Change is a guarantee in the landscape of Ontario real estate. On December 1st, 2023, the Trust in Real Estate Services Act (TRESA) came into effect as a pivotal change to Ontario real estate – but it’s a good one! TRESA empowers people embarking on their property buying or selling journey with a more transparent and fair experience. At Quinte Living™, we’re all about transparency, and we always want to help people stay informed about what to expect when working with a REALTOR®. So read on to learn exactly how TRESA impacts you, and what options it provides as you navigate the real estate landscape of the Quinte area and Prince Edward County.


As of December 1st, 2023, to provide any service, a real estate agent is required to have a conversation about representation. If you want to view a house, a real estate agent will very likely ask you to sign a representation agreement. This isn’t to trap you into a contract, it is a part of the new legislation.

Real estate agents must send you a copy of the RECO representation guide which explains the difference between agent representation and self-representation. A real estate broker or salesperson must fully explain the guide to you and get your signature confirming that you’ve been sent the guide and that it has been explained. If you represent yourself, you will only be able to contact the listing agent for a viewing and, in some cases, may only be able to view the property at a public open house.

This new process clearly outlines the types of representation available to you and allows you to make an informed decision about how you would like to proceed in buying or selling a home.

Offer Disclosure

As always, a real estate agent must inform any party who has submitted an offer whether:

  • Another offer exists (multiple offers), or
  • There are any reductions in commission

As of December 1st, sellers may also choose to disclose details from the offers they receive to any other party who has submitted an offer. These details may include (but aren’t limited to):

  • Price
  • Conditions
  • Closing date

A seller may tell their real estate agent to share the contents of all offers, or only one. For example, they may say “Our highest-priced offer is currently $500,000.” Details may only be shared with the seller’s express written direction.

A crafty clause may be suggested that says a buyer’s offer is void if disclosed, but that’s not entirely doable in Ontario on standard OREA forms. The only way to create a revocable offer is to submit it with the seals removed. You may also try to keep your offer confidential by presenting a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) before submitting your offer, but the seller isn’t obligated to agree to it, and the decision would be up to you whether you want to compete or not.

Change is inevitable, but knowledge makes it easier to adapt. TRESA arms people buying properties and homeowners preparing to list their homes for sale with more options and protections as they enter the real estate market, and the Quinte Living team is committed to helping people make the right decisions for them. We’re dedicated to guiding our clients through real estate in the Quinte area and Prince Edward County with ease and expertise. Our team is here to ensure a smooth and informed real estate experience with peace of mind at every stage. Embracing the changes of TRESA, we continue to provide transparent, comprehensive, and client-focused services.

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