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Clearer process needed in hot Toronto real estate market, Tory says

Mayor John Tory and Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa have hinted that changes to real estate industry practices could be part of the solution to cooling — without killing — the over-heated Toronto housing market.While he wouldn’t provide specifics, Tory said there needs to be more transparency in real estate transactions.Asking prices for homes rarely reflect their true value and desperate consumers are subject to bidding wars often with little to no information on the number or the nature of competing offers, he said.“How could that do anything but contribute to the frothiness of the real estate market and the frenzied increase in prices,” Tory told the Toronto Star on Wednesday.He also said he is concerned that home buyers are being pushed to waive conditions such as home inspections, on their offers.Article Continued BelowSome Toronto realtors say it’s common for the successful purchaser in competitive bidding wars to far exceed all the other offers on the table. Buyers can’t know what the competition is offering. Only the seller sees all the offers and realtors aren’t permitted to disclose that information.Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) CEO Tim Hudak is calling for an overhaul of the 2002 provincial rules and code of ethics that govern real estate practices.He says the majority of realtors are honest and ethical. But there are problematic practices including double-ending sales, says Hudak.

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