Privacy Frequently Asked Questions
In the usual course of real estate transactions, REALTORS® may require personal and property information from buyers and sellers. 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. REALTORS® are committed to using fair information practices when dealing with your personal information. The following questions explain what we do with your information and how you control it. If you have any thoughts, speak to your REALTOR® or contact your local real estate association.
What is personal information?
Personal information is any information about an identifiable individual. This does not include certain information, which is publicly available such as a phone directory listing your name, address and telephone number.
How do REALTORS® collect personal information?
Most information will be obtained directly from you, the client. REALTORS® 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. Most of our standard forms have been revised to cover privacy.
What do REALTORS® 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 websites) and disclosing property information to other sales persons and prospective buyers. If the listing is on MLS®, the property information will be given to the real estate association or associations 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 association in various media, including the Internet. Property information, including sales data, is kept in the MLS® database following the completion of the transaction and is available to users of the system for comparative market analysis and valuation purposes. Both current and historical data is essential to the operation of 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. (Association By-Law changes are now in effect to support the Privacy Act such as: we can no longer use expired listing information to solicit owner's for the purposes of re-listing their properties).
How do I find out what personal information a REALTOR® has about me?
You should be able to see your personal information held by a realty firm or real estate association by calling, writing or visiting the organization in person. There may be specific procedures you have to follow or forms you have to fill out, and the firm or association has the right to charge a minimal fee for the service.
Can I correct my personal information if it is wrong?
Yes, you can. Contact the particular firm or association, explain the correction you are requesting and why. If you can show that the information is inaccurate or incomplete, you have the right to request that a correction be placed in the file or database to identify any inaccuracy.
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 has been improperly refused, or if the brokerage 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're not satisfied, you can contact the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 1-800-282-1376.
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.
- Obtain your consent when we collect, use or disclose your personal information
- Only use the information for the purposes we discussed with you
- Allow you access to your information
- Have privacy policies that are clear and understandable