Competition Bureau vs. CREA

As many may know, the Competition Bureau is investigating the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).

The Bureau intends to take CREA to the Competition Tribunal because it believes that CREA’s control over the MLS limits consumer choice, sets unfair rules and is anti-competitive.

The argument originates from some real estate sellers who consider agent’s commissions too high. For example, a 5% fee on a $500,000 house would be $25,000.  The agents point at a substantial amount of work involved in the real estate transactions, which justifies the fees.

However, the Competition Bureau intends to allow sellers list their properties less expensively on MLS.

112 Responses to “Competition Bureau vs. CREA”

  1. Gene Says:

    CREA does what CREA does best. What is a reason for becoming a Professional Real Estate Salesperson and be a member if I am just an administrator postings listings on MLS? Also, if the FCB gets their way then how CREA can ensure the consumer will be well looked after?!

    • IC Says:

      You’re right!You can sell your house,but me as a Realtor I know that your bedroom is much more,is a place where your dreams can became reality,where you can be happy or sad, where another life can start.This is our value and sadly not everybody are able to feel this and understand.We don’t work just whit houses we work whit feelings too.

  2. J. Says:

    I can tell you one thing: I ended up selling my house myself.. no reason paying someone 20K just to show where my bedroom is, you know.

    • B. Cheston Says:

      Go ahead and sell your home yourself. That has always been your option. However you should not have access to years and years of sale information to assit you. We, as Realtors, pay dearly for that access and we certainly don’t just show a client where your bedroom is.

    • M. Says:

      you may have saved yourself $20,000 in commission but sold your property for $40,000 to little, so you lost in the end. It is not what you pay in commission but how much you end up with in your pocket that counts.

    • Ron Says:

      If that is all you think Real Estate Agents do you should really become one. Walk in our shoes for a day.

    • Realtor K Says:

      Love to know what you do for a living. Let’s bet it’s in an industry where I didn’t get the best value or service. Perhaps you ran into a Realtor that may not have worked out. Perhaps you should shop around, find out what each Realtor actually does for you and then make an informed decision and intelligent comments. I agree, with the last comment. Walk a day in our shoes.

    • LEON MARTY Says:

      and I cured my toothache, and my brother cuts his own hair and my uncle does his own oil changes …. but we dont go to the dentists office or the local barbershop and use their equipment for a flat fee, do we? Do you know how much tax revenue this province, country will loose from the Realtors income taxes, nothing to say the least, all of the sign makers, printers, computer sales, car sales etc., We are the only industry that is asked to reduce our fees when the market is HOT and you dont need us and again when the market is dow to HELp the Seller… and we continue to smile thru this … continually spending our money to educated and upgrade ourselves.

    • There may be a few people who feel sticking a “PRIVATE FOR SALE SIGN” in the front lawn is a good idea.
      You’ve now made it known that there is nobody keeping track of who’s coming through your home and allowing any stranger who feels he wants to, wander through your home with your Family in attendance, GREAT IDEA!
      Hopefully you’re not opening your door to a stalker a thief or worse!
      Let’s say for the sake of your arguement though, that you actually procure an offer on your own; are you sure this is the best offer that was available to you and are you experienced enough to write up a legal offer that is going to protect both you and the buyer?
      How many times have you heard of somebody’s hand painted for sale sign bringing many interested parties and in some cases the sought after “multiple offer?”
      You’re right about one thing, people do not require a realtor to point out the bedroom bathroom etc; let’s face it, the buying public are not stupid and can readily identify a toilet or a sink! They’re more savvy and informed than they have ever been and frankly, once they’ve stepped out of your home, often the interest fades and they move on. There are people out there who have been looking for the perfect home for years and continue to do so! They’ve been saving and saving and frankly, it’s going to take more than your custom living room drape to get them to withdraw that money and put it into your home!
      Many people get a huge secure feeling when they check the bank book monthly and see all that cash piling up.
      So, do you really think that you have what it takes to follow them down the driveway trying to tell them why your home is different from all the others and give them all the reasons to go ahead with a smart purchase that’s going to be in their very best interest in the long run? I think not!
      You don’t mention what you do for a living, I find it so unfortunate as a realtor that everybody and his brother thinks he can do my job better than I can.
      Here’s a thought…
      Next time you show up at your job if you have one, feel excited and lucky that you don’t have some MORON standing at the front door to your business, telling the people you work for, that he can do your job better and for less money AND that he’s willing to be responsible legally for doing so!
      People who want a quality job done right, realizing the most money possible for what is likely the biggest assett that they and their Family will ever have; all the while being protected and safe in the marketing of their home, still want a licensed realtor to look after that interest and the widespread availablity of the Multiple Listing System working for them! Good luck with your private sale, I certainly hope it closes!

  3. Lynne Says:

    @J – Realtors do much more than show buyers where the bedrooms are. thats a very disrespectful comment. wondering how you found out the value of your home? from a Realtor? who looked after the best interests of your Buyer? how does your Buyer know that they didn’t overpay you without a Realtor involved? when i earn commission – i have earned every penny of my commission. i’m sure just as much as you earn your pay cheque.

  4. Joel Says:

    There are lots of options for sellers right now. You can hire a full service realtor or a discount service realtor already.
    There are many differant companies offering every commission
    now. The mls is just a another form of advertising. Crea is reaponsible to make sure that it’s members, the Realtors are always professional in their dealings with public. Go to the states and see what the wild west is like. Even though there is
    a tremendous amount of competition in the USA, average commission are much higher. Imagine if you had to pay six to eight percent to sell your house. That is what it costs there. Commissions in Canada are a bargain. Most realtors can’t make a decent living. Costs are very high and commission rates have been kept low for years. The avaerage commission in Canada seems closer to four to five percent.If you think you can sell your property yourself, go and try. Most try and give up in two weeks. Selling a house or condo is a skill, not a matter of posting a listing on the mls.

  5. Francis Dryden Says:

    Answer me this basic and simple question… if the seller “saves the commission” and the buyer is buying with “no commissions”… where did that money go?

    There are quite a few “cut rate” companies on the MLS system… some even name their company for the low rate they charge… I am never concerned about showing one of these listings because they are almost always severely overpriced which a buying client can see in a moment.

    There is more to the practice of Real Estate than meets the eye of folks who can’t understand the statements above or think that they come out ahead selling on their own.

  6. ABoyd Says:

    In over 30 years experience as a full time active Realtor® I believe there is no problem with a “menu-brokerage service” being offered… there have been a number of such services available for some time; the only concern I have is the Licensing authorities’ and the courts’ expectation of agency responsibility, common law practice of disclosure and fiduciary duties – these expectations have to be very clearly defined, clearly understood and acknowledged in writing by the consumer – the Seller, as they weigh heavily on my exposure to professional liability. As well, this approach brings into question the information being posted for the buyer(s) to rely upon i.e. is the Seller still required to disclose latent defects of the subject property, etc., etc., etc? Our standard forms need to be amended to reflect all these situations for the protection of the other set of clients – the Buyers. There would be no sale without an interested and qualified Buyer.
    As long as the Property owners understand, when they enter into a budget brokerage agreement, not to expect any more service, professional advice and protection than they have chosen off the ‘menu’ there should be no issues.
    I am just a lay person, not a lawyer, so I don’t have answers to these questions or any others that may arise. Do you have the answers? Do we have to contemplate thousands of $$$ in legal fees and court costs to finally define the difference between an Association’s member and the co-operative services provided and fees paid.

  7. Bill Says:

    Ha! We have a fair & freedom market here now. To have a lunch, someone want to spend $100 in a 5-stars hotel and enjoy the foods and the services which they think it is worth. On the other hand, you might just want to spend 50 cents for an apple for lunch which you think apple is better for your health.

    You cannot complaint the hotel to sell a nice apple salad for $30 while you can buy an apple in Supermarket for 50 cents.

    Consumer can choose put the property for sell on Craiglist without professional services for less expenses or use a Professional Realtor with MLS service. An open fair market will fail services or products itself if MLS doesn’t work.

  8. Al Says:

    Good move. Now we all can go to NASA and be astronauts. It’s only fair.

  9. Gord Says:

    There are websites available to those who do not want to use an Realtor. As Realtor the MLS is something I pay for as a member. Why should it be free for others. Can I sell my car privately on someone else’s car lot? Of course not. If you want to sell your home privately, then there are ways to do that. That is your choice. Don’t be angry because to use a professional Realtor you need to pay for one. There is a reason most homes are sold through Realtors. It’s becasue it works and it’s worth it.

  10. David Pylyp Says:

    Yes the cheapest price is the best! Absolutely!
    so… the Listing agent does a flat fee deal, No fintrac disclosure, no mortgage search, do we know who owns it?
    All appointments are direct, well, there is no office and the cell phone appt booking system is full.
    Then… we have an offer but “YOUR” agent doesn’t show up for that either because well you know, we just open the door and show people where the bedroom is, [refer post above] Now we are forced into a functional dual agency situation where we are acting fore both parties because I am explaining your offer to you!

    The competition bureau is in conlict in its purpose with other legislation. IE RECO that protects clients.
    Discount Brokers already exist. Why do they not dominate?
    The provide no service. The end.

    David Pylyp
    Living in Toronto

  11. Paula Says:

    I think CREA should just shut down the MLS/Realtor.ca sites and force the public to contact a realtor for services. Realtors will be able to advertise on their own sites and do print advertising to expose their listings, and the FSBO’s will be left in the dark.

    • Dw Says:

      Maybe limited info on realtor.ca. Price, location, bedroom, bath. All other info linked to agent. We pay for all this information and CREA gives it away by running away from the competion bureau. Sold and historical information should be under lock and key. So should CREA!

    • I guess the MLS(R) is an expensive toy for us, the Realtors, just make it a directory for Realtos and stop offeing search on properties.

