Saturday, October 23, 2010

Changes Forthcoming to Canada's MLS® Real Estate System

  For several months now you may have read media reports covering the ongoing allegations from the federal Competition Bureau regarding Canada's MLS® system.  The MLS® (multiple listing service) system and MLS® trademark are owned and as such managed by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).  In order for a home or other property to be listed on the MLS® system certain criteria must be met and this has meant that only licensed real estate practitioners (REALTORS®) can access the system for the purpose of listing properties for sale.  The Competition Bureau charges that this is anti-competitive as it thus far has prevented other real estate companies many of which are not licensed real estate practitioners from accessing the system  simply to post a property on the MLS® system without providing all of the other functions typically associated with the buying and selling of real property.
  After months of heated debate between CREA and the Competition Bureau, a tentative settlement has been reached that will bring about some changes to the MLS® system as we know it.  Executives from real estate Boards across Canada are meeting this weekend in St. John's NFLD and will be voting Sunday on proposed changes that will end the stalemate that has seen both CREA and the Competition Bureau deadlocked in heated and emotionally charged exchanges for months.
  Canada is one of the few countries that has a nationwide MLS® system.  The U.S. doesn't have one and most countries don't.  If you live in Vancouver and are moving to Halifax, you can begin your real estate house hunting online in the comfort of your own home before you ever step on a plane or hit the road for the trip east.  More importantly, MLS® rules help to ensure the accuracy and reliability of information that gets posted to a listing about any given property. That is great value to consumers and we are the envy of many countries for having such a system.
  So is the system anti-competitive?  I have followed for months the media reports and online comments made by consumers pertaining to this festering situation. Virtually every consumer complaint has been centred around  the lousy service they received from their respective REALTOR® for the commissions paid.  This is not a question of a system that it anti-competitive, rather, it's more a matter of REALTORS® proving poor service and subsequently poor value for the fees charged.
 Today's consumer looks for and demands greater value than ever before.  Let's face it, I do and so do you.  As professional REALTORS® we must first identify what it is that is important to consumers that are engaged in and or are contemplating a real estate transaction.  We must provide a level of knowledge, expertise and service that meets these needs in a way that clearly demonstrates the value a licensed REALTOR® contributes to the buying and selling process.  As humans we all tend to lay blame for situations rather than accept our responsibility for them.  Let's not fault a system that is the envy of many.
Following Sunday's vote I will elaborate in more detail the changes that you can expect to see coming to the rules governing organized real estate and more specifically the MLS® system.  

1 comment:

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privately selling your home

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Rick relocated to Collingwood from Toronto in 1985 through a transfer with Goodyear Canada. In 1987 Rick was recruited by a major client of Goodyear’s, managing their Canadian business based in Barrie before moving to Chicago in 1992 as Vice President of Sales & Marketing. Upon returning to Canada in 1996, Rick ran an industrial products manufacturing company in Stratford, Ontario. In 1998 Rick returned to Collingwood with his two children. Rick is a licensed real estate Broker with Royal LePAGE Locations North in Collingwood and holds his MVA designation (Market Value Appraiser-Residential). He is an active volunteer in the community serving several years on the Board of Directors with the Collingwood Chamber of Commerce as Treasurer, 6 years on the Board of Directors for the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS® of which he is the Past President (2008) and currently serves on a committee with the Ontario Real Estate Association. Rick is a diverse executive manager with extensive experience in strategic planning, manufacturing, finance, human resources and quality assurance management.