Victoria, BC real estate blog - "because we never know when interest rates will be increased to stimulate the economy" ~ VREB
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Recognizing they're bringing a butter knife to an aerial dogfight, the CREA (umbrella organization of Canadian REALTORS®) have agreed to step down from the shoving match and accept the fact they've been running the MLS® system in an anti-competitive manner:
In a development that could drastically change the way Canadians buy and sell their homes, the real estate industry has reached a landmark agreement with federal competition authorities.
The legally binding deal will allow for home sellers to pay for only those services they want from their real estate agents. Previously, under the rules established by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), consumers had to opt for an entire slate of services, a practice the Competition Bureau deemed anticompetitive.
Says one lawyer who wanted to access the MLS® system without acting as a full-service REALTOR® for his clients:
“This is precisely what I’ve been fighting for for the last decade,” he said. “That the consumer and real estate agent get to decide the framework of their relationship without having CREA and their local boards say certain arrangements are not appropriate for MLS.”
It's still early in the big schemes of this new development. But two things remain: the CREA's claims against the Competition Bureau regarding agency weren't strong enough for the CREA to spend money defending and the Competition Bureau didn't feel it necessary to push the CREA to allow non-REALTOR® access to MLS® listings. Simply put, as far as I can tell, you'll still have to use a licensed REALTOR® to list your home on MLS® and that REALTOR® will still have the option of not charging a flat rate or simple MLS® listing fee if said REALTOR® believes they can make a living without offering that basic service.
Time will tell, along with the details of this new agreement, but I'm not sure this development creates the conditions necessary for drastic change in the way Canadian consumers buy and sell homes.