  12. marco ciambrelli Says:

    Who is the Competition Bureau going after next: the lawyers, the accountants, the finance companies….no one is forced into using a realtor’services, it’s a free country…

  13. Tina Says:

    This is so highly uneducated, its not even funny.
    We realtors have many expenses and licensing fees incurred to be REALROS! What the Competition Act should learn is the expense involved to be in this business, and how much we pay to carry our listings-even if they are sold within days!The public needs to know and learn what it takes to maintain being a realtor-there is such a high cost. Don’t believe me? Why do you think the stats show that most agents 85% are not in this business within 5 years of getting their license, it costs money.
    There is no pensions, no health benefits, no sick days, no holiday pay, no guarantee of wages within a year or future, this is why the commission is high- this is what the public needs to understand, that commission is not paid to the agent, there are many deductions that are taken off that amount-anyone wanting to see a copy of my operating expenses-I will be happy to pass on to anyone.
    Tina Forbes
    REmax Delmar REalty
    905-545-1188

  14. Bart Says:

    I am Realtor. MLS is not monopoly. Mr. J who commented just before me is the best prove. He sold his house by himself with no help from Realtor. It is choice people make whether they want to sell house with or without Realtor. They can do it all themselves.If they choose to work with Realtor then their home will be promoted through MLS. There are many fsbo websites which do the same. Are these website monopoly as well ? should competition bereau go after them as well ? Should competition bereau investigate lawyers who charge $200 or more an hour leaving many without legal representation at all or in debt it will take them years to pay off. Legal system is more monopolistic then MLS due to its unnecessary complexity. Finally who said that all Realtors only charge 5%. This is a myth. Yes, many agents do charge full 5%, some even 6% but there are also many agents who will charge 3.5% or less. Competition Bureau is another example of tax payers money going down the drain.

  15. JDM Says:

    As a Realtor, I tend to agree. I have been in this business for going on 14 years and over these years we have seem many technological changes and in many cases the sellers and buyers are more up to date than a lot of agents I deal with myself included.
    My view is that given the above, both buyers and sellers do a significant amount of due diligence before we are contacted (at least a good percentage), that being the case….Yes we do get paid for a lot of work that clients do. Not much has changed in the percentage game over my years in the business and yet we tend to NOT want to change with the times.

    I’m a firm believer in the concept of Fees for Services, with there being a “base” of services to start with and then have a fee figure attached to a list of services.

    How would I do this in the short term…..and this is what I do as a gradual change over from the OLD way of doing things. Lets say that the commission proposed is 4% on a given property. I have a consise list of services I provide and I attach a figure to each to let the client know what I do and what that task costs. In fact what I am doing is breaking down the 4% number into real quantifiable terms. In the end the 4% stands but at least the client knows how it is being allocated, ie. earned and what the distribution to co-perating brokers and splits are. Everything is open. My view is that if an agent does not at least provide a rationalization in writing to justify any percentage; then the client is left scratching their heads wondering what exactly the agent does on a day to day basis.

    Yes we are worth what we charge and that percentage has been going down, but we also have to make it clear to the clients we represent, how we earn this money. I don’t think many realize the steps needed and if they can and want to handle some of the tasks; then they should be allowed to negotiate with the agent on this level.

    Just some of my thoughts.

    cheers from JDM

  16. Chris Says:

    Real estate is way more then just showing a bedroom, it is negociations between buyers and sellers who wants the highest selling price and the lowest purchasing price, and this is not obvious, the list is long of all things a realtor does for his clientele, sellers who sells by themselves pay a commission anyway, either by taking too much time on the market (home badly price because of lack of knowledge information towards the market) or reducing their real estate under price value (again lack of market knowledge), the commission is either lost by loosing money by the seller or paid to the buyer, who is buying under price value, i could continue long debating this, have a great day Chris !

  17. LEON MARTY Says:

    YOUR VERY LUCKY …. ITS A GOOD MARKET! HOWEVER YOU DID’NT SAVE $20,000. YOUR LAWYER WOULD HAVE CHARGED A PREMIUM TO WRITE / REVIEW THE OFFER, YOU WOULD HAVE HAD SIGN AND ADVERTISING EXPENSES. YOU SOUND LIKE A SMART PERSON …. IF ITS THAT EASY TO SHOW A “BEDROOM” AND MAKE $20,000 WHY ARE YOU NOT A REALTOR? NOW IF THE GOVERNMENT DID’NT TAX THE **** OUT OF REALTORS, MAYBE SOMETHING COULD BE DONE ABOUT THE HIGH RATES OF COMISSIONS. ON A $400,000 @5% THE COMISSIONS ARE $20,000. THATS SPLIT BETWEEN THE LISTING AND SELLING BROKERS $10,000 EACH AND THEN THAT IS SPLIT BETWEEN THE BROKER AND THE AGENT. LETS SAY 25% – 75%. SO NOW THE AGENT MADE $7500.00 + EXPENSES AND TIME INVESTED. YOU GET PAID TO GO TO WORK DONT YOU?

  18. Joseph R. Barr Says:

    It is very disturbing that the competition bureau is making comments about commision on real estate transactions. If those employeis at the bureau would cut their income in half then I would consider reducing my commision. They have no idea of the education process we go through in the industry and the costs we incure in selling a property. If property sold the day the sign went up and we did not have to advertise over priced properties and pay all the licensing fees we do it would be posible to list proreties fo 1% commision

  19. People are asking me about the suggestions made by the Competition Bureau of Canada following their investigation of the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). The Competition Bureau has indicated that some of CREA’s policies that govern the operations of MLS® systems restrict consumer choice and limit the scope of alternative business models, which might be viable and beneficial to consumers if the policies didn’t exist. The purpose of these policies while clear to Realtors are not often clear to consumers. This article will clarify some of the major points in this area of debate.

    First let me set the record straight with respect to some of the twist placed on this topic by the media in recent days for the sole purpose of making headlines. CREA has indicated to its members that it disagrees with the Bureau’s views. The media would have you believe that the CREA will be opening up the MLS® system for all to use. This is simply not the case nor is the Competition Bureau even suggesting that. An understanding of what the MLS® system actually is should help.

    First of all it is necessary to know that CREA is a national association of REALTOR® members. All REALTORS® working in Canada are members of the association. CREA provides governance for the real estate industry at the national level. In Ontario, the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) and the Real Estate Counsel of Ontario (RECO) provide service and governance for its members at the provincial level. Below are details of what the Competition Bureau is challenging CREA on.

    In 2007, the membership of the Canadian Real Estate Association approved the “Three Pillars of the MLS® Mark” and Interpretations.

    The Three Pillars of the MLS® Mark are;

    1) Membership – Only REALTORS® may place a listing on a Board/Association’s MLS® System.
    2) Agency – A listing REALTOR® must act as agent for the seller to sell the property and to assist the seller throughout the entire time of the listing contract.
    3) Compensation to Cooperating Broker – The listing REALTOR® agrees to pay to the cooperating REALTOR® compensation for the cooperative selling of the property.

    The Interpretations of the Three Pillars of the MLS® Mark are;

    1) The listing REALTOR® shall receive and present all offers and counter offers to the seller.
    2) The listing REALTOR® shall be available to provide professional advice and counsel to the seller on all offers and counter offers unless otherwise directed by the seller in writing.
    3) The mere posting of property information in an MLS® system is contrary to CREA’s Rules. A “mere posting” occurs when the listing agreement relieves the listing member of any obligations under the Rules, including the obligation that the listing REALTOR® remain the agent of the seller throughout the term of the listing contract.
    4) The listing REALTOR® is responsible and accountable for the accuracy of information submitted to a Board/Association for inclusion in the Board’s MLS® system, and the Board/Association is responsible for ensuring that the data submitted to it meets reasonable standards of quality.
    5) Only REALTORS® are permitted to display the MLS® trademarks in signage, advertising, etc.
    6) Only the listing REALTOR® name(s) and contact information may appear on REALTOR.ca. The seller’s name or contact information shall not appear on REALTOR.ca or in the public remarks section of the MLS® system.
    7) In cases where a Board permits listings in which the seller has reserved the right to sell the property himself/herself, that fact shall be specified in the Board’s MLS® database.

    The same year that these articles were passed, CREA was served a Section 11 Order, an investigatory order requiring CREA to produce documents related to CREA’s rules and the operation of an MLS® System. CREA has been engaged in regular discussions with the Bureau since the issuance of the Section 11 Order.

    The Bureau ultimately concluded that specific aspects of CREA’s Three Pillars of the MLS® Mark and the accompanying Interpretations prevent innovative business models, and the potential “unbundling” of real estate services that could allow sellers to play a larger role in the home selling process, even while utilizing the limited services of a REALTOR®.

    Specifically, the Competition Bureau has asked CREA to remove the “Agency” pillar, as well as interpretations 1, 3 and 6. Under the Bureau’s proposed remedy, the other two “pillars” would remain, and so would Interpretations 2, 4, 5 and 7.

    It seems apparent, based on the articles targeted for removal that the Bureau would like to see REALTORS® having the option to offer limited services that do not bind the REALTOR® to meet their fiduciary duties normally provided as a result of an agency relationship. Those obligations include accountability, confidentiality, full disclosure, competent care, obedience, loyalty, as well as protection and promotion of the client’s interests. If these obligations were removed, a REALTOR® could, on behalf of a seller, list a property for sale on an MLS® and then allow the seller to perform all of the other services normally provided by agents, for themselves. Some REALTORS have attempted to provide this minimum level of service and claim to have been forced out of the membership and/or had their business models fail as a result. These were models basically resembled a for sale by owner with access to putting their listing on the MLS® listing data base.

    In the past, CREA has taken the position that “agency” is a key component of the service that a REALTOR® provides, and continue to believe that. Reality is that all REALTOR®s in Canada have the freedom to choose what levels of service they might provide to a seller, and determine the fee that they will charge for that service. That is obvious with numerous and present discount brokerages that exist right now. The only difference is that those Realtors are still bound as an agent, owing fiduciary duties of care to the seller. In my 22 years as a REALTOR®, I have continually seen discount brokerages come and go. I have never seen one prosper or even continue in business for any length of time.

    CREA has also expressed concern that removing this particular pillar does not relieve the REALTOR® from agency obligations, as a matter of law and regulation. Even if the agency component were removed from the “pillars,” provincial and federal law and regulation would still bind REALTOR®s. In fact, some of the interpretations which would remain if CREA agreed to remove those in question clearly imply the existence of an agency relationship, namely articles 2 and 4. In essence, the concern seems to be that REALTORS® could find themselves offering substantially limited services, which ultimately expose them to greater risk and liability resulting from a breach of fiduciary duty.

    The Bureau has taken the position that if CREA does not remove the restrictions noted above, the Commissioner of Competition will initiate an application before the Competition Tribunal, a judicial body, which has authority under Canadian law to issue monetary penalties and prohibition orders.

    CREA’s Board of Directors has agreed to work with the Competition Bureau towards a settlement, which would be presented to its membership for approval.

    CREA is in the process of scheduling consultations with Boards and Associations across Canada to discuss the issue further.

