that battle when the Competition Bureau ruled the board must permit its members to publish such data on password-protected websites, and after the Supreme Court of Canada recently refused to hear the case.
However, the board has since said it is studying ways to ensure that GTA home sales data is protected.
It has also disputed when the 60-day window to prepare to release the data comes into effect. TREB says the window started in late August with the Supreme Court's decision, but the Competition Bureau said the window closed a long time ago.
Still, the board has threatened real estate companies that it believes have released home sales data too soon. It recently sent cease-and-desist letters to such companies, threatening to take away their data access and TREB memberships.