I am a Toronto Realtor who in more than one occasion had to decide about what can be disclosed to a potential client and what one feels is private. I am talking about details of a home for sale, questions I get from potential buyers such as: - what are the last names of the owner? what is the owner's background?.- What is written under mortgage details or disclosure of the price they originally purchased the home for? And so on.
Every Realtor had had this moment of doubt about what and how to respond to potential clients requesting more information about a home. And we are all careful in the way we respond. I never had a complaint about privacy disclosures as with basic due diligence, care and common sense this issues are professionally handled.
The media is now slashing our profession in order to get a free for all real estate market. Once this is approved the real privacy concerns are going to rise. In other words-privacy will disappear. If every on-line portal carries the information we as TREB members have, BUT without the courses, upgrading seminars, office meetings and regulatory systems we follow-then good bye privacy country-wide. This will mean total estate chaos.
The credibility of our profession is at stake. TREB is in part to blame as their Public Relations campaigns have been poorly design. The public has little knowledge of the real estate professional world. How many clients do know that we are to take 24 credit courses to keep our license? Do they know that we have insurance from RECO and that we are now experts in money laundering, proceeds of crime and latent defects?
All of us Realtors, Brokers, Brokers of Record, shall have a stronger presence out there with the purpose of differentiating ourselves from empty claims that real estate is just a buy-sale transaction. WE KNOW IT IS WAY MORE THAN THAT!