Competition Bureau to challenge MLS -

Competition Bureau to challenge MLS

CREA limits consumer choice and prevents innovation in the real estate market


Not a moment too soon, the Competition Bureau is at last going after the real estate cartel. The agency is challenging the rules governing the online Multiple Listing Service, carefully designed by the Canadian Real Estate Association to ensure it does not become too useful. For example, you can’t just pay a fee to list your home on it. Rather, you have to hire an agent to provide you with a lot of services you don’t need—services, indeed, that the MLS itself would seem to make superfluous. This is one of many pointless rituals maintained by the real estate guild, for no other reason than because a) it has always been done that way, b) it makes money for the agent, or ideally c) both. Where is Walmart when you need them?

Vancouver Sun

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Competition Bureau to challenge MLS

  1. I believe consumers have many choices with real estate and the services they can obtain. If they do not wish to pay realtor fees there are other forums and private sale websites where they are in control of the marketing and viewings. Crea and it's members, and I being a member of 15 years have built up much valuable experience to protect and help the consumer and provide a system that gives top value in not only equity but in service. Consumers
    have a choice and we do not fix services or commissions. A real estate transaction is not as easy as it seems. Real estate sales people are hard workers and do not get paid unless the house sells and we pay for the business expenses upfront to market property and we have no guarantees of making a commission.

  2. Suggesting that a privately held service owned entirely by it's members should just allow access to the services is ridiculous. As a realtor I have payed fees for over 20 years as have my fellow realtors and have created not only CREA but provincial real estate associations and further down the line regional boards to help us improve our professionalism. If you would like to pay a small fee and not use a realtor then use a site that is not owned by realtors. Try Craigslist or Grapevine or Kijji. There is no rule that says you have to use a realtor, and I find the likeness to a cartel misleading to the reader, If instead you choose to use a Realtor rest assured CREA nor their provincial boards nor their regional boards and not even their franchisee has any rules in place forcing them to charge any commission, so go out there and pick the one who will give you the services you want at the price you want to pay that is what open markets are all about. And if Walmart wants to run a real estate service they won't find CREA the hard one to deal with. They will have to deal with all the other regulatory bodies just like all other Real Estate Practitioners.

  3. Shame of you Vancouver Sun and McLeans. What a mindless piece drivel. What's next ? – Does the Competition Bureau want you to be able to book an operating room and rent the tools to do your own heart surgery as well?. Them greedy money grubbing surgeons have been ripping off the public forever!

    • The issue is not that realty is easy. The issue is that they force you to buy services you don't want, in order to buy the ones you do want. So the more appropriate analogy would be a case where a surgeon will only do your heart surgery if you buy a face lift and a liposuction at the same time.

      It's also interesting you would claim that posting to a web site requires such extensive expertise, when you've managed to figure out how to post to this one.

      • s_c_f, a historic day here, we agree on something! That was an excellent analogy :^)

        • Hip hip hooray! Thx

    • Disgusting is the ongoing comparison of an agent to a well-educated surgeon. Please do not compare your societial status to that of a Doctor, Engineer, Lawyer etc. Until the barriers to entry into the real estate …ahem…"Profession" are raised – considerably – the comparison is a joke, as is the term "Practitioners".

      The issue is choice, and the public have it to sell privately on, or with a Canadian Tire Sign. But the competition bureaus beef is not with this choice, it is the continued protection by a select few of their 5% model. Had the industry not continued to attempt to crush, blacklist and refuse to accept innovative business models that some of the discounters like realtysellers were bringing forward – the CREA would not be here today. Instead, they brought this on themselves by refusing to accept innovation WITHIN THEIR MEMBERSHIP. The world is not flat anymore…get over it.

  4. In Calgary, commissions paid by the seller (lets face it, the seller pays both realtors) are going to start at about $30,000 in addition to all the other fees (legal and otherwise). You think that agents earn $30,000? Really? What about the fees on those million dollar houses? I don't think so.

    Most realtors get paid to list the house on MLS and perform the negotiation. Most of the other paperwork is handled by a lawyer (who you have to pay for anyways), and the brokerages.

  5. From a realtor's perspective, CREA is being anti-competitive because licensed real estate agents and brokers are not allowed to: (1) offer reduced services for discounted prices to home sellers, and (2) use or present the listings and sales history data in new, innovative ways. From a homebuyer/homeseller perspective, high real estate commissions means people pay far more for homes than they should. It's about time this stupid model is changed. The outrageous real estate commissions should be removed – almost every real estate agent knows that MLS sells houses, not the agent!