    People have been asking me if I am concerned about the potential settlement. My answer is that I am no more concerned now than I was in 2002 when the discount agencies started trying their new “models” and which later failed. The fact remains that the consumer can use the discount brokerages now on the MLS® database and that those brokerages can set their fees wherever they want. Home sellers are also free to sell their homes themselves and have powerful networking tools and companies offering for sale by owner postings. Fact is, while the MLS® system offers a database of homes for sale, its all the other services Realtors provide that make it work. Quiet simply, unless your a REALTOR® or have a close friend who is one, you may not be aware of the amount of actual work, time, effort, training, and costs that go into it. Over the past 22 years, I have listed hundreds of for sale by owners who have indicated they listed with me for a variety of reasons including;

    1) They have been approached by potential buyers and did not know where to begin.
    -Some for sale by owners were of the opinion that their lawyer would negotiate the real estate transaction for them.
    -Having a professional 24/7 negotiator who knows the market and is not part of the actual transaction has very distinct advantages and may be one of the most underestimated values of selling with a Realtor.

    2) They have been offend by the people making offers trying to save the same commission they are trying to save.
    - Buyers know that it does not cost them anything to be represented by a REALTOR® on the majority of listings and approach for sale by owners themselves with the intent to save.

    3) They have been approached by buyers being represented by a REALTOR® which was still being paid the same and they had no representation themselves.
    - Buyers are often under contract with a REALTOR® and even if the seller thinks he didn’t pay commission, the offer was less in order that the buyer compensate his REALTOR®

    4) They were getting numerous calls, questions, and good showings with no results.
    - I know from experience that if the seller is even home, much less showing the house, that the buyer cannot relax a see the details of the home. The buyer also frequently
    has a different view of the house than the seller which only comes out when privacy is obtained.

    5) They were concerned about liability or they heard about problems/civil actions arising from a private sale.
    - Failure to disclose pertinent information or misrepresenting some aspect of the property or surrounding area is one of the many potentially serious problems facing for sale by owners.
    The problem here is that private sellers don’t have any idea how many things need to be addressed and disclosed in writing to prevent problems.
    REALTOR®s must complete ongoing mandatory continuing education themselves just to stay on top of issues like disclosure and unfolding case law in the industry.
    REALTOR®s must also maintain errors and omissions insurance to cover the potential liability.

    6) They simply did not know why their house was not selling or even if it was priced right.
    - REALTOR®s spend their career evaluating, viewing, analyzing and negotiating real estate values. Being able to articulate why market value is what it is,
    can often be critical to the sale.

    7) They had seen or heard about my Home Selling System and all the services it provides. They often indicate that they had noticed the results my system gets over that of other REALTOR®s, especially that of discount agencies.
    - Simply being on the MLS® database is VERY far from everything necessary to getting sold, much less getting top dollar for you house. Can sellers do it themselves…sure they can. The question
    is how much money is left in their pockets afterwords if they can get even get sold. That means after any civil actions against them and also after they account for their own time and money. This answer alone is why the vast majority select full service REALTOR®s to sell their house.
    - I have written articles on this topic which I call “The Real Estate Secret”. One is included in this blog, but suffice to say that the quality of your on-line representation beyond the MLS® database representation
    is CRITICAL, but is also the beginning of the process, not the end. Case in point…here is a link to a custom web page I built for a client that spent 14 months on the market with another REALTOR®. Yes, they were on the MLS® database and even had a REALTOR®. This is not some exception or past history, but rather last month. Once listed by me the seller sold for 99% of asking less than a week. Oh yes, the process still takes up hours of my time almost daily servicing the transaction.

    9) They didn’t feel good about some of the people that were showing up in their home.
    - I think this one speaks for itself, but I will add that without a negotiator, the success of the transaction additionally becomes whether or not the buyer and the sell like one another.

    Only time will tell how this all unfolds, but regardless, there is no way what is required to get a house successfully sold and closed will magically become cheap and easy. If you have read this article and still think that the MLS® database does it all and REALTOR®s do little work and are overpaid, I suggest you give selling real estate a try. Stats show that one in nine REALTOR®s are still in the business two years after they start.

    Kevin Flaherty
    Direct: 1-877-352-4378 (877-Flaherty)
    Web: http://Flaherty.ca
    E-mail: Kevin@Flaherty.ca

    • Thank you very much for an excellent explanation I absolutely agree. I just can’t beleive it that it seems that the bureau dont get the bigger picture. I am also concerned when open the market for more discount services will create loop holes for more misrepresentation and the integrity of the realtor been let down. What about all the small businesses and advertising companies that are currently used by realtors to deliver a professional job. Banks and financial institutions that do have some protection when transactions are represented by professional realtors and under strict rules. People out there do have more than enough choises and the bureau do not have to protect them, nobody force them to use a realtor. They even have a choice of interveiwing as many as they want. Thanks again

  20. Jason Says:

    No reason paying someone 20k just to show where your bedroom is? Hmmmm, that is logic isn’t it? How about the seller that hides the fact that someone died in that bedroom, or that bedroom used to be a meth lab, grow op, brothel, etc. It’s great that you saved “2ok” as you say, so your house was over $400,000 assuming 5% commission? That’s awesome, but perhaps you sold it under market value? did you investigate what the market would bare for your home, making a trip to the land registry office to see what they sold for? I am assuming it was an easy house to sell in a hot market area? In my town, 1 out of 10 sell privately, the rest turn to professional real estate. In the words of RED ADAIR:
    “If you thinks it’s expensive to hire a professional, wait until you hire an amateur!”
    To realestateproperty.ca, it’s MLS® not MLS as you state in your blog. It is a trademark…..and to the media, it won’t become public….learn the facts please. Thank you.

  21. Steve Bassett Says:

    For Sale By Owner is dangerous and most often does not work. People want a middle man It doesn’t work now and it won’t work then so why go through all this nonsense ?

  22. Long time realtor Says:

    I am a long established realtor and must emphasize the professionalism and particularly the requirements of being a licensed realtor. A “working realtor” invests tremendous amounts of time, effort and money to comply with all the legal and institutional requirements in order to serve the public appropriately, using his/her best efforts to comply with all the guidelines and legal implications to protect the interest of a client. The public must realize that the path of being a licensed realtor and to maintain the standard of service is not a “one time affair”. The mls system is a tool that has been researched and improved throughout the years, and in fact should be allowed to be patented. I believe individuals or companies interested in competing with the concept of the mls system should realize that it is not only a computerized system, but an institutional tool and service of a long established group of dedicated professionals to provide the most up-to-date service to the public. To challenge the mls system could be parallel to challenging the concept of the real estate industry.

  23. Harry Says:

    My mechanic makes way too much money. I wanna be a mechanic!!! No no no I don’t actually want to FIX cars or spend all my day in a smokey, greasy, dirty environment – but I do want to make the MONEY that he makes. Ooooh wait a minute, I wanna be COP instead!!!
    Too many sore losers out there trying to re-invent the wheel. We HAVE a system already. If you start a new system it will just get regulations gradually added to it until it ends up where is it now.
    SHUT DOWN Realtor.ca AND SEE IF THE PUBLIC WILL MISS THIS “FREE” WEBSITE THAT THAY”VE BEEN ENJOYING!!!

  24. Long time realtor Says:

    If the complaint is about commission, the question posed to the consumer should be “how much would you make out of selling your property?”. Quite often he/she would have doubled or tripled the invested amount. The greed is then on the part of the consumer, not the hard working realtor who would even respond to clients on a 24 hour basis, sometimes for months, to get the best deal for the client. It’s not an affair of “chance”, in most cases a realtor has to spend tremendous amounts of time and effort to yield the best possible price and terms, and ensure that the client has a most favourable offer. A realtor does not get paid every month, but his/her expenses are to be be each month.

  25. David Peters Says:

    The “MLS” is and was owned by and operated by CREA. Canadian Real Estate Association for it’s members. There are rules and regulations in every organization that one would like to be part of. If you follow and adhere to these rules and regulations, you get the benefits that go with them. All of these other companies that are complaining about not being able to advertise on the MLS are not willing to do so. On that note, which one of these companies will allow a REALTOR to advertise on their site? By the Owner? I think not.
    For the public, according to the statistics that NAR has been able to compile, It is actually less expensive to use a REALTOR to sell ones home than it is to do it yourself. If you think you are saving commissions, think again. Why do people buy from FSBO’s? To save money and “get a deal”. Every comment I have ever heard about a person when they have purchased a FSBO is “Did I ever get a deal”. Why is that? or the other most common one I heard was ” I got ripped off, they didn’t tell me there were all these problems.”
    Stats do show that 98% of all FSBO’s call a REALTOR to help them sell their home 3 weeks into trying to sell it themselves for a multitude of reasons and that the REALTOR actually nets them MORE money in their pocket after commissions are paid out.
    I have always, always, always negotiated my commissions. I have even used a flat fee, all depending on the needs and wants of my clients. This is what I have learned through the Licensing course I had to take as well as all of the continuing education courses I take every year.
    The Competition Bureau should be looking elsewhere as CREA has done everything possible to make the use of the MLS very competitive.
    Are they looking into the other advertising avenues to make sure that they are just as competitive? Like BY THE OWNER, can I list my properties for sale on that site? Just to name one.

  26. Kelley Says:

    It is unfortunate that the public is going to be totally misinformed about these proposed changes to our rules. I firmly believe that CREA is making a big mistake in these changes, the bright side to all of this is only one thing and that is that CREA has not stipulated that we MUST inform the seller of this type of service. This type of service, if passed at the AGM in March, will be available but the only people that will really know about it will be the savvy investor or someone who reads up on our rules and regulations. The other side of this coin, which I see as very dangerous as a listing agent is that if I enter into this type of agreement with the seller and the buyers agent has direct access to my client to present the offer, nowhere does CREA stipulate that I am no longer being held to my fiduciary duties. So I do less work, allow the seller to use MY MLS system and still assume all liability. Here is what we should do as a collective membership, and remember wholly my opinion, PRIVATIZE the MLS system! Why allow the competition bureau to come after us and say that we are anticompetitive by giving the consumer 30% of our information. Restrict the information and make the consumer come to us as “Professional Realtors”. This is how it was done as little of 25 years ago BEFORE the use of computers and MLS in our business.

    • Cori Says:

      You say “This type of service, if passed at the AGM in March, will be available but the only people that will really know about it will be the savvy investor or someone who reads up on our rules and regulations.” is totally erroneous as the average person is reading about this on the front pages of many newspapers.

