Free MLS Access without a REALTOR®

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Envelope Real Estate Brokerage Inc

The Competition Bureau feels that the MLS system we have is unfair, holds the public hostage to our income structure (commissions) and is unfair to the public because you must use the services of a REALTOR® to have your property listed on MLS.

Being partial and having a personal interest in this confrontation(my income derives from real estate) I wonder if we can make the playing field level with the following suggestions.

Let the public advertise their used car on the Ford, GM, Chrysler, Toyota, BMW web site. How unfair to let these big guys discriminate against the small guy.

Let the public have free access to all county, city, state and provincial property records for assessments, titles and liens. How unfair that the public does not have free access to all of these confidential documents.

Let the public have free access to every-ones medical records. How unfair that you have to pay to see someones medical record!

Am I LOL? I can poke fun and try to find an analogy to explain the protective and blind thought process of bureaucrats but is this not been going on far to long?

Posted by

Ty Lacroix Broker of Record & Owner


'NOT ALL REALTORS* ARE THE SAME', One call or email to me and you will know why!

Your London and S/W Ontario source for results!



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Leslie Ebersole
Swanepoel T3 Group - Saint Charles, IL
I help brokers build businesses they love.

Lynn and Phil have the answers right. So many services have attempted to provide consumer provided listing info, which is fine. As long as my mls doesn't put up offerings for massage services, I'm ok with craigslist allowing real estate listings.

Oct 07, 2010 04:05 PM #68
Ty Lacroix
Envelope Real Estate Brokerage Inc - London, ON

Thank you all for your thoughts and comments and in general we all feel that the something for nothing mentality seems to be creeping into our real estate systems in North America.

As well, I have been criticized here for my blog, even dished because it was featured and even called a few names in a separate email.

A lot of you in the U.S. have seen the increase of alternative real estate sites and the threats from various levels of government to take some of your proprietary rights away.

I can only learn from your experiences and I especially thank the 142 of you who emailed me personally and described how your local association handled any government intervention.


Oct 07, 2010 11:03 PM #69
Peter Clay - NoCo Home Team
Fort Collins Realtor @ C3 Real Estate Solutions - Fort Collins, CO
Sell Smart, Buy Wise & Live Well in Nrthn Colorado

Love the sarcastic analogies - its a silly issue, as most of the commenters have indicated.  It isn't a public organization and there doesn't seem to be any way to argue that it should be.

Oct 08, 2010 05:31 AM #70

All great posts!!!

We worked hard to makes things better for all agent, brokers and salespersons.

The creation of the MLS system has been a benifit to all of us. It appears that we may have created a monster with the internet explosion. This belongs to us so simply get rid of it. Shut down the website. No more monster! I can deal with any agent, broker or salesperson in the country. Most agencies have their own websites and listings. All I hear are the horror stories from FISBO buyers. Access to our system is going to create a nightmare of liability. Be prepared. Jim

Oct 08, 2010 06:02 AM #71
Alex Morris - Austin Real Estate Agent
Austin, TX

I find it ironic that we are so demonized by the media and general public.  I am trying to recall the legislation that mandates buyers and sellers work with Realtors.  Oh wait, there is none.  I can proudly admit I have never put a gun to someone's head to contract my services.  Yet,  the public continues to use us, and most, do so with pleasure and gratitude. 

Oct 08, 2010 08:42 AM #72
Gay E. Rosen
Julia B. Fee Sotheby's International Realty - Larchmont, NY
As Real as Real Estate Gets!

Hi Ty: AGreed !  Gay

Oct 08, 2010 09:13 AM #73
Carla Freund
Keller Williams Preferred Realty - Apex, NC
Raleigh - Cary Triangle Real Estate 919-602-8489

So many great points here.  I can't imagine Agents paying for everyone and anyone to post on MLS.    You'd end up with another Craigslist and agents would bail.  If agents find other ways to promote their properties, then who will pay for MLS?  I guess you could have a bizillion pop up ads.


