CREA and the Competition Bureau.

By
Real Estate Sales Representative with Forest Hill Real Estate Inc, Brokerage

CREA (Canadian Real Estate Association) has passed it's new rules to work alongside of the Competion Bureau. The Bureau is not satisfied with what CREA has passed to make both sides happy. It is now going to go to a tribunal which could take years.

The Competition Bureau wants CREA to allow For Sale By Owners to use our system. CREA owns the MLS on all Canadian local boards and we as realtors pay dues, take courses and are responsible for all the information we post on a listing. They claim that we are non-competitive with our commissions and make it out to sound like every realtor charges 5% and there is no room for negotiation. NOT TRUE. Realtors have always been allowed to negotitate their commisssion or run a listing as a flat fee. The sellers name and number did not go on the listing as all appointments were directed through the agent. The realtor could work on a very base flat fee or in increments of services negotiated between the parties.

CREA has agreed to allow the sellers name and number to go directly on the MLS listing and all appointments will go through the seller. There is a written agreement that the Seller is only paying a flat fee for the right to list on MLS and no further services are required of the agent. However, The agent is responsible for all information posted on the listing-room sizes, chattels included or excluded. The agent is also responsible to know if there are any property defects. Putting a disclaimer on the listing is not sufficent.

The great thing with this new ammendment is that althought the seller's name and number will appear on the local board MLS, it will not appear on Realtor.ca. Realtor.ca is the second stage of a listing- once it gets posted to the specific local board it is then uploaded onto Realtor.ca. The buying public finds properties on Realtor.ca but can not access the local board MLS. CREA will not allow the seller's name and number to appear once it gets uploaded onto Realtor.ca-THAT IS GREAT FOR THE REALTORS.

If a buyer finds the listing on Realtor.ca and phones the only number that does appear, the realtor's, the agent is not obligated to give any information about that listing-the seller's name, phone number or address. The realtor can, however sign up the buyer under agency and then explain the process of buying that house if they so choose. So the options then become,

a) the Seller agrees to pay a commission to the realtor  

b) the buyer pays a commission to the realtor

c)there is no deal between the realtor and the seller.

This is fairly simplified, but will come into effect within the next months and in the mean time the forms exisitng will have to be rewritten.

There are more issues but this is the key one causing all the controversy.

 

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Re/Max Realtron Realty Inc, Brokerage
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Comments (8)

Jo-Anne Smith
Oakville, ON

hi Diane,

If the rules changed and the Competition Bureau forced CREA to allow seller's contact info on realtor.ca, I think realtor.ca would eventually die out......none of us want to pay to maintain an advertising site for the public.

Jo

Apr 07, 2010 01:05 PM
Diane Plant
Forest Hill Real Estate Inc, Brokerage - Toronto, ON
Broker, TorontoHomeSearch: Forest Hill Real Estate

I certainly hope this does not happen-the way it is will work because the public won't be able to get the seller's information and we are not obligated to give it unless the buyer comes under contract

Apr 09, 2010 02:31 AM
Brian Madigan
RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage (Toronto) - Toronto, ON
LL.B., Broker

Diane,

I'm surprised that I really don't read a lot of information about RECO in all of this. After all, this is RECO territory, and I'm surprised by the silence.

Brian

Apr 12, 2010 01:17 PM
Diane Plant
Forest Hill Real Estate Inc, Brokerage - Toronto, ON
Broker, TorontoHomeSearch: Forest Hill Real Estate

 Brian,

 The Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO) regulates the activity of trading in real estate in the public interest. RECO administers the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act, 2002 and associated regulations on behalf of the provincial government. RECO is the governing body that takes complaints against agents and agnecies.

CREA is the official gateway to all Canadian MLS information. They own all the MLS information in Canada for all the the real estate boards. That is why the Competition Bureau is going after CREA.

The Bureau wants assurance that the rules CREA changes will not be changed back and that is why there is now going to be a tribunal.

Apr 12, 2010 11:03 PM
Brian Madigan
RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage (Toronto) - Toronto, ON
LL.B., Broker

Diane,

The CREA response leaves the Association on its own.

RECO deals with consumer related issues including ethics, complaints and quality standards. So, while CREA and the Competition Bureau try to deal with this matter on their own, the professions regulator is left out of the picture. I do appreciate there would be 10 provinces and 3 territories to be represented.

Brian

 

Apr 13, 2010 12:19 AM
Dean Bergstrom
Bergstrom Realty Inc., Brokerage - Stoney Creek, ON
Broker of Record

Is slashing prices to the bone to try and drive out or completely remove any competition anti-competitive. If so then perhaps they should be looking at the discount brokerages because in my humble opinion that is what they are trying to do. They would then have the run of the market and I bet the commissions would start to rise.

Apr 14, 2010 03:31 AM
Dean Bergstrom
Bergstrom Realty Inc., Brokerage - Stoney Creek, ON
Broker of Record

Here is a suggestion that should even the playing field for everyone. If a brokerage wants to only charge 1.5% commission on a sale, that's fine, However then they should only be entitled to 1.5 commission when the assist a buyer. Have this as a rolling commission. The brokerage states it's commission and lives and dies by it. Would this not be fairer than having a brokerage charge minimal if any commission on a sale as long as the client has agreed to use the brokerage as their buyer rep and then get 2.5 from a brokerage that has that as it's stated commission.

If your a 1.5% brokerage it should be for both ends. If your a different percentage then that should apply to both ends. This is a win/win situation and the clients get the service they deserve.

Apr 15, 2010 05:28 AM
John Grasty
for real estate results in the Tri-Cities. - Port Moody, BC
Your Tri-cities REALTOR, neighbour and volunteer.

Re/Max starts campaign against part-time agents

What did you think of this Diane?

 

Apr 16, 2010 05:33 PM