How is Making Home Buying More Transparent

A home is likely the largest purchase your clients will make in their life, it’s no wonder they’d want to be informed along every step of the way. It’s why the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) is implementing new ways to provide clarity and full-picture details on Canada’s No. 1 real estate platform, This includes transparency through listings and pricing, giving future homeowners a better understanding of what they’re getting into.

‘Ensuring a transparent home buying and selling journey is crucial’

We know Canadians want information right at their fingertips. It’s why has been transitioning from a search tool to research tool while keeping REALTORS® at the heart of the home buying and selling process.

We spoke with Patrick Pichette, Vice-President of, to learn about what’s being introduced to to make things more transparent for home buyers, and why it’s a top priority.

“CREA and are key influencers in the Canadian real estate ecosystem, providing a world-class and preeminent listing platform with millions of daily consumer engagements,” he said. “Canadians have an overwhelming trust in REALTORS® and; ensuring a transparent home buying and selling journey is crucial.”

Pichette provided four reasons why CREA and are prioritizing a more transparent experience.

    1. Trust and confidence

“Transparency fosters trust among buyers, sellers, and real estate professionals,” he explained. “It helps in building confidence in the platform and its listings, ensuring users feel secure in their interactions and the information they receive from REALTORS® and”

    1. Informed decision-making

“Providing comprehensive information about properties allows buyers and sellers to make informed decisions,” Pichette said. “Transparent listings include details about pricing, property history, neighbourhood data, and, in some jurisdictions, previous sale prices.”

    1. Market efficiency

“A transparent market is more efficient as it reduces information asymmetry,” Pichette told us. “Buyers and sellers have access to the same information, leading to fair pricing and smoother transactions.”

    1. Satisfaction

“A transparent buying or selling experience leads to higher consumer satisfaction,” Pichette pointed out. “ plays a critical role in connecting the consumer with credible information and meaningful connections with REALTORS®.”

Real-time visibility into offers has begun integrating an offer management software, Openn Offers, in select areas across Canada.

The software sends near real-time data to, allowing REALTORS® and their clients to see competing offers as they’re made. It’s an optional feature on the platform—as a REALTOR® you’ll be able to work with your clients to decide what details will appear on your listing, though local regulatory requirements may make some components mandatory.

“This real-time visibility ensures all bidders are informed of the current market value and competition for a property,” explained Pichette. “By disclosing, anonymously, current offers on properties, both sellers and buyers can see how a property’s value is perceived by the market and adjust their expectations, accordingly, allowing informed decision-making with the help of their REALTOR®.”

While this pilot program is still new, with about 100 REALTORS® participating as of October 2023, “consumers and participating REALTORS® have expressed to us they see the value in this type of data being displayed on,” shared Pichette.

Provincial partnerships

As you know, real estate in Canada is provincially regulated, so rolling out initiatives requires collaboration with different boards, associations, and regulatory bodies. Recently, CREA and Information Technology Systems Ontario (ITSO) launched a strategic partnership to bring conditionally sold, and sold information tags to listings on ITSO is a not-for-profit corporation providing technology for REALTORS® and their member associations to help deliver the best solutions for their clients.

“This is an exciting development for REALTORS®, and consumers in southern Ontario,” Pichette explained. “Consumers tell us seeing the status of a property on the site is a critical part of the research they do when on a home buying or selling journey.”

Perhaps the most extensive example of transparency on is in Nova Scotia, where CREA has partnered with the Nova Scotia Association of REALTORS® (NSAR) to provide “the most robust display of listing data in Canada,” according to Pichette. The partnership helps transition from a search portal into a “research destination.”

“In Nova Scotia, consumers can track a listing through its journey on the market, from active to conditionally sold, to recently sold, and eventually to sold, where they can view the most recent sale price,” Pichette explained. “This builds on top of previous sold price history being available in the property history section of active listings on the site. Consumers tell us that being able to search sold listings enables them to research the real estate market effectively. This knowledge empowers them to take the next step in their real estate journey confidently, engage with a REALTOR®, and make informed decisions when buying or selling.”

The future of transparency on

While these initiatives are already providing value to Canadians in parts of the country, there are still many areas to be covered. Pichette says there are still advancements to be made on the future of transparency for, and most of them are rooted in technology.

Enhanced data

Pichette says real-time information will become more available on in the future.

“Future iterations of the platform will include an enhanced dataset, including more transactional level information in real-time, enhanced property history and statistics, and making items like accessibility features of properties more prominent for consumers searching for properties that meet their unique needs,” he explains.

Artificial intelligence

No, AI won’t replace the need for a REALTOR®, but it will help provide more detail and insights for consumers who want information at their fingertips.

“AI-driven tools and algorithms can be deployed to analyze market trends, estimate property values more accurately, and enhance property search, all of which provide a personalized experience to users,” explains Pichette.

Increased collaboration

“Collaborating with other stakeholders, such as local governments, land registries, and financial institutions, can facilitate access to a wider range of data and services, promoting transparency,” Pichette says.

Virtual and augmented reality, and user reviews and ratings

Virtual showings are being taken one step further by implementing augmented reality to enhance the entire experience—not just the property viewings.

“More can be done to enhance neighbourhood tours, enabling REALTORS® to showcase properties and surroundings remotely, which will enhance the buying experience,” Pichette tells us. “We’ve seen the incorporation of agent reviews and rating tools to offer additional insights and perspectives, that help Canadians match with a REALTOR®.”

Ultimately, everything circles back to providing an enhanced user experience for buyers and sellers, while keeping REALTORS® at the heart of the process. That’s what it’s all about.

“Helping to bring the home buying or selling consumer through the full lifecycle of the transaction on the platform will add immensely to the experience consumers and REALTORS® have on the site.”

More transparency on means a more informed decision. Coupled with the support of a REALTOR®, Canadians can feel confident when it comes to buying or selling their home.