Recently, the Competition Bureau announced that it has reached an agreement with the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) that will ensure that real estate agents to offer a variety of services and prices, including simply posting a property on the Multiple Listing System (MLS). The agreeement, which will remain in force for 10 years, is kept under wraps until the deal is ratified by CREA’s members.
Citing sources familiar with the deal, the Globe and Mail reported on the broad contours of the agreement between the Competition Bureau and CREA:
- Only licensed agents will be able to post a listing on the MLS. The agent will be responsible for the integrity of the listing.
- Sellers hiring an agent for simply listing their property will not have their contact information posted directly on Realtor.ca. But the listing can contain links to other sites that provide contact information.
- FSBO listings will be expected to reveal how much they will pay the buyer’s real estate agent.
- CREA will eliminate its ability to adopt rules that discriminate against real estate agents who provide listing-only services.
It appears that the Bureau has succeeded in its battle with CREA to (a) allow agents offer a variety of services at different price points and (b) remove CREA’s ability to change to restrict consumer choice. This agreement will allow brokers such as Best Value Real Estate that offers to list a home on the MLS for just $109 (admittedly, as a loss-leader) to continue offering “listing-only” services.