Canada's rogue realtor -

Canada’s rogue realtor

How to get your home on MLS, commission free


Joe Williams is not a popular guy these days with the Canadian Real Estate Association. For three years now, Ottawa’s self-described “most hated” real estate agent has been offering to list people’s homes on the association’s popular Multiple Listing Service for $109. It sounds innocent enough, but that kind of flat-fee service has become a major point of controversy as CREA battles with the Competition Bureau over its control of the MLS site. Under CREA’s rules, only registered agents can list houses on MLS and must represent sellers through the entire home sale process (which usually ends with them receiving a 5 per cent commission). The Competition Bureau maintains that CREA’s system is anti-competitive. And critics say it means home sellers end up paying huge fees for services they don’t need. Williams says he’s never received disciplinary action for offering his stripped-down service, but his name has come up in CREA’s dispute with the Competition Bureau. “Agents just don’t like this model,” he tells the Ottawa Citizen. “They find it hard to compete.” So far, he has 60 homes on MLS and plans to have up to 700 by the end of the year.

Ottawa Citizen

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Canada’s rogue realtor

  1. How do you go about posting your home on MLS for the flat-fee??Is Joe Wiliams the only one that does this in Ontario

    • Only one publicly anyway. The whole controversy lately has been that the CREA doesn't want it's members doing this.

      I dunno how I feel about this. On one hand, realtors seem to be overcompensated for the work they do. On the other hand, there is nothing forcing you from negotiating a rate with your realtor. More lately I've seen One Per Cent Realty signs around my neighbour hood. Like their name suggests, they charge 1%, plus some flat fee of a couple hundred bucks (which they say is to cover marketing costs).

      When I asked my realtor who was representing me in my home purchase, I asked her about what she thought about discount residential brokers. She told me they might not offer as good service, but you could tell her heart wasn't in it.

      I find the whole matter of real estate fees interesting as I work for a commercial real estate agency, and us and our competitors rarely ever use the commercial MLS service. The CREA has nothing to say about our fees, or what level of service we can/have to offer (other than our legal standard of care and whatnot). Our fees are much lower than residential agents on a percentage basis (of course the transaction sizes are typically much larger in commercial real estate), but we actually have to compete on fees.

      Additionally, unlike residential real estate, where you may buy a home and live it for 10 years before requiring the services of a realtor again, we often work with the same clients over and over again, and have to work hard to keep their business, and part of this means keeping fees low and reasonable.

  2. Good for you! I commend you for your audacity to take on CREA since the gutless government commission hasn't done anything worthwhile! Keep up the good fight and one day it will change. Hopefully that day is not too far away!

  3. The realtors play a game using MLS to push up the selling price. It involves controlling the recency of listings. This game this guy is playing isn’t gonna benefit consumers but hopefully it may goad the media into doing some reportage on how the Teranet / MLS relationship impacts consumers.

  4. Hey, a minute of research and I learned Rogers Communications Inc. is the Rogue Realtor accused of scraping listings! The thought plickens!

    • You mean the plot thickens…?

  5. The Buyer simply needs to be educated, in the examples being used, that his Buyer's Agency contract speaks to how his agent will be paid, regardless of whether he buys a house listed at a 1% or a flat-fee, or a FSBO. There are agents who ONLY work with Buyers and do not take listings. They are paid directly by their Buyer.
    Eventually we might see all real estate business being conducted in that manner. That would probably be a good thing, in my opinion because it is no one's business how much the other agent is being paid. The rules used to have it all carved in stone, but not anymore in recent years. Perhaps read: Best Price: Best Contract – read what your Buyer Agent needs to know – and other articles on this topic.

  6. This Joe William has no business ethique. He downloaded other private sellers' photos and used as his own. He also copied the title and description of the property being sold in the same building. I would not use him.