  27. SC Says:

    Competition Bureau has perhaps got the proverbial ‘blinkers’ on its eyes. There is no law which forces the public to use the services of a professional realtor. And it is not easy to become a professional realtor – courses, updating ones knowledge and the connected expenses.
    There are a host of options that a seller/ buyer can exercise when they want to buy or sell a property. When they use a realtor they get the professional services they pay for and their interests are covered. Even a dentist has to consult another dentist when he has a dental problem and pays for it as well.
    Onehas not seen any lawyer, dentist, doctor or any other professional advertising their fees. So how does the public decide which one they should hire? Simple. They do their homework.
    There is nothing biased or restrictive about the way CREA is operating the MLS. It is part of the service available to the sellers when they enlist the services of a professional realtor. If one finds that the services are too expensive then simply do not hire a realtor- take the other routes avaialbe. It is a free nation. We hope the Competition Bureau remembers this. One cannot dictate the price one wants to pay for anothers services.

  28. brian kenny Says:

    I have no problem with people wanting to sell real estate
    on their own as long as they take the same provincial
    courses that is required.

  29. It continues to be a struggle. Every profession has protection except ours. We pay fees for the MLS have developed this tool over years to be snatched away by people in the Government who doe not have to work on commission to gain their living. We qualify clients show value and promote our listings also through fellow colleagues.
    Lawyers dont have their fees looked at. It is really the peoples choice to list with the great machine or try to sell it on their own, cheaper no commission no mls. I wonder what the people who want to change this will do when all the taxes that we pay GST andTps Evaporated.
    Tony

  30. Tina Says:

    …..where did it come from : “The argument originates from some real estate sellers who consider agent’s commissions too high. For example, a 5% fee on a $500,000 house would be $25,000″…..did i miss something? as far s i know we charge 5-6% on the first 100 000 and 3.5%
    (or less) for the BALANCE..am i not right?

    • Cori Says:

      I don’t know where you are selling real estate, but in my market that is not the case. We typically charge 5% on any listing, no matter what the price. And we are worth it.

  31. Vera Says:

    Well some people should try and sell themselves! Or purchase for that matter! As we all know a good agent can get you more money for your place, do the right marketting and advertising. So yes, the commission do seem high but the work we do as agent is over and beyound and i’m sure that sometimes we as agent feel like we earned every penny!!! As for the rest of the consummers, do sell yourself and you will have nothing to complain about!

  32. David Van Sickle Says:

    The real estate industry has a problem but it will not be solved by the changes contemplated by the Competition Bureau. The problem with the real estate industry and the reason that fees are what they are is that our industry is extremely inefficient. There are too many Realtors in the industry – too many mouths to feed. How many Realtors would it take to service any given market? About 20% of the number currently working in any given market. How much of our time, effort and money goes into prospecting and marketing ourselves? Too much. It is too easy to get into the business and it does not cost enough to stay in the business.

    Lets take a look at what could be accomplished if we as Realtors decided to revamp our own industry.

    First, in this digital age, how many real estate boards and MLS systems do we need to do our jobs? One per province. If this new Real Estate Board were to charge a $50,000 initiation fee and annual fees of $25,000, how many realtors would we have? About 20%. What would the Realtors get for these huge costs? Excellent service, all the data imaginable, a health care plan and a pension plan.

    The best part of this revamp is that those of us still in the industry could concentrate our efforts working with bona fide buyers and sellers. Each remaining agent would have a sufficient volume of business that they would not have to waste time taking over priced listings or hauling around buyers that are only interested in stealing a property. We could also reduce or eliminate the time effort and cost of prospecting and self promotion.

    The consumer would also benefit from this new system. The only people left in the industry would be full time professionals so the level of service offered would be higher. Also, the marketplace would not be littered with overpriced listings which make it harder for the consumer to formulate a sense of market value. But the biggest benefit to the consumer in this scenario is that I envision commissions would be less. We could charge less for what we do if we were only working with Sellers that priced their properties sensibly and Buyers that were ready to pay market value. I suggest that commission rates would settle at about 3%. If this were the case there would be fewer people trying to sell their homes privately.

    I know this is the exact opposite of the thinking of the Competition Bureau. To reduce commission rates they want to increase competition ie. make our industry even less efficient. The USA has more doctors per capita than Canada. Is their health care less expensive? If competition were reduced, commissions would fall.

    What is the likelihood of this scenario coming to fruition? Don’t hold your breath. It is my experience that Realtors aren’t “agents of change”. Also there is a powerful lobby of major players in the industry that would not look kindly on this scenario. Provinces want to sell more licences not less. Provincal associations want to sell more courses not less. Local Real Estate Boards will fight to exist. Brokers would see their brokerages shrink in size.

    What is more likely is that some compromise will be reached. Commissions may go down, service will go down, professionalism will go down but lawsuits will go up. Under which scenario is the consumer better served?

  33. This issue seems straight forward.

    The Multiple Listing System (MLS) is a private institution and only available for use by members. If anyone else wants to use it they should become a member. How can non members of an institution force themselves in?

    The MLS is a tool to assist realtors, buyers and sellers transact in real estate. Its a very effective medium in placing all properties for sale in one location so that when buying or selling all properties and buyers are exposed to each other conveniently.

    There is a cost to organizing in this effective and efficient process and it has been paid through members by their dues, membership and other fees. It cannot now be opened to anyone without proper membership registration, which in most province is legislated i.e REBBA 2002.

    If people want to create a competing MLS then that is fine but they should not force upon a private institution to let them in without going thru the appropriate process.

    Nazaar Shadir

  34. Here’s my opinion: Professionnals are professionnals: lawyers, doctors, professors, repairs mans, etc.We pay for their services.
    We are professionnals and we own the MLS system. So if someone wants to create a free or discount service like the MLS, it’s OK. But if they want to have our special and complete services, thez have to pay. We are not in this profession, with all the obligations releated to it, to become another “Mother Théresa”!

  35. Brian Says:

    I wonder if “J” above does his own root canals too! Heck, save the money, what the heck does a dentist know anyway? Only a fool would trust their largest asset to anyone other than a licensed Realtor. With our litigious society,only someone ignorant of the facts would go FSBO. Be my guest J, “save” your money, you may well need it for legal fees when you get sued.

  36. Robb Brown Says:

    I think all Canadians would rather see the Competition Bureau investigating Oil Companies and how they set gas prices!

    • Bart Says:

      This is an excellent point. Oil Companies are fixing prices on daily basis, make obsene profits and pretend that there is “competition” in this industry. yet somehow miraculously they all charge the same price for a litter of oil.

  37. Greg Says:

    Canada’s MLS system is much more than a web site. Through the strict rules & intense supervision the MLS database is a critical source of detailed & accurate information supplied by professionals realtors & their boards from across the country. This data is used by many levels of goverment, major corporations, banking and finance for such things as taxation, economic trends, budgets and on and on. Realtors and their boards supply much more to the public than the professional help they provide buyers & sellers. Where would the country’s MLS database be if anyone was allowed to post anything at anytime with no regard for accuracy.
    This is really a matter of a few people wanting to control everything. No one is stopping them from freedom of choice. As has been mentioned there are endless choices & cost structures to be used when buying or selling a home the one they choose is up to them.
    It’s up to the The Competition Bureau in the end but maybe they should check with other goverment agencys to see how happy they’d be to have the only accurate database on Canadian housing corrupted

  38. Donna Says:

    Let’s look at the side of safety. We as Realtors are taught safety in prequalifing our clients/customers. When you go private the public calls you direct and you have no idea who you letting in your home. A Real Estate Office documents and take precautions of safety. Secondly, when listed privately the person coming in your home is 95% of the time going to say “Oh your home is lovely” and then leave and you never hear from them again. They aren’t going to say I hate this or dislike that or it’s going to cost to fix this but with a Realtor the Buyer tells them what they are thinking straight up and the Realtor has an opportunity to offer suggestions of changes and costs or approach their Seller and make recommendations of what needs to be done to make something more pleasing to the Buyer. I had one FSBO that would phone excited saying “they loved my home and gave me their phone number”. When she cslled it was a bogus number. Thirdly, and this is just my thought, is that if MLS is opened to the public then the Realtors could remove their listings and the public would have limited access to what is available.

  39. Common Sense Says:

    I would’nt try to wire my own electrical or fix my own plumbing or teach myself how to be a Doctor. Real Estate is best left to professionals and you will save time, get more $ for your home and save yourself the hassle with an experienced pro. Get Real!

  40. Dorothy Says:

    Well, if the public get to use the site, I guess that releives all REaltors from having to maintain and pay for its integrity? Right? Once John Q. Public gets a load of what it is like to sell a house in a competitive market, they will be begging us for our sevrices~~5% or not!!! What fools The Comp Bureau is made up of and how about our exec. of CREA? What are they up to!??

    I’d like to see my hairdresser let me rush in, use all of his supplies, space, etc. because he/they have a monopoly! What a bunch of nonsense!! Yeah! And heart surgeons get paid too much too and they have a monopoly too, I guess. After all, they know what they are doing, so if the rationale holds true???!! Oh, save us from fools!!

  41. Sandy Bodnar Says:

    My Comment to all the people who think they are saving money. No one knows who is coming to view your house. R they qualified? Do know the rite questions to ask? Will your house go in competition because u know how to do it? Best of all…How do u know the people u are inviting to view your house r not casing the house to hurt u later? When was the last time you opened your house to let any Tom Dick or Harry to walk into your house and not be afraid. As realtors with experience, we are cautious & afraid at times, how r u not? Working in the US, I have learned to be cautious and wouldn’t ever list m house by myself, only thru a r.e. company! Sandy Listen to this on my podcast gtamarketnewsradionews.com

  42. Aman Chohan Says:

    why they want MLS, Any oganization can have their website and can maintain the way they want. There is comfree and other websites there. There is no point I can think of why Competition Bureau is after CREA. People who don’t want to hire realtor they can use other websites than why MLS

  43. Parm Mohan Says:

    Its obvious the Competition Bureau does not know what is involved in real estate transactions and the knowledge required to protect a client from risk in purchasing the biggest assets a person will purchase.

    There are many other issues in our society that need the attention of the competition bureau far more than the MLS system and CREA.