Oct 08, 2010 05:15 PM #74
Ty Lacroix
Envelope Real Estate Brokerage Inc - London, ON

Real Estate has always been transacted by a buyer and a seller. A smart buyer and seller realize that the intricities of the transaction and to ensure protection of their money, professionals are needed.

My role as a professional in this industry is to ensure that my clients and future clients know about the value I add to a transaction.


Oct 09, 2010 02:11 AM #75
Jason Dykstra
As Built Services - London, ON

I agree, If you own a business, you should have full rights to provide your services to who ever you choose.  Since Realtors own the MLS they shold have full proprietary rights over that service.

The one pet peeve I have with this particular issue is websites like Kijiji and Cragslits were developed for the general public to trade and sell goods.  I just visited the Kijiji site for London ON "houses for sale" section,  90% of the listings I clicked on were Realtors promoting their ads, not the general public.

I did the same comparison and looked at the London ON "cars for sale" section of Kijiji and not one car was being sold by a Dealership on the site they were all private sales by the general public.  

Due to this I can see the General Publics concern, if Realtors use General public sites like Craigslist and Kijiji why shouldnt the General Public be able to use thier sites.

Personally If i want to buy a car from a dealership i will visit that dealership either online or in person, if I want to purchasea  house through a realtor i will visit,call or email a realtor.  If I want to purchase a vehicle privately or purchase a house privately I will visit a site like craigslist or Kijiji. 

Its my opinion by Realtors advertising their listings on General public sites, where the homeowner that they are working for could do the exact same thing discredits them as a professional, and frustrates myself as an investor looking to buy a private sale home.


Oct 09, 2010 03:59 AM #76
Constantine Isslamow
Century 21 United Realty Inc. - Peterborough, ON
"Training and Accountability"

I'm taking my used car to the dealer to try and sell it myself.  Once I leave the dealer I'm off to my local radio station to insist they start playing my original music. I wonder if I'm going to have a successful afternoon.


Oct 09, 2010 07:35 AM #77
Ty Lacroix
Envelope Real Estate Brokerage Inc - London, ON

Constantine: It would depend if it was rap or country. lol


Oct 09, 2010 10:44 PM #78
Alyce Martin
The Realty Group, LLC - Albuquerque, NM
Albuquerque - THE Place To Be!

And would the homeowner be sued for entering incorrect square footage?  That's a biggy here in ABQ.  Imagine Helen HomeOwner measuring her house with a 6' tape measure.  Lovely.

Oct 10, 2010 06:00 PM #79
Ty Lacroix
Envelope Real Estate Brokerage Inc - London, ON

Alyce: There is confusion now about square footage let alone the homeowner getting involved.


Oct 10, 2010 10:37 PM #80
Bill Dean
Haggerty Team St. Louis, Mo. - Fenton, MO
William Dean - Broker, Salesperson

I am still trying to figure out why we are the Rodney Dangerfields of ALL professions!!   My Doctor has access to the PDR and won't let me read it!  My mechanic has several websites I could use to fix my OWN car.  Almost ALL professions have proprietary info sources that they pay for and the Public either can't get to or if they can they have to PAY FOR IT!  Also, can someone please tell me , Who the He## is the Competition Bureau is??  I've never heard of that

OOh, I just thought of an even better analogy--  Why not let the public Do their own Appraisals???  That profession needs to allow all of us to use their software and open their records to us (The Public).   It can't be any harder than doing a Realtor's job!  We all should be accedited as Home inspectors too!  Where does it end?