  6. They are just cab drivers, used car salesmen who have no responsibility, no liability and no credibility.

    • Bob your comments speak volumes, not about the point you're trying to make but about how truly uneducated you are.

  7. With the average sales of a SFN, I definitely don't think they are "earning" the commission. Everyone has a "right to make a living" but that phrase does not an argument make for the pay that they get. Realtors are NOT lawyers, doctors,….. I look w/ envy at the innovations in the US system and think in many ways, our system is lacking. Thank goodness for 1% realty. I would hope that in the future I can pay a fee for "specific" services from a realtor and sell a home for a reasonable price. I mean, come on…..$16K to $20K in realtor commissions?!?!

  8. I agree with most that commissions are just getting unreasonable. No wonder people try to sell their home by themselves. There should be a time based fee. My last house sold in one afternoon, but I still had to pay 15K in commissions…Totally wrong in my view.

    • that was the experience of the Realtor. Had he/she listed your hosue 40-80k over what was the fair market price your property could have been sitting int market for months and months….. Experience is something that worked for you….

      • Hogwash. I was the one the chose the price. The real estate agent had no idea, as in the area there were homes of all values from 200K to well over a million. I will never ever use a real estate agent again.

  9. I find this all very amazing; on one hand the Gov't is forcing the Realtors to take every precaution by making them use Fintrac forms. Making sure the Seller is the owner and to make sure the money isn't coming from Gangsters illegal moneys. The Gov't now wants to force Crea to allow anyone to list property on their Website??? Go to a Site like Craigslist to list your property a sight that is always reminding you to beware of scams??
    The MLS has built up a trust and reliablity that the Gov't wants to distroy. As a Realtor I say don't mess up a trusted sight. Make your own!
    Just a thought: did you know the Competion Bureau won't let you advertise on their sight. You want to know the reason they gave me?
    We're the Gov't.!!! Exactly: it is a TRUSTED SIGHT !!!!

    • sight???? site?????

  10. MLS and CREA is like a privet club. You have to pay the dues to get in like price club. you cheap you don't like go next door Wal-mart. The information is belong to licensed realtors and should be unplugged so public or whoever realizes that it was a privilege to be able to look at listings and information not a right.

  11. Since we had a boom in housing market everyone is an export at it now. Wait till things slow down, it is a matter of when not if. Then home owners are happy to pay lot more commission to unload.

  12. This is an important issue because it is about the largest single industry in the country. Not autos, not mining, not agriculture – nothing is bigger than real estate. This is a political issue as well because it is about consumers having a choice and about tens of thousands of realtors having the choice to offer various service packages at different pricing instead of 5% fits all.

  13. I have been a realtor for many years and I have been charging from 2.5 % to 5% depending on the situation. No one even stop you to charge 1%. It is always up to the agent and the clients. Where is the price fixing?

    • Let us face the truth: Agents tell you that the fee is 5% and that's IT? Just try to negotiate!


  14. two questions:
    1. how much do the agents have to pay the brokers or companies that they are listed with?
    2. Do the agents pay an additional fee to use the MLS site?

  15. Hahaha, real estate agent vs doctor. A doctor can quit and become a real estate agent in no time, how long would it take for a real estate agent to quit an become a doctor? Real estate agents keep refering to themselves as professionals, do they have a professtional designation? I do, and it took 6 years of university and many years of on the job experience to obtain it. What does it take to become a real estate professional? A couple of mickey mouse couses. I know a real estate agent that barely passed high school, didn't quality for university, and flunked out of a community college.

    • Like any profession there are good and bad people. The course is not a JOKE and the industry is MUCH more regulated than you think. If the realtors are taken out of the process the courts will become overcrowded with litigation. Who will be the person that mediates and is ultimatly responsable for any errors or omissions? Buyers and sellers will be taking each other to court for many items that would NEVER occur if a PROFESSIONAL Real Estate Saleperson had been involved!
      You are a professional… would you feel if the government decided to tell you that you were charging too much for your services and forced "open lower pricing" for your work?

  16. While we're at it, I'd like a break down of where my gov't taxes go to and which ones I would like to pay for. If I don't drive why should I pay for the roads? I don't use the my neighborhood parks, and I don't have kids in school either – please scratch these off my tax contributions. As well I do not want to pay for the benefit packages offered to government employees… please omit them from my tax contributions and reimburse me the difference as I don't believe gov't people work hard enough.

    As for health benefits I never get sick… scratch any taxes I pay towards health off. If I do get sick I want the option of using the services of a more cost efficient South American physician…..

    You people are ridiculous! Real estate is the biggest purchase you'll make in your life and you are asking for walmart to come through? Where does your cheapness end?