  44. Lynn Hope Clark Says:

    After 22 years as a Real Estate Professional, it is unfortunate but maybe it is time to retire. The general public and a lot of Realtors do not realize that CREA’s members are the Real Estate Boards across this country not the Sales People. The public does not know, nor should they care, that WE Salespeople must pay to belong to the Canadian Real Estate Association, the Ontario Real Estate Association, each Real Estate Board which for some of us in the GTA could be the Toronto Real Estate Board, Mississauga Real Estate Board, Oakville Real Estate Board and the Realtors Association of Hamilton Burlington. Each one of these organizations require us to pay annual dues which total in the Thousands of Dollars. All of the employees of these organization have Health Plans, Retirement Plans and annual Vacations paid by us the Sales People. I agree with one of the earlier people who stated that what we need in this Country is ONE MLS System per Province and only one fee for each member to pay, then and only then would there be enough money left at the end of each year to make this a true profession. It seems that most members have forgotten that we counsel our clients in the largest investment they make in a lifetime and we should be held to the highest standard because of this. And if Brokers would do their job and ensure the Rules we are to follow are followed then we would have an industry that we would be proud to say we are a member of.

  45. Tom Chan Says:

    First of all, CREA made a big mistake of settling a precious case by paying more then seven hundred thousand dollars to the discount broker whose membership was cancelled years before, which end up putting us in a defending position today. Our membership fee was used to feed our enemy!!! To protect our members, CREA should fight with the Competition Bureau with every single effort. Any settlement is not accetable and any settlement would just give these wier people an excuse for another attack. Why not just beat them upfront in the tribunal like a man?

  46. Hey guys — I think we are missing one important aspect of this whole debate!

    “WHO” is the Authority who is making the decision to send
    us into litigation with the Competition Bureau?
    “WHO” is the Competition Bureau?

    Aren’t these a constantly changing (every few weeks/months) series of volunteers who are appointed by some government employees (who are probably ALSO changing positions every few months) so there is a total lack of
    continuity????

    Think of it this way: The people who are professing to know MORE about the Realty Business are trying to make decisions about how we work, based on the minimal information they have been provided by their predecessors!

    Kevin F. I totally am on your side, and after over 35 years in this business, have repeated many of the items to my clients–not intending to scare the heck out of them to get a listing, but for their own protection. I’ve even cited several instances of realtors killed on the job by what was supposed to be a legitimate buyer.
    How many times have YOU heard about realtors who’ve been robbed of purses, cellphones, expensive equipment, while showing a property? Probably frequently. And the frauds out there! We don’t go into detail in advertising these instances to the general public. We do circulate info through Realtor Watch, and through our own Boards. Maybe by protecting the General Public, we are doing them a disservice?

    And who does a buyer sue for misrepresentation? A seller?
    What are the odds that they might be successful? Who’s training the For Sale by Owners? Don’t think it’s the Law Society!

    Come to think of it….what’s the Law Society’s take on this whole issue? WIFT?

    Maybe we, as realtors, should be volunteering to sit on the various committees and governmental “bureaus” to provide some HONEST, RELIABLE, RESPONSIBLE information upon which to base their decisions, rather than that of the guy at the gas station, the hairdresser’s assistant, the Candy Stripers, 7-11’s part-timers, the guy bagging groceries, and my favourite–the truck driver’s swamper!

    Let’s start by getting a politician on board to dismantle the Competition Bureau, and other such “NON-CANADIAN” bureaucratic institutions that have sprung up over the past few decades!

    Let “Free Enterprise” take care of their own Professional Standards of Ethics, Business Practices and Membership and Licensing requirements. It’s worked well for decades. Governmental interference in a good thing is NOT a good thing.

    And to the Discounters and FSBO’s –there’s always Craig’s List and eBay! Just be sure to carry an extra few $Million Personal Liability Insurance. “Advertising packages” are abundant elsewhere–no strings attached.

  47. Jodie Allen Says:

    I am a Realtor. I upgrade my education regularly to compete within the most competitive of fields where consquence of error is unusally high. My expenses yearly are between $70,000 to $100k. I work 7 days a week; my clients expect to be able to reach me morning and night. A normal work day is 10-12+ hours. I show strangers properties and host open houses placing my self at risk for assault and robbery. Realtors do not receive health benefits or subsidies, we fund our own retirement. We ride out the highs and the lows of the economy; our expenses are constant. I am proud to be a Realtor in a community where ethics and professionalism is the norm. I strive to avoid burn out, keep up with market trends and forecasts, monitor inventory, become and remain technically proficient, participate and contribute to the Community where I live and work. Realtors build relationships with our clients, tailor our personal lives to accomodate them, and respect that we are trusted with their most precious material asset. Our families miss us most of the time. If there is any doubt as to the value of a Realtor, ask a Real Estate Lawyer to tell you about his or her most devastating “for sale by owner” real estate cases. Selling and buying real estate is no place for the inexperienced. We unquestioningly look to accountants, lawyers, medical professionals, teachers, auto mechanics and others for their learned advice. We provide “complimentary market evaluations” to individuals who contact us under false pretenses. We get paid only if our clients are loyal and value our commitment to them. The need to “de-value” this important profession has become tiring.

  48. tony vilone Says:

    I have only one thing to say!
    We are to blame.
    Let me explain!
    In 1986 when the last attack happened on us, guess what?
    Our leaders ran like HELL!

  49. Kim Amorim Says:

    I am an European immigrant ( new Canadian ), architect by Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden – 1976, Realtor since 93, today at Sutton group west coast realty, Victoria BC.
    1- In 1991,I applied for registration in AIBC aka The Architectural Institute of BC, and was denied. “My” school is one of the best in Europe. ( No leaking condos technology though !…) and I worked in Europe for 18 years as a successful architect, until the socialist winds pushed me to Canada.
    2-In 2009 as a Realtor, in our Website http://www.Karinandkim.com we used words like: architectural design and architect background. The AIBC forced us to delete these words, since they say, they own the sole rights to it.Where is my right to compete with the “old boys” ? Why can’t well trained foreign technicians be accepted in Canada and help to develop this wonderful Country ? Is this still the remainder of Colonial times and British rule ? Where is the Competition Bureau ?
    I’m convinced that Canada has been infiltrated by leftists, affording key positions in the Administration and this is eventually the case with the Competition Bureau. With the liberalization (socialism ) of the MLS, the populism will dominate and our activity as we know it today, will be diluted.The Government will take over the MLS system under the argument of consumer protection.
    They will create new fees and taxes in a centralized operation, for their sole benefit. We learn from History and History repeats itself.
    We Realtors are however, a kind of stockbrokers. We make or we break the market. If we refuse to work…we break it.Just one month or two….go fishing !
    Who makes the money ?
    Since 2000, some homes tripled in value. Who cashed in ?
    The BC Government cashes in excess of $100 million/monthly,on Property Transfer Tax.Doing absolutely nothing. Oh ya…5% GST and soon the HST 12% – the harmonized sales tax, to protect the Public in harmony. Us. The guys that work 24/7.Don’t you feel happy ? We should break the market now and stop the Socialists or send them to Obama.
    Adeus Amigos.

  50. West Coast Says:

    If they did remove the agency pillar would the public understend the difference between listing their property and posting their property? We strive hard in our businesss to maintain and increase our level of professionalism. If this is allowed to happen the public will be the loser not the winner. This is being pushed by those who’s only interest is to get paid quick (upon posting) and to have no responsibilities after. As a professinal Realtor no matter where I am, if I start giving someone real estate advise then I am assuming agency resposibilities. If someone was doing a “posting” and advised on price then they would automatically be assuming agency responsibility. I do not believe that you can waive your agency duties.

    Our board has no opinion on commissions. If you want to charge $2 to list a property and offer $1 to the agent who brings the buyer then that is OK. This issue is not about commissions being charged (full service or discount), it is about Realtors ( if they can call themselves that) not wanting to represent their clients or have any resposibility to their client, their fellow Realtors or the public.

  51. Rod Doris Says:

    This post is meant for my REALTORS colleague:

    The real estate industry is in dire need for leadership! Is CREA, OREA, RECO in denial? Let us stop this madness and take back our industry before the government dictates our destiny. Are we becoming a police state? Real Estate boards across the Canada don’t even want us to have dialogue amongst ourselves, not even in a social media setting such as Facebook. It makes them look bad to the Canadian public and us REALTORS. The very people who elected them to represent us. It’s time for us to elect leaders to fight for our rights, as opposed to the self-appointed divas who have no substance, and who will give up our REALTOR rights at the drop of the Competition Bureau’s gavel. Come on people let’s get busy. Stop sitting around on our hands crying the sky is falling! Do something, for it is better than nothing. Having been a REALTOR since 1989, I think it’s about time we stood up and stop this bullying by the Competition Bureau once and for all. Are you prepared for the draconian state we will be subjected to as a profession if we allow this to happen? Yes we can! Yes we can. Come on people….

    PS. For all you REALTOR haters out there, please do NOT call us when you are in litigation about something purposely “forgot” to disclose, or simply overlooked. It’s about time you the buyers and sellers duke it in court without someone else to blame. We are tired of being your sacrificial lambs you have used and abuse for decades.

    PPS. Try going to you GP for brain surgery!

  52. Peter Thoss Says:

    Since 1963 I have sold aprrox. 900 Properies,thanks to MLS. Are there any wealthy licenced Realtors out there?
    I am still selling because I cant afford to quit and now the (Anti)Competition Bureau is going fix all that in the Interest of WHO?
    Does the Public realize, that in Order to generate 900 Sales a Realtor has at least 9,000 dry runs?
    The FSBO does not have to worry about that.The Realtor does, because if He or She bothers to show only one Property, He or She may as well go on Welfare.If I list all the Freebees that come along with serving the insatiable Public, it would rival that of the (Anti) Competition Bureau by sixhundred Pages.
    Anyone in the Bureau willing to swich Jobs?

  53. adnan ishaq Says:

    I think Crea is not taking a stand on this issue.i agree with tom chan ,we should stand and fight against comp bureau.why cant we challenge this and fight.i think all realtors should chip in for the lawyers fee and show comp bureau that we are just not a web site ,we are a whole system which work hard for every single penny that we make.

  54. Vicki Says:

    Where the heck are those cutesy ads…we need them now!!Tell the consumer what we do and how we do it….Let’s fight back this negative press by taking out ads in the major papers and fight back articles that show us in a negative light. Where are our Brokers – our leaders in organized reale estate? Our Annual Fees just paid in December and January should be a reminder that we too need a return on our investment – it looks like we’re cowering idiots – maybe we are – maybe it’s time to go back to Exclusive listings and promote Broker to Broker. I am tired of defending our profession – I’m tired of paying huge annual fees to Organizations that are incapable of supporting us. After 30 years in this profession – it’s truly the first time I don’t feel like I’m getting my money’s worth!! Come On Realtors – lets come up with a better plan!!

