Deal Reached Between Federal Competition Bureau and CREA

deal_400For months, real estate professional and home sellers have been closely following negotiations between the Federal Competition Bureau and the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).

At issue was whether home sellers could select specific services from real estate professionals, and then pay for only those services when selling their home. Historically, sellers were not provided with this choice.

However, under a deal struck on October 24 between the Federal Competition Bureau and the CREA, home sellers will enjoy more choice and selection from their realtors® when selling their home.

Also, among other immediate changes, CREA realtors® will stop blocking so-called “discount agents” from accessing the Multiple Listings Service® (MLS®) system.

"I am pleased that CREA members have voted in favour of this agreement," commented the federal Commissioner of Competition, Melanie Aitken.

"We are pleased that after careful consideration and reflection, real estate boards and associations from across Canada have endorsed the agreement," agreed CREA president Georges Pahud. The CREA represents about 100,000 realtors® across the country through 101 local real estate associations and boards.

The deal is in effect for the next 10 years, with violators facing fines and sanctions.

What this Deal Might Mean to You

I'll admit that I do have some concerns about possible implications of this new deal – not as it affects me professionally, but in terms of what it can mean to home sellers; especially those who don’t have a lot of experience with that kind of transaction.

In Alberta, there has always been a variety of different levels of service for people looking to sell their homes. It’s possible (not likely, but possible) that this new deal could be a scary jump back in time, when home sellers were left vulnerable to “questionable” real estate investors. Real estate professionals adhere to strict guidelines for conduct and have fiduciary duties to their clients. We also have a minimum of one million in liability insurance – something that real estate investors don’t have.

My advice? Frankly, the cost of saving a few thousand dollars by not paying a realtor® is much, much smaller than the potential tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars to repair serious material defects with a property. You deserve the professionalism and the peace of mind that comes from knowing you’re protected, and working with a trained professional.

If you have any additional questions about this deal between the Competition Bureau and the CREA, either in terms of how it impacts your buying or selling options, contact me at 780-709-0811 – I’m here to help!

2 Responses to "Deal Reached Between Federal Competition Bureau and CREA"

Lisa wrote: It will be really interesting to see how this affects real estate in Canada. Do you know if there's been any issues since this change has been in effect?
Chris Proctor wrote: Not any issues per say, but I have noticed more agents and brokerages offering a 'menu of services' with different options for different levels of service. We have always offered a variety of services depending on what the client wants, so not much has changed thus far. It will be interesting to see how things unfold in the new year.

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Chris was fantastic. He really understood the type of house we were going for, the price range, and the difficulties of being first time home buyers. He helped us through the process, keeping us fully informed while never making us feel foolish. He never tried to sell us on anything we weren't interested in, and made sure we found the place that was right for us!

- Benjamin Stevens

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