Consumer Protection Ontario is an awareness program from Ontario's Ministry of Government and Consumer Services and other public organizations, known as administrative authorities, that promote consumer rights and public safety. The ministry and these administrative authorities enforce a number of Ontario's consumer protection and public safety laws, investigate alleged violations and handle complaints. Visit their website and learn more about Consumer Protection Ontario and how to protect yourself.
Regardless of how certain you are that you will get mortgage, it is always good idea to get pre-approved from the mortgage lender of your choice. This will officially address any questions about your eligibility, rate, terms and it will enable you to better negotiate for the property of your choice.
Protecting your privacy: In the usual course of real estate transactions, REALTORS may require from buyers and sellers, personal and property information. Some of this information may be considered private. Collecting and sharing this information is an essential part of the buying and selling process. At the same time, few things are more important to individuals than their privacy. Realtors recognize the rights of buyers and sellers to protect and control their personal information, and are committed to using fair information practices when dealing with your personal information. This brochure explains what REALTORS do with your information and how you control it. If you have any questions, speak to your REALTOR or contact your local real estate board or your provincial real estate association.
REALTORS abide by the Privacy code of the Canadian Real Estate Association which sets out the commitment of REALTORS and your rights regarding the privacy of your personal information. They will:
1. What is personal information?
Personal information is any information about an identifiable individual. This does not include information which is publicly available such as a phone directory listing your name, address and telephone number.
2. How does Realtor collect personal information?
Most information will be obtained directly from you, the client. Realtor may also collect information from other sources such as credit bureaus and government agencies, as needed. At the time information is collected, you will be told what uses will be made of it, and your consent to that collection and use will be obtained.
3. What does Realtor do with my information?
Your information is used to facilitate the real estate transaction. Effectively marketing your house involves advertising the property in any medium, including electronic media (e.g. newspapers, real estate publications, Internet web sites) and REALTOR will also be disclosing property information to other salesperson and prospective buyers. If the listing is on MLS®, the property information will be given to the real estate board or boards operating the Multiple Listing Service(s). The listing information will be distributed through the MLS® system to any persons authorized to use the service (which may include other REALTORS, appraisers, government departments and others) and may be marketed by the board in various media, including the Internet. Property Information, including sales data, is kept in the MLS® system and by placing your listing on the MLS® system, you are agreeing to allow this ongoing use of listing and sales information.
4. How do I find out what personal information Realtor has about me?
You should be able to see your personal information held by REALTOR or by a real estate board/association by calling, writing or visiting the organization in person. They may be specific procedures you have to follow or forms you have to fill out, and you may have to pay a minimal fee for the service.
5. Can I correct my personal information that is wrong?
Yes, you can. Contact Realtor or the specific board/association, explain the correction you are requesting and why. If you can show the information is inaccurate or incomplete, it will be corrected.
6. Is there a review process?
Yes. If you have any questions or concerns about the way your personal information has been collected, used or disclosed, or if access to your personal information have been improperly refused, or if the company has refused to correct erroneous information, try to settle the matter directly with the firm. It has procedures in place to respond to complaints. If you are not satisfied, you can contact the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, at email@example.com or by calling 1-800-282-1376.
Want more information?
Familiarize yourself with the fundamentals of real estate before you invest in your first property.
Make sure your information is up to date. You have to know and be realistic about today's real estate market.
Location matters, so before you buy any real estate property, ensure that it's in a good location.
Regardless of how certain you are that you will get mortgage, it is always good idea to get pre-approved.
Keep in mind, the commission is always negotiable upfront, before you sign a contract.
If you are working with agent, make it clear that you want the agent, not his/her assistants, to represent you.
Before you buy any real estate property, have it inspected by a professional home inspector.
If you are buying property with a partner, have a proper partnership agreement to protect both of you.
Make sure you read your listing or buyer’s agreement carefully before signing it.
Don’t skip the final walk-through to make sure that everything is done properly, and that the items you agreed should stay are still there.