Monday, March 20, 2006

Breaking Ontario Real Estate News - if your listing just expired - agents cannot contact you

Breaking News - if your listing just expired - agents cannot contact you

The question at hand is can a real estate agent contact a seller who had a listing on the mls that has now expired? The answer to this question falls under the privacy act.

A recent ruling by the Privacy Commissioner was that the agent used the expired mls listing to obtain the vendors name and address and used this information to market services to the seller and that this was improper.. Although the seller had authorized the original listing broker and the real estate board to use and disclose the information contained within the mls listing the seller did not consent to other brokers using any of that personal information being used by any other brokers to market their services.

The Privacy Commissioner explained that regardless of where the real estate agent found the sellers contact information, there is a link between the sellers previous intent to sell (as shown by the previous mls listing) and the sellers contact information. The ruling was that the real estate agent violated the personal information and property PIPEDA (find out what this means) from the information on the mls listing without the consent of the seller.

It is possible that all future mls listings will contain a clause that would give sellers the option of consenting to being marketing by other real estate agents after their listing expires.

Conclusion

The bottom line is that real estate agents cannot use the information contained in an expired mls listing agreement to contact those sellers without their prior consent. Even with a consent clause in all listing agreements, it will remain the decision of the seller to allow or deny other agents marketing their services to them after their listing expires.

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