In the coming months, if you find yourself looking for a home in the Greater Toronto Area online, you may notice a change, as the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) will be dropping the term 'master' and replacing it with 'primary' when describing bedrooms.

According to the board, it's a move that will better align with CREA and will come into effect in the coming months.

“We know that words matter, and this is a step forward in rethinking outdated terms and modernizing the language used in the real estate industry,” TRREB said in a notice sent to realtors about the change.

The change, recommended by TRREB's Diversity and Inclusion Task Force, will help align the board with industry best practices already implemented by CREA on and other real estate associations.

READ: GTA Home Sales Up 97% in March, Average Selling Price Hits $1.1M

The board says the change will also address "the negative connotations surrounding "master" bedroom, which many members, others in the industry, and the public at large associate with terminology rooted in slavery and/or sexism."

The Ontario-based board says the change also comes after it heard some realtors' concerns about the offensive undertones associated with the term 'master' and follows a recommendation made by the Real Estate Standards Organization (RESO) -- of which CREA is an active participant.

“Concerns about potentially derogatory connotations have caused some groups to push to change the ‘master’ terms,” said RESO chief executive Sam DeBord in the recommendation.

“While use of this terminology by real estate professionals has been reviewed and cleared of discriminatory violations by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, consumer and professional concerns have remained, prompting some marketplaces to use alternatives. "

While TRREB’s change has yet to come into effect, the board says in the coming months, any room reference to master in Stratus, Collaborate, Matrix,, and WEBForms will be changed to primary.

"What this will mean for the consumer and realtors is that property listings will now reference “primary” where it used to reference “master” as the main or principal bedroom,” explained TRREB President Lisa Patel

Patel says the board of directors has already approved the task force recommendation. 

Real Estate News