Canada’s Open Bid Pilot to Protect Against Unauthorized Auctioneers

Written by
Laura Hanrahan

An open offer pilot program set to launch across Canada this summer will not only provide buyers with increased transparency in real estate transactions, but will strengthen protection for buyers buying at auction in Ontario and Manitoba.

The pilot, launched through a partnership between the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and Australian real estate technology company Openn, would see real-time offer tracking appear on the REALTOR.ca listing page. a property. Although the pilot has drawn attention to its expected effect on traditional real estate sales, Openn says its technology can also offer better consumer protection for auctions.

In Canada, most provinces have a regulatory system in place to oversee the activities of auctioneers. In Ontario and Manitoba, however, that regulatory framework doesn’t exist — which Openn says often leads auctioneers to sell properties without a license or experience, putting homebuyers at risk.

“Real estate is a growing and rapidly changing industry that requires greater transparency, equality and efficiency,” said Eric Bryant, COO of Openn North America. “With this, we are seeing auction companies emerge across Canada and in provinces like Ontario, there continue to be regulatory gaps in the real estate auction process that pose risks to consumers. We believe our technology promotes transparency at every stage of the real estate transaction, and Openn is eager to bring this technology to Canada to help solve these consumer issues.

Openn’s software requires all bids to be submitted by a licensed real estate professional, meaning these unlicensed auctioneers would be excluded.

“With our more than six years in the Australian market, we have found that the combination of regulated and licensed property professionals, qualified buyers and a digital audit trail not only mitigates risk, but provides a legitimacy to the real estate transaction and strengthens consumer confidence. “Bryant said.

CREA announced the pilot program in April, and while a launch date has yet to be set, CREA and Openn are eyeing Canada’s two largest markets as the first places they will roll it out: Ontario and British Columbia.

“We would like to start where there is the best overall type of transactions and variety of transactions,” Bryant told STOREYS last month. “It looks like it can be accomplished with a few more chords.”

When launched, the program will have different levels of transparency, allowing sellers to choose how much or how little information they make available. Sellers will not be required to reveal bid price amounts on their property, but they will be given the opportunity to do so. While Bryant expects to see a more limited amount of transparency features used when the pilot first launches, he thinks that will change over time as buyers become more interested in increased transparency.

“I can almost promise you that two years after you start using the product, you’re going to see a transition to full transparency because ultimately the consumer is going to let the professional know exactly what they want and they’re going to go find it like they went to find Ubers above taxis and just like they went to Amazon above Barnes and Noble,” Bryant said.

Written by
Laura Hanrahan

Laura has covered real estate in Toronto, New York, Miami and Los Angeles. Before coming to STOREYS as an editor, she worked as an urbanized editor in Toronto for Daily Hive.

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