Oct 24, 2010 09:15 PM #81

How many successful businesses have been considered anti-competitive and how many are on the Competition Bureau's radar? Too many want to be instantly successful without working for it. For sale by owner companies could have banded together into a nationwide service with its own stats, etc., but they want all now. The public is also spoiled by the internet and wants all information now, free, in too many cases, while it is being paid for those such as Realtors. Realtors do so much for free without getting paid that Revenue Canada might start looking at Independent Contractor status and start disallowing much. They should also look at for sale by owners who keep the commission portion, state a portion has to be declared as a commission portion and declared as income with tax paid on it. In addition, buyers who want to use a Realtors should be paid half of that commission or the sellers should be declared anti-competitive and fined. Why should sellers be able to include a commission portion yet not declare it as income and pay tax on that portion or a deemed portion. Underground workers are charged with income tax evasion, so why not for sale by owners - because anyone can sell their own property? True. However, when there is a commission portion, that should be viewed in a different light. How would that commission portion be assessed? By comparable? By a fixed amount? Who knows. but it should be something that is looked at. Municipalities should also start assessing a fee for for sale by owners, make them take out a licence, take a course, take out errors and omissions insurance - what the heck - might as well benefit from those acting in the stead of Realtors. If sellers can sell themselves, why can't a Realtor align him or herself with a lawyer and bypass all the fees throughout the year? The Competition Bureau has basically made all people Realtors at birth, inferring that Realtors aren't really required, so why so many rules for Realtors and not the public? It is madness. Lawyers aren't there to view homes, write the contracts, etc. I wonder if lawyers' insurance rates will go up. It is very interesting how for sale by owners are being encouraged by the Competition Bureau, really, while costs are going up for Realtors - to pay for CREA's pensions in part when Realtors often don't have one? What is wrong with this picture?

Nov 13, 2010 05:51 PM #82
Ty Lacroix
Envelope Real Estate Brokerage Inc - London, ON

Andy, there is a lot wrong with the picture and your comments offer an array of thoughts,



Nov 13, 2010 08:40 PM #83

Go screw yourself. Information should be free. Just because you can control access to a bulletin board, doesnt mean you add any value to the transaction.

Aug 09, 2011 06:18 PM #84

I agree with you all in one way or another, why should realtors have to pay for information while the general public be able to access the same information by the same token why should i as a consumer or investor the general public only be handed material the realtor wants me to see... yes there are some very honest realtors, brokers and agents but lets be honest business is business, am i as a bottom level investor who wants to spend $20,000, going to expect that i be treated with the respect that some one able to cut checks for several hundred thousand dollars, lets be honest here it is extremely strange that i cant access the information and then hire  realtors to help me with all of the details, it that great american and european attitude which pisses the general public off, i worked for my money and I wanted to know what im walking into before someone tells me what would be a good idea i just want to access it i care nothing about all the other personal or confidential info, its my money i earned it i will spend it the way i feel. why is it ok just for realtors to access it its alot like only allowing MD's to access the meds or research on meds when there are others in the general public who would bennefit both sides of the situation allow me access im going to know what i want, before i even walk in chances are I'll pay that askin price and what ever else for you to hep me with the BS so please spare me the oking fun at the general public like we dont understand, all the way around its crooked, all i ask for is limited but comprehensive access, without wasting my time with someone trying to up sale me

Jan 06, 2013 03:45 PM #85
Paul Hartz
Anyone fighting this issue is holding onto their old antiquated ways in the hopes of keeping consumers ignorant and dependent upon them to "share" and "interpret" this information. These same old ways Realtors fought buyer brokerage in the early 1990's. But that, like this is good for the real estate community and helps those who ultimately need(ed) the services of the Realtor... the seller. Why not let the seller have EVERY opportunity to a buyer? Ty, Bill Bean and Andy are all examples of not wanting to be professionals. Holding onto the old tired ways. Guys, wake up, learn your business, advertise the MLS access on your web sites AND THEN TAKE THE TIME TO EDUCATE BUYERS ON HOW YOU GET PAID... PROCURRING CAUSE will still allow you to walk someone into a house and say "this is the kitchen" and expect that's enough to get paid.
Jan 02, 2014 03:23 AM #86

What a joke.
Car dealerships sell cars they own. Crea is selling homes on behalf of the owners. The data should be owned by the owners of the product being sold not some middle man who is intent on monopolizing the market. The owners want the "for sale" data to be widespread, but crea is holding onto it against the will of the owners. As for the other comparisons, we'll just look at it from what the owners want... Owners want their medical records kept private so we respect that. It's obvious, to everyone, that realtors are self serving which is why only other realtors will agree with your logic.

Mar 28, 2015 01:44 PM #87
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