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New Ontario Law to Protect Home Buyers

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Blog by Mary Roy | June 15th, 2015

New Ontario Law To Crack Down On Phantom Bids

Starting next month, homebuyers in Ontario will have new protections against phantom bids, a practice in which real estate agents may hint that they have received competing offers when they haven’t in order to jolt potential buyers into raising or rushing their offers.

As of July 1, agents will not be allowed to imply they have received an offer unless it is in writing and has been signed. They will also be required to keep records of all of the offers they have received on file for one year.

Buyers who suspect they may have been deceived will be able to find out whether there truly were other offers by filing a complaint with the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO), the agency tasked with enforcing the new rules.

A broker who fails to follow the rules could be prosecuted and face a maximum fine of $50,000 or up to two years behind bars. Alternatively, the agent could be referred to a disciplinary committee and be ordered to take educational courses or pay up to $25,000 in fines. 

Read more at http://www.thestar.com/business/2015/06/14/phantom-real-estate-bids-targeted-by-new-ontario-law.html