Competition Bureau Change
I am all for healthy competition and providing consumers with options when buying or selling, but I fear the Competition Bureau’s decision to remove the Canadian Real Estate Board’s ability to enforce anti-competition laws regarding their Multiple Listing Service will cause more harm than good.
The decision, announced last fall, brought with it a lot of controversy and worry. I am not the only one concerned that this change will mean the compromised integrity of the MLS the board took pride in creating and offering to the public.
The change makes it possible for non-CREA members to post listings on MLS Canada-wide for a fee.
The move means sellers will have the option of paying a flat fee to any agent to post a sellers home on MLS. They will not be required to hire a real estate agent to be listed. As a member of the CREA, I have always taken pride in providing a valued service to my clients that not just any agent off the street can offer.
Now, if an owner pays the fee to be posted on MLS, they will be left with all of the leg work a real estate agent would typically take care of.
Full-service brokerages and their hard working, diligent realitors.
According to the Ontario Real Estate and Brokers Act (OREBA), during a real estate transaction, realitors may be paid a set price or a percentage, but not both. Therefore, a seller who is paying a flat fee to their agent to list their property cannot also pay a percentage of the sale to the buying agent, leaving the seller with a limited market to sell to as the buyer must also be working independently, without an agent.
This allows consumers to use real estate agents as a “posting service” alone. Allowing this removes some of the benefit of CREA membership, by allowing non-members to post with their service. Choosing a CREA member to list and sell your property sets consumers at ease, knowing the
It’s what is referred to as a “mirror posting” where an agent posts the property or house for a flat fee, but the owner’s contact information is listed instead of the agent’s and the owner is contacted by all interested parties to handle the rest of the showing/sale needs.
What I fear will happen, is owners will become overwhelmed in an attempt to keep up with all of the real estate duties that they will eventually hire an agent to clean up the mess and take over.