  55. voula Says:

    CREA should not be negotiating. I would rather see this play out in front of the courts then some unsatisfied gouvment employee that needs to prove themselves.

    With the advent of the internet there is a plethora of sites allowing fsbo to find potential buyers.

    I believe that by opening up MLS or unbundling our services will hurt many smaller boutique agents (due to the high cost of operating as agents) and allow the big guys to grow. How is this providing choice to consumers?

    The competition bureau should spend some time with agents day to day to see if we charge too much or not.

    I have attempted to work with a fsbo on behalf of a buyer who agreed to compensate me. I agreed to a discount, since I was only working 1 side but obviously did all the work because the fsbo had NO CLUE!

    Another case, I agreed to a flat fee, again at a discount, for what all parties expected to be an open and shut case, NOT so…I worked very many hours to close that one.

    However, I agree that there are too many agents working part time, not investing in continuing education and thus reducing the quality of our industry. Having said that I would prefer to see stricter entrance requirements, obligatory continuing education and maintenance of high quality realtors. Since any Tom Dick or Harry can become an agent in as little as 4 months and doesnt have the skills required to do a good job, of course the public will not respect us.

    What we do is not brain science but the concequense of bad representation can hurt!

    • Tom Chan Says:

      Yep, we should push CREA to fight the competition burearu in court. There are so many registered realtors in Canada, we can have much stronger position then that little trash bureau. To win the case is the only way to protect our industry and so as to protect the professional service we commit to our client. I fully agree with Voula’s idea to raise the entering standard and tighten the operating requirement of realtors so that non professional part time discount realtor would have no room to stay in our professional business.

  56. Brent Says:

    The MLS system is recognized and trusted by the public as a safe and reliable system. All listings are submitted by Licensed Real Estate professionals whom the public place a lot of trust in due to the fidicuary duties we must follow. Allowing access to this site by the public will simply make it as unreliable as other web sites ie: craigs list, kijiji etc. where a lot of people are placeing phony ads and taking peoples(stealing) deposits and money on properties they have no ownership of.
    Spend some time to review some of the stories occuring in Vancouver over the Olympics where people have lost huge money on scandle ads.
    After the govenment recks a professional and trusted system that works, are they going to pay to fix it?

  57. Alice Arnal Says:

    We should all up in arms about this! How do we, as agents, get organized to react since CREA does not seem to be reacting to our satisfaction? Please submit all ideas because if we do nothing, the worst will happen!

    Alice

  58. Tont di Pietro Says:

    I thought I was the only one upset with CREA handling the negotiations with the Competion Board. Why didn’t they call an emergency meeting of all the Boards across Canada with an issue so critical to the survival of the Industry? Now they advise us to “roll over & play dead”. Shame on you!! In B.C. our commission structure is not as high as Ontario and the client recieves good value
    for his money.If any one thinks we are going to just give our knowledge away ,dream on. We will be charging a fee by the hour,just like Lawyers.

  59. Sherman Says:

    Open up the system and let anyone list on the MLS system. Have pedophiles invite families over, have known sex offenders cater to lonely women looking for condos, have renters masquerade as owners of homes to rob people as they enter the home. Are these scenerios likely, probably not, but imagine one such event and then the whole system is untrustworthy. Then watch as sellers scurry wondering how to take adavantage of a hot market and get top dollar. People are short sighted as to the long term implications of their choices.

  60. With Respect Says:

    Realtors are not paid based on money spent or hours worked. We are paid strickly on acomplishment…on success! That means we get paid only when we find a willing buyer who will pay what a vendor is willing to accept and then tighing the two together with a binding contract containing equitable terms and conditions protecting both parties. This requires an advanced knowledge of marketing, networking and contract law. The deal is done by the realtors and then registered by the lawyers. For a realtor, the risk of working all year with very little pay is very high since one transaction does not a-year-make. For the Buyer and Seller, knowing that they are represented by insurred, ethical, professions concerned with their safety and legally bound to thier best interest, allowes them to sleep at night and to enjoy the asset value protection provided by orgaized real estate. The market price is the market price as established and protected by the efforts of thousands of realtors networking to cause transational value. Much of the equity that owners enjoy is due to professional realtors organized in an MLS system. When you threaten the MLS and the realtor’s commission you also threaten the maintanance and growth of owner equity. Nothing is free. So be careful what you ask for!

    • Charles Says:

      I completly agree with your thoughts, and your right when you say “be carefull what you wish for”

  61. B. Cheston Says:

    I am a Realtor with Re/Max for the past 22 years. I suggest that we kill MLS.ca and all other websites that allow access to our information and restrict that information to Realtor’s only with protected access. Allowing Joe Public access to that information is like giving top secret information to a foreign country. Let the public sell their own homes as they have always been able to do but not by raping our data bases and turning us into order takers.

    • Rod Doris Says:

      Here here! It was also CREA’s idea to even offer mapping due to the public’s insatiable need to have everything! When I questioned mapping in an open letter to CREA, about why they gave away the store, they said that it was the real estate boards who agreed that this was the way to go! My observation of these decision makers is: These are a few half-baked infidels who don’t sell any significant amount real estate period, to know the difference! These individuals have been making decisions for the rest of the REALTOR population that has been to our detriment. Only this time around it coming back to haunt them. They should be selling real estate for a living, and not in it for their own personal agendas to be on CREA & RECO board making decisions for REALTORS, who work incidentally hard for their income. I can’t wait to see how they are going to handle this mess. Or, will it be yet another snow job?.

  62. Stephen Townsend Says:

    Bravo, tell it like is. I have always been opposed to MLS.Ca and given the situation at hand, perhaps we should charge a fee to the public to access the mls.ca site on houses for sale to help build a war chest for the legal costs that are going to be occurred in fighting this battle with a bunch of people who don’t know how or what, telling us who do how to do it.Isn’t that always the way. This public domain site has been free for too long.

  63. home owner Jeorge Says:

    I think these Realtors are right and if I am getting the right value for my home and getting the right amount in pocket I don’t care less for there commissions and they totally deserve there commissions.

    I have tried to sell private it’s easy saiad then done there is so much work involved and most important liability issues would rather leave all the liability to the realtor. I have been dealing with Mr Roberts for a long time and has not once done me wrong. I hope the realtor win this silly debate.

  64. Kim Amorim Says:

    As I said before….quit working for one or two months…break the market.
    Then, they will know our value.
    Adeus Amigos.

  65. Darius Says:

    Oh my, regulation, misinformation and perceptions abound…
    Think about this for a second. How many realtors believe they MUST drive Mercedes or Lexus just because they are realtors? Maybe the public perception that being a realtor is an automatic pass to Canada’s Millionaire Club has something to do with all this nonsense? It all started with some complaints from clients, right? Do you feel like you have to show off with expensive car, clothes and jewellery, pretending to be successful to your client or potential client? As realtors, we do a lot to drive the image that becoming a realtor is the path to riches… until someone actually tries it and finds out how it really works. I’ve been at it for 18 years and have seen the good and the bad. The client perception that if you are a realtor you are rich only adds to anger of those misinformed! And paying the $20,000 commission feels like they are only adding to your already huge cash reserves. Do they understand that the commission gets split usually 4 ways? Maybe we need a form to actually list the specific breakdown of commissions, not just TOTAL and CO-OP? List the split with your broker, put the cost of a few ads, flyers, your time @X per hour and make them see that many transactions out there are not that profitable, for the realtor. And maybe consider gearing down the glitter of this business, many that have been around long enough know that a lot of the glitter disappeared a while ago. And yet, many realtors I know personally are driving expensive cars, even if they have to be leased just to be “affordable”, just to show the general public how rich and successful they are. Does this make sense?
    Secondly, to the person commenting on saving $20k “just for showing the bedroom”. Ask yourself this: did you do the entire deal yourself? Were there documents prepared? Did you print flyers? Did you put your home on any websites to promote online? Did you pay for ANY of this or is it magically free? Was your time worth anything? I bet you do not consider any of the above as costs! What about negotiating and time involved in that? Did you do it all by yourself, including legal advice? OR, did your lawyer charge you $XXX per hour for the pleasure? You still think you saved the $20k? What about the fact that maybe, just maybe, you could have received ANOTHER offer, for more money? Did you really sell at market value, or above? I guess we’ll never know… BUT, you saved your $20k, or so you claim! Good for you. I got news for you though! The option to sell privately has always been there, just like the option to negotiate your commission with your realtor was always there! I bet you calculated your savings at 5%, or even 6%. Many realtors are now listing SUBSTANTIALLY lower. How does your saving for going private look now? Probably not as appealing. Congratualtions for selling privately but I think your comments are more directed as anger towards the realtors than as a sensible statement on your success.
    Personally, I don’t mind fee for service. That would end the overpriced listing woes that we deal with sometimes, would guarantee that we get paid regardless of the outcome, and that would be a first! I mean, when you go for legal advice, do you tell the lawyer that you will pay him only AFTER he settles your issue to your satisfaction? WE DO THAT EVERY TIME WE TAKE A LISTING or sign up a new buyer!! We do not get paid til the deal is done, and if we lose the client (buyer or seller) after spending some time with them, who reimburses us? Nobody! Fee for service could solve that issue.
    The industry is obviously evolving and we need to take a look at the options, direct our energies to the future. I think Competition Bureau is taking the wrong approach and will leave the market open to more fraud and public generally being at risk. Mortgage fraud, identity theft, breakins at properties where sellers showing without realtor representation, I mean we do a lot of work just to protect the client. Who will step in and protect the client if the realtors are no longer on the hook due to possible changes in laws and representation? Serious issues here and they better be looked at carefully!
    I feel that the industry will also change, eventually, to make the “leaner” brokerages more successful. Brokerages that charge their realtors for everything (worked for one for 11 years!) will be forced to scale back on the nickle and dime schemes as the realtor will have (and already does have) options to run their business their way, not being dictated by the brokerage’s fees. I am not trying to be critical of other brokerages, but I personally spent 11 years paying fees that just made no sense. There is really no need for that, not any more!
    Take care everyone and see you out there!

  66. Dennis Says:

    Hi, I am A home owner and living in the Vancouver area… I would just like to say this discussion over commissions is getting way out of hand and it’s not right for these realtors to cut there commissions as long as the client is happy with the services that’s what matters. If anyone gets in a legal dispute we hire Lawyers wouldn’t make sense if we defended are own legal case same with realtors they sell homes and that’s there proffession.

