A decision made more than a year ago to release extra information on real estate transactions has empowered consumers according to Chestnut Park Real Estate’s CEO.
“It’s had a tremendous impact for us,” said Chris Kapches. “There’s been a lot more interest in the listing base.”
Chestnut Park began publishing sold data on its website about a year ago. The information includes list price, selling price, and the number of days on the market, and it’s available to those who sign up for a free account on the Chestnut Park website.
Initially, Chestnut Park began by publishing sold data from its transactions from its offices around Ontario including Collingwood and the GTA.
Later, the site included data from real estate boards in Toronto, Lakelands, and Prince Edward County. Any board that would provide sold data to publish.
“It’s a fractured situation right across the country,” said Kapches of shared sold data. There are still some brokerages and boards not sharing the information public.
Previously, sold data information was available only through a realtor. However, a Supreme Court of Canada decision ruled the information should be available to the public but it could be password protected, for example, by a free user account on a broker website.
The ruling was the result of a seven-year legal battle between Toronto Real Estate Board and the Competition Bureau of Canada, which ended in November 2018.
Kapches admitted he wasn’t sure about increasing access to sold data when the court case first began.
“I wasn’t certain of my position when the litigation started,” said Kapches. “But as time went on, it became apparent to me sold data should be something the consumer should have… the consumer expects that information.”
He said sold data will remain available on the Chestnut Park site in perpetuity, but there has been some apprehension by clients to have photos of the interior of the houses posted publicly.
Kapches said the consumers can request to have photos taken down, but the other data cannot be taken down.
“Some buyers have expressed fears of privacy invasion, and potential theft and robbery,” said Kapches, which is why agents have the discretion to remove photos after a house is sold.
Chestnut Park’s sold data is available here.