I sure have received some funny calls from a few consumers trying to understand exactly what has happened and what the Competition Bureau and CREA (Canadian Real Estate Association) have agreed on.
With the amount of different types of media trying to get our attention, It’s become challenging when there is no accountability from media sources to really state the facts and assist the general public by providing correct news. Since we’re close to the present events, I think its very necessary to really educate and clear up any misconceptions.
When I heard the news of a “settle”ment by CREA, I too had many questions. Is it a settle scenario? What’s the deal? How does this affect the real estate industry? How does this change the dynamic of a real estate transaction involving a Realtor?
The agreement, which is subject to approval by the member Board/Association at a special general meeting on October 24th, proposes the following:
- Does not give the public direct access to the MLS® system or to REALTOR.ca; the Membership Pillar has not changed and the MLS® system remains a member to member service;
- Does not require brokerages to change their business models;
- Does not impact the Compensation Pillar; and
- Does not impact the responsibility of members to ensure the accuracy of MLS® listing content.
The agreement specifies that CREA, along with Boards and Associations cannot prevent or discriminate against “mere postings” or against members who offer mere postings. CREA has always maintained its rules do no such thing.
So what has changed?
Brokerages that offered discount services to Sellers have always existed before this decision. Now, if these brokerages are licensed and members of RECO and TREB, they can provide their services on the MLS online with mere postings. These Brokerages offer minimum representation and minimum service. It’s important to be clear that a Seller cannot post a home on the MLS without a licensed Realtor. Do people really believe the MLS sells property? Consumers will quickly realize the MLS is nothing more than another advertising tool that happens to be on the internet but it doesn’t magically sell property. [Read more…]