  67. Beata Says:

    Who is going to enter those listing on MLS??? How are we going to protect our clients? How are we going to make arragements for showings? Who are we going to represent who?
    If Crea is not going to protect our rights us realtors and professionals on that issue there will not be CREA pretty soon, so they better think hard about.
    This is a price we have to pay when we are giving too much information to public and not protecting our trade.

  68. Susan Janzen Says:

    There will always be Discount Brokers who provide little or no service. I can accept that. But as a Licenced Realtor and proud of it, I offer full service which goes above and beyond expectations. I have worked hard to keep the integrity of MLS, along with my fellow Realtors, and have paid to help make this happen. I am sure that those who want to advertise their FSBO property on MLS will be as honest as possible and disclose everything to the potential buyer like they currently do. Right?

  69. Kelley Says:

    @Cori
    I should probably explain my erroneous comment to you so that you understand it in laymans terms. You are absolutely right that the average consumer IS reading about these issues on the front pages of most newspapers. What I am saying is that when and IF these changes get approved it will be done quite quietly as this is the position that CREA has decided to take. I am not sure what board you are a part of, but it was explained to us that CREA is NOT going to fight this fight in the media, so again, the people that will know about these changes, in my humble opinion, will not be the average every day consumer or Joe Blow looking for a Realtor to sell his house for him.

  70. Kelley Says:

    @B.Cheston
    I also have to fourth your motion! I had this same discussion with my Dad who was a Realtor for 20 years, well BEFORE the everyday use of computers in our business. He said it best,”As soon as we gave them 30% of OUR information, it was only a matter of time until they wanted the other 70%!”

  71. Bart Says:

    the bottom line is that MLS is not monopoly. commissions are not set in stone and consumers can do whatever they want to do. this whole business with competition bureau is a nonsense. who will be next on competition bureau list ?
    joe the plumber ? it is sad that taxpayers money is wasted like that when we are still recovering from the global recession.

  72. North America, more specifically Canada affords the public a free market. One of the key features of a free market system is the consumer’s “freedom of choice.” A free market is the opposite of a controlled market, where the government regulates prices or how property is used. The concept of commission structures has taken centre stage here, where the focus of discussion should be directed at the public’s use of the Realtor.ca platform. As the general public continues to rely on online platforms, and is increasingly relying on Realtor.ca, the role of a Realtor has come into question. Does the general public need a Realtor ®, and if so, are we paying too much commission to Realtor’s ®. The Realtor.ca interface is provided for by Realtors ® via their board membership dues. As Nazaar Shadir mentioned earlier on this discussion board, the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) or Realtor.ca is a private institution. Keeping both these facts in mind, one would have to:

    a) Be/become a member of the private institution in question, in order to enact new rules, or reform existing rules.
    b) As the non member does not pay board dues which fund decisions and the interface in question (Realtor.ca), they should not be entitled to change policies. (ie: listing their property on Realtor.ca for a flat fee.)
    c) Board members have written the requisite testing to become professionals within the industry of which they are board members of, whereas non members have not completed the knowledge based testing required to transact. Therefore non-members should not benefit from the use of the Multiple Listing Platform until they have completed the requisite testing, as this is a tool for board members and their clients.
    d) As the government can not dictate what price a consumer purchases or sells their property for, the government should not be allowed to dictate what Realtor’s ® will charge for their services. Unless there is definitive Cartel in an industry, a government within a free market system should not be allowed to intervene.

    With average Realtor commissions decreasing in the recent past and trending lower yearly, rather than arguing that Realtor’s ® earn too much commission, one can argue that Realtor’s ® earn too little commission. On an average purchase of $350,000 at 5% the total commission is $17,500. This commission is split 50/50 with the purchaser’s agent equaling $8,750 each. At this point, the brokerage (Re/Max) who the independent contractor (your agent) works for may take up to 50% of the gross commission. This leaves each Realtor ® with $4,375. Keeping in mind the Realtor ® has paid for all marketing fees in advance before the sale of the property, does not receive Employment Insurance, has no Employee Benefits, pays tax on this gross amount, and membership dues including continuing education yearly. At the end of the day, this Realtor would be lucky to walk away with $2,000 net revenue. Maybe there should be an industry wide minimum commission rate protecting Realtor’s ® earnings. Under this structure Realtor’s would not be able to undercut other Realtor’s, and all commission structures would be at an industry minimum of 4%. Oh wait, this would be a cartel, and this is the scenario the Competition Bureau should be protecting the public from. Since there are no minimum commission structures industry-wide, and Realtor’s may charge anywhere between 1% and 6%, we are currently in a free market. This has caused some Realtor’s ® to offer there services at a discount, which has already driven average commissions down industry wide. As a result, the free market has dictated that Realtor ® commissions have decreased, and this has already benefited consumers.

    This has empowered the consumer to negotiate what they are willing to pay for a Realtor’s services. At the end of the day, if the consumer is willing to pay 3.5% of the purchase price of their home as commission to the Realtor ®, and the Realtor ® will only accept the contract for 5% of the purchase price, then the Realtor ® and the consumer have the option of walking away from the contract.

    Quite possibly the solution to this dispute may lie in the fact that the Realtor’s ® who funded the use of the MLS, should have the exclusive benefit and use of this platform. Until the general public is willing to pay the same amount of dues, and go through the same amount of knowledge based testing as Realtor’s ® do, the general public should not be granted free use of this service. Home Seller’s should continue to have to pay the commission fee to which they agree to pay their Realtor ® in an open market. At the same time, home purchaser’s should have to pay to use the MLS service as this is a service paid for by Realtor’s ® for their clients, and not intended for use of free riders that sell their homes for a flat fee, and get to search properties on the same service for free. Realtor’s ® would essentially be paying into a service that has no inherent benefit to them.

    In this type of free market where consumers and Realtors ® collectively decide what is a fair commission rate, there is no need for government intervention, as there are no infringements on the Competition Act.

  73. Amit Kalia Says:

    Giving consumers what they want is fine, this is what marketing is all about. However, the market forces will dictate terms of doing business, smart consumers will shop for VALUE and not just the price.

    MLS in Canada is REALTORS’ property. Restricting MLS access and usage to REALTORS and their clients may be a wise choice.

  74. Charles Says:

    Here is just a thought on my part. WHEN A REALTOR LISTS A CLIENTS’ HOME LETS, AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE, ELECT NOT TO HAVE OUR LISTINGS PUT ON MLS.CA AND TAKE AWAY THE AVAILABLITY FOR THE PUBLIC TO VIEW OUR LISTINGS FOR FREE. LETS WORK TOGETHER TO TAKE BACK WHAT WE HAVE WORKED SO HARD TO CREATE AND STOP GIVING IT AWAY. THE MORE WE GIVE, THE MORE THEY WILL TAKE!!!

  75. Johnathon Says:

    its hard to do stuff without an agent.. you can easily save $20k on commission, but you will end up selling for $50k underprice..

  76. Johnathon Says:

    You can even go ahead and put ur house on facebook market or craigslist, but this is a premium service for which you have to pay for

  77. How absurd! I believe the Mls website belongs to CREA and is a website created by CREA and paid by realtors for their exclusive use. It is obvious that many in the public sector are already advertising their own properties on their choice of other available websites. We, as realtors have not stopped the public from advertising their own properties if they do not wish to retain the services of a realtor. I just cannot understand how the Mls website “…controls over the MLS, limits consumer choice, sets unfair rules and is anti-competitive.” Consumers definitely have their choice of using their own search engines and websites. The Mls system does not set rules for consumers or limit consumers’ choice, but merely help consumers to have or view more choices! In fact I am sure the public loves the site as they can readily view the properties for sale and increase their knowledge of the market, and make their own choices with respect to acquiring or disposing of real estate.

    As far as realtor’s fees or commission are concerned. I am sure most consumers are more than happy to pay realtors for their work and appreciate a realtor’s knowledge, professionalism and dedication to helping the consumer. Frankly, some of my clients are more than happy to pay 5% or more as commission of a sale.

    It seems to me that the Competition Bureau is into some sort of concoction and is extremely biased and unfair, expressing utter jealousy towards realtors and our trade group. Again, we have worked very hard to be realtors.

    This case implies utter discrimination of realtors as working indidivudals and a trade group. Perhaps we should counter claim under the provisions of our Constitution.

    We are proud to be realtors!

    • My big concerns are that the Bureau isn’t complaining about what commissions arebeing charged THIS TIME — that was a few years ago when they seized all the records from numerous Real Estate Offices who coincidentally charged the same rates of commission! This time, they are after our Code of Ethics — our basic beliefs in fair play, fair trade and how we believe we can best protect our agents and our clients! The basic tenets of our Constitution.

      Now if we as Realtors@ challenged the Bureau (s) on their interference with our RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS of the Constitution of Canada–just how far do you think we’d get?

      Anybody up for it?

  78. Larry Says:

    Let’s assume for a min that it’s ok for a seller to pay a Realtor $500-800 just to list their home on our MLS system. What obligations after the sale does the seller have to the Realtor and to our MLS system to report the sale price and sold date. How credible would a CMA be and how about the integrity of our MLS system if the info was not reported or was reported incorrectly.

    How about part-time agents? For or against?
    Should we think about getting a part-time job?

    I’ll keep adding value to my clients so they will have no reason to want to deal with a discount Realtor. You should do the same.

    Lets get rid of MLS.CA that site has caused more problems for the public as well as Realtors. From my experience the homes on the site is sometimes not updated frequently and I am always make excuses to my clients of why the homes listed on the site has already been sold 1 week ago. It can also be that agents are not reporting the information to MLS.CA site. The public does not know this is not our official site, they presume we can’t give them good service when we can even get our information accurately.

  79. Violetta Says:

    I think that in today’s market realtors are being undersetimated of what they know and do. We are not about the commissions only!!!!. Everyone should continue to have a right to sell their houses independantly but deffinately not have access to the realtors bank accounts to help them with those sales. It’s all about greed or perhaps another one of those great incentives in helping Canadians cut their real estate costs?

