For 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
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
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!