Realtors, Competition and the MLS System

There have been a number of recent news stories about the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and the Competition Bureau and not all of those stories have been accurate. Some news stories have reported that newly approved MLS Rules will open up the MLS system to members of the public. This is wrong.

MLS remains a member-to-member system and sellers must use a Realtor to list their property on MLS. However, this does not mean that consumers do not have choices. MLS Rules allow for a range of options from simple listings on MLS to handling the whole transaction, all the paperwork, advising on pricing and negotiations, coordinating meetings and appointments, research, marketing, and the list goes on.

The Rules clarify that the services provided by a Realtor are a matter of agreement between the Realtor and their client. CREA does not tell Realtors how to run their businesses or what fees or commissions to charge.

I urge all my clients to select their agent carefully and whether working on the buying or selling side to have a Buyers Agency Agreement or Listing Agreement, respectively, with their Realtor. This puts your Realtor's commitment in writing and spells out the expectations for performance and compensation.

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