The successful fee-for-service models offered to the public by many FSBO (for-sale-by-owner) companies are now in jeopardy as a result of what the Competition Bureau is proposing.
Here is a recent excerpt from the Financial Post:
"We are not quite sure what the commissioner is trying to achieve," said Stephen Skelly, vice-president of operations with Ottawa-based National FSBO. "There is a discussion of a fee-for-service operation and that's the kind of thing FSBO businesses already provide."
Mr. Skelly's worry is that if agents list property on the MLS for a one-time fee and provide no additional service, his members won't be able to compete because the MLS has such a dominant position. He is trying to link various FSBO networks across the country and has six signed up, including GrapeVine Home Marketing Consultants in Ottawa, one of the largest in eastern Ontario.
"There is serious concern in the FSBO community that if the commissioner's application is successful, it would be very difficult for FSBO businesses to compete with agents who would have full use of the MLS and ‘related trademarks' and who would have all of the advertising and marketing recourses of CREA and its members. This could ultimately lead to the demise of FSBO businesses and the cost-effective services they provide, and effectively [create] a monopoly situation," the application states.
Full article: MLS rival joins battle against Competition Bureau by Garry Marr, Financial Post Published: Wednesday, April 07, 2010.
The services National FSBO offers to the public as an alternative to using a REALTOR® is threatened. National FSBO has therefore made an application to the Competition Tribunal suggesting that the bureau would effectively “put them out of business, thus reducing competition”.
This would also have an adverse effect on REALTORS®. There are enough people unsuccessful at trying to sell their homes by themselves that one of the main activities of thousands of REALTORS® across Canada is actively prospecting expired FSBO listings.