  80. Its all about CHOICE, Sellers & buyers have a choice, There are lot of sits where sell by owners ca advertise & Buyers can check tose sites.
    If Public wants the profession of Realtors to vanish, then it will end up in the Canadian economy becoming more weaker than it is. We create the jobs for Cleaners, Carpet cleaners, Appliance/Furnitore store salespeople,Appraisers, Mortgage Brokers including various other businesses that depend on a STRONG housing market throgh the efficiency created by all the Real Est .be APPRECIATED.shira@sutton.com

  81. Mark Lummis Says:

    It seems to me that this is not an attack on our industry, but an attack on a tool called the MLS system. or at least the marketing component of it. As Realtors, we all know that the public has full choice on the level of service and fees paid to sell their home, be it private sale, fee for service, full service brokerage and everything in between. That is not the issue here.

    What the tribunal wants is to allow open access to the MLS system. They feel we have a monopoly on it becuase we built it to the point where it is now the #1 source of property information on the net in Canada.

    Excellent points were made here about what agency means and what models are available and that fees are negotiable. CREA does not restrict competition in the market place, they encourag it.

    The MLS system began as a closed system. If the public wanted information on listings, they called a realtor and set an appointment. It is paid for by membership fees and began long before the internet existed. When I became a Realtor in 1989, we had MLS books that were updated weekly, now we have the web which is updated immediately and provides a hugely valuable marketing opportunity which we built and paid for.

    It will be a shame if it is taken away, but I support that happening if need be. I propose that, if the Tribunal finds that we must open the MLS marketing side to the public, it will do more to damage the industry and hurt the public more than if we just shut it down, decentralize it or scale it way back.

    We have legal and ethical obligations to the public as well as yo ourselves. We have a level of expertise and knowledge our associations and boards require of us. What the Tribunal proposes does nothing to reinforce that, but detracts from it.

    So, let’s turn the clocks back 20 years and close the system to the public if that is what it takes, then perhaps we can get on with what we do best, selling homes.

    Here’s an interesting thought. As previously stated, the provinces already mirror CREA in most areas of law, ethics and regulation, how about passing on the MLS system to us as well? Realtor.ca can become an information portal linking to each board’s independant MLS system and providing useful information to the public, perhaps even including FSBOs. CREA can standardize imput fields to maintain uniformity across Canada, but pass on responsibility to the provinces. Then the Tribunal can go after each board individually if they don’t like how we use it.

    Just a thought….:)

    Mark Lummis

    http://www.RealEstateHalifax.ca

  82. Joseph Says:

    Crea shut down the realtor.ca site immediately. Why are we giving away our data! Shame on crea for allow this data to be distributed to any Tom Dick and Harry. All agents should only allow data/ listings to be sent to genuine prospects that have signed an agency agreement or through their own websites. Pull the plug Crea! NOW!

    • Kim Amorim Says:

      Hi Joseph,
      I agree with you. Do you believe, there are Realtors in my area ( Victoria BC ), especially from discount brokerages,
      which are giving the Public full access to our database: ( MATRIX ) ?
      There’s no limits for absurdity !
      Adeus Amigos.

      • Joseph Says:

        Hello Kim
        I’m not familiar with Matrix. Please enlighten us.

        • Kim Amorim Says:

          Hi Joseph,
          MATRIX is the operating database for Realtors in Victoria B.C. (password protected for the exclusive use of Realtors )
          Pl. go : http://www.VictoriaMLS.ca . If Realtors give away their password to “prospective Clients ” this PONZI may escalate and hit us back. So absurd,eh !
          Adeus Amigos.

  83. David Weir Says:

    A number of REALTORS in my office have commented that very few leads come from http://www.realtor.ca while the majority come from individual sites and our local MLS board site which we promote whenever possible.

    With that in mind, many have wondered why bother to “push” the data to a national site that is under attack and a site that may be turned into a glorified FSBO website.

    This approach would certainly splinter the nation wide approach and make us more like the US system which is light years behind our truly national MLS system.

    Any thoughts on the decentralizaton of our MLS data?

    http://www.davidweir.com

  84. Gail Etherington Says:

    Be Careful what you wish for..
    Yes, you can sell your house on your own – you always could – you still can.
    HAVE YOU EVER SOLD ANYTHING??? Building trust is the key to selling. Yes, sellling your home is costly …BUT…how much did it cost you to buy it ?? _ NOTHING !! This is the way our system works. Buyers do not have the excess funds to pay us when they purchase a property. Sometimes we work for months and months, searching, researching, showing a person or persons various and sundry properties and it costs you NOTHING!! If you never buy, it still costs you NOTHING ! But yet,m when you stll, you cry “Foul”! why should I pay so much.? Think about it. If you cut your real estate commissions in half when you sell, it wouldn’t seem so painful but you cannot have it both ways – sooner or later you have to pay for services. What do you do for a living?? Whatever it is, someone has to pay for your services. We are not so different – and – remember WE do not get paid until we sell – WE do not have a committed paycheque – WE do not havse benefits. WE are also responsible to a Code of Ethics – Think about what you wish for – No Code of Ethics you are setting yourself up for a whole other world where no one is looking out for you, there will be no regulatory body to oversee your transaction – watch for unscrupulouse ealings

  85. Charlene from Niagara Falls Says:

    Thank you Kevin for taking the time to chat live with me today, it was enlightening to say the least…

    We had an agent to sell our house and I found one for sale on one of those “Private For Sale” by owner sites. They are do not want to involve agents, so I did not know I needed to have mine make the appt or go with us. I found that out when I called her, as we were on our way to view the house. Once there, the fella, I will call him “Paul”, met us there and “showed” us the house, its features and the history.

    It was a “great house” and it was “move in ready” and just needed some “up-dating” which were all words we were very familiar with based on our agent and having our house on the market. For example, even though our kitchen was brand new in Oct and we listed in Nov, we were not allowed to say “brand new” it was called “newly renovated” and the dates provided. I totally understand why.

    When “Paul” was showing us the house, I noticed my socks were wet, he said the carpets were professionally cleaned and they were still damp. I also asked him about the “spot” on the stucco ceiling, he walked over and was like “humm, I dunno what that is.”

    We negotiated and offer with the help of our agent, who did come to the house that night, and a conditional sale, we firmed up our finances and then had the home inspection.

    I asked him, “what is that spot in the corner on the ceiling and I took a picture with the date on it?” He said it could be condensation from the attic and it dripped down, leaving a water mark and “to keep and eye on it and monitor it.” WE are NOT LIVING in the house, how can we “keep an eye on anything”?

    Well, we moved in and nothing was in “move in condition”, we also found out, there were “tenants” here for 3 years, so the place was NOT kept up, and last night, we had some rain, and we had “Niagara Falls” pouring through at the bottom of the wall in the living room, yep, where the stain is on the ceiling. And it from the HOLE(S) IN THE ROOF where it is running down the rafters!!

    I got in touch with the carpet cleaning folks, they remember the house but, nothing more and he put a water tester on the wall, it has a needle that registers the amount of water through the wall without damaging it at all. *Wish the inspector would have had one of these!!* It went off the chart in two places and I pulled up the carpet in that corner cause NOW I can and monitor it… BLACK with mold!!!

    So now we might have to sue somebody to have them pay for all the damage AND the clean up!! The guy who illegally showed us the house and misrepresented it OR the home inspector who should have looked deeper into the stain!

    I have a little advice… stay away from the “private for sale” homes, the amount of money that an agent is paid, they earn every penny!! My agent was there for me 100% of the time, she educated me on what is right and what isn’t and she did NOT KNOW that “Paul” was not on the title of the house and therefore could not “legally represent the house” for sale. Only a registered owner can legally do so!

    Stick with a good agent that wants all the paperwork, will dig for you, will remind you what you said you wanted so you are not just “settling” cause you are tired of not finding what you want and will be there if there is a problem AFTER the sale.

    And if you are going to use a Home Inspector, ask if they use anything that can detect water behind a wall, whether it is drywall or plaster, and if they can’t, keep calling around till you find one that uses a wall water meter (not the thing with two prongs on it!!) but one with a needle that gives you and amount of water! OR they use inferred imaging to see what you can’t see!! It will be worth the money and give you peace of mind.

    Thanks again Kevin & I wish you all the best!

  86. Tony Says:

    Shut down Realtor.ca
    Enough said…..
    I’ll take my chances, our own sites (which we pay for as well) will offer us the ability to promote our Brokerages listings….

  87. Sandy Bodnar Says:

    I have been selling real estate as a full time realtor since 1980 in the United States, and now in Canada. I have never even sold my own property as a FSBO because I didn’t want unqualified potential buyers, even criminals coming in. I listed property with my office and followed all the rules of MLS and my profession, disclosures etc. Full responsibility. Unlike the FSBO who is not forced by the registrar to disclose anything or the folks who want to use our MLS system for a small flat fee. I have already cautioned my clients and family and friends to be aware of what they are buying in a FSBO, and the new possible MLS entrant who only cares about his/her pocket with no responsibility for what they are selling to the buyer. Shame on you Mrs. competition bureau for undertaking a stupid task. Find yourself something else to do, why don’t you. I hate people who in the government want to look like they are doing something good for the public when in fact it’s all to promote themselves. We can see through you.

  88. john cox Says:

    Called the Competition Bureau to see if they would support me in selling my used Ford Truck on GMC’s website??
    They laughed!!!
    Seems to me that they are selective in whose careers they destroy as there are lots of comparable examples

  89. Foo Says:

    Realty fees are absurd. Making tens of thousands for posting a few signs, running a few ads and a weeks worth of actual time at best per sale is pure unadulterated greed.
    Crooks Like Big Al Shepheard are prime examples.

    P.S. Sandy Bodnar, you are clearly self-serving. The competition bureau is investigating because far too many of you are crooked. Making a killing off the homes of others. Your claim of the extra security of having a realtor is complete and utter hogwash. You people don’t vet potential buyers in any way. Unless you are claiming to do backgroud checks, police record checks and credit checks of all your buyers/sellers. Which of course you don’t.

  90. Reasonable Says:

    Competition is good for all concerned.
    Good realtors will benefit as bad realtors will be weeded out, when sellers and buyers have the option of choosing between full or discount brokers or doing it themselves.
    CREA should not feel threaten by options, it quite rightly gives consumers the impression that access is being monopolies. The consumers will only take so much.

    Realtors must admit that there are some homes in some areas that will sell themselves in good economic times.
    Realtors add minimum value to these types of transactions.
    However there are seller that just dont want take on the work, in which case they pay the full commission.

    We have been enjoying good times in real estate in Canada.
    If and when the housing market goes throug it ebs and flow, consumers will not only need a more flexible system, they will demand it.

    Finaly, God bless us that we have the freedon to choose and discuss. We must discuss and continue to listen and debate all points of view. That way the invisble hand of the market place will enventually decide