How is Making Home Buying/Selling More Transparent

For Patrick Pichette, Vice President of, buying or selling a home in 2023 starts with data transparency. “As a consumer, you want as much information as possible at your fingertips. As a REALTOR®, you want to be the trusted advisor.”

The process of ensuring there’s greater data transparency in the industry in Canada will strengthen the trust that exists among all parties, says Pichette.

By moving forward with data transparency, CREA can keep pace with technological developments and potential regulations while being mindful of any competitive advancements that might arise in the real estate industry in Canada.

Data transparency in real estate means having information available at every step of the journey, beginning at research, then seeing what’s available in the market, to the offer process and even post-transaction, says Pichette.

“The value here is not being gatekeepers of information but rather for REALTORS® to be recognized as trusted advisors who can help with negotiations and contracts and paperwork and the nuances of the process.”

New initiatives advancing progress

There are already “firsts” in making data transparency available underway on

CREA collaborated with the Nova Scotia Association of REALTORS® (NSAR) to make sold price history available on active listings on throughout the province. The partnership has also resulted in home buyers and REALTORS® being able to identify conditionally sold tags on listings on in Nova Scotia, making this part of the country the tip of the spear in data transparency.

The success of making sold price history available on active listings in Nova Scotia led to working with boards and associations to bring sold data to other Atlantic provinces, including New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Prince Edward Island. On the other side of the country, price history is now available in most parts of British Columbia, including Vancouver.

Most recently, NSAR has thrown its support behind the Data Centre, a cloud-based data warehouse, through a multi-year sponsorship that will turn data into business intelligence and tools for members and consumers researching Nova Scotia real estate on

Another project furthering data transparency is the pilot with Openn Offers, which will make an offer management platform available for listings in select markets on The platform is a digital version of the current offer and acceptance process used in Canada, giving buyers, sellers, and their REALTORS® a near-real time glimpse into where the offer may stand on a property.

“It is not an auctioneering platform; it’s just giving visibility in viewing the offer and acceptance process,” says Pichette. “You still need a REALTOR® on both sides of the equation.”

While acknowledging that each province and territory have its own regulations does present challenges, is working with regulators across the country and aims to collaborate with various associations and boards to make this feature a reliable fit.

The result will mean transparency added to the transaction process, especially in scenarios where there are multiple offers.

“We have to remember that, when we launched back in 1995, even the process of making photos available and then addresses was met with some resistance by members,” says Pichette. “It’s important for members to realize these days that when a listing has more information on it, it’s 50% more likely to convert to a lead. Not only does the consumer feel more engaged, but you’re also building trust.”

The emergence of ‘proptech’ is spurring necessary digital innovations in real estate spanning venture capital and technology. Some are trying to remove friction from the mortgage process while others are finding new ways to generate leads and, at the end of the day, proptech is good news for REALTORS®, says Pichette.

Even 3D house tours, which became more commonplace during the pandemic, were at one time considered too difficult to even consider for some REALTORS® because it required a change in mindset. The pandemic has pushed so many technology adaptations, such as digital signatures, into common use that the need to keep up with the swiftly changing times can often spell failure or success. The advancement of emerging technologies cannot be ignored and is keeping pace.

“Really what we’re trying to do is remain relevant with consumers,” says Pichette. “If we lose that trust and that edge, then someone else will step in and collect eyeballs and leads. Then we’ll just be trying to catch up.”

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The CREA Café team is responsible for the official blog of The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). The CREA Café is a cozy place for CREA to connect with our valued members and friends by sharing our thoughts and insights over a virtual cup